What Is Sociology?

Throughout this course you will be asked to use your sociological imagination to view situations from a variety of perspectives. As Mills suggested in the above quote, this might require you to narrow your focus on the life of a homeless individual or to broaden your scope and look at a multinational corporation and its effect on the global economy. Then step back even further to consider how these two perspectives might influence the development of humanity as a whole. In this week’s Discussion, we will start by looking at your own values and recognizing the personal experiences and cultural biases that might have affected them. Understanding how your values are shaped and affected can give you clues as to how your own culture and society forms views on similar issues.

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What Is Sociology?

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To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Review pages 5 – 9 and 19 – 21 on social imagination in your course textbook.
  • Consider how “common sense” knowledge affects your everyday decisions.
  • Reflect on how the sociological imagination challenges certain core values and basic beliefs in one’s own society and culture.

With these thoughts in mind:
a value of your own that you think studying sociology may challenge. Explain why you chose that value and how you would use your social imagination to bring awareness to other possible viewpoints of the value.



  • Course Text: Schaefer, R. T. (2012). Sociology: A brief introduction (Laureate Education, Inc., custom ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
    • Chapter 1, pp. 2 – 2

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