5Sociological Imagination (1) One quality of mind that all the great social analysts need to possess in order to study social phenomenaThe ability to understand“ the intersection between biography and history”The interplay between the self and the worldA quality of the mind that allows us to understand the relationship between our particular situation in life and what is happening at a social levelC. Wright Mills ( )
6Sociological Imagination C. Wright Mills:“Personal troubles of milieu”“Public issues of social structure”
7Sociological imagination (2) The sociological imagination requires that we search for the link between the micro and macro levels of analysisMill’s characterization of sociology as the intersection between biography and history reminds us that the process works in both directions:While larger social forces influence individual lives, there are many ways in which our individual lives can affect society as well
9What do you think is the difference between personal and social problems?
10Assignment 2 Personal or social problem? What difference does the distinction between personal and social problems make in understanding the causes and consequences of problems?Work in groups and choose one problem from the list you made at the beginning of this class and try to understand this specific problems in terms ofa) A personal problemb) A social problemc) Make a comparison: what different analysis outcomes do you get? What consequences does this have
11Personal problemA personal problem is one whose causes and solutions lie within the individual and his/her immediate environment“personal troubles or milieu”
12Personal vs. Social problems Viewing a problem as either personal or social leads to identifying very different consequences as well as different causesHelping individuals deal with personal problems is important but it is only a stopgap approach to social problems.
13Approaching rape: a personal or social problem ?
14rape defined as a personal problem due to personal inadequacies results in guilt in victim and impunity for the offenderends in appropriate or no action and continuation of the problemdefined a social problemdue in part to social attitudes about womenresults in collective action –education of the public and criminal justice personnelends in amelioration of the problem as attitudes change and women are treated as victims rather than as the guilty ones
15Defining it as a personal problem either blames the victim or castigates the offender
16Defining rape as a social problem organizes the need for collective action that attacks factors outside the individual
17Tackling personal problems Individual strategies employed to deal with problemHelp from professionals depending on the type on problem (e.g. social workers, psychologists etc.)Possible consequences:Personal empowermentEscape mechanismSense of inadequacy (low self-esteem, self-fulfilling prophecy)
23‘Personal troubles of milieu’ of ‘public issues of social structures’?
24What is a social problem? What’s a social problem?
25A broad definition of a social problem “A social problem is a social condition that has negative consequences for individuals, our social world, or psychical world” (Leon-Guerrero, 2010)
26A Normative framework for social problems Social condition?Negative consequences?For individuals?Our social world?Our psychical world?Says who? People often disagree, because of different perspectives
27different Level of social problems Problems of behavior devianceProblems of inequalityProblems of social institutionsGlobal social problemsAs we will learn it is difficult to place social problems in boxes of categories, since they so complex and overlap.
28Exploration: let students analyze what they think is a possible social problem in this picture. This assignment is meant to identify fallacies of thinking
329 fallacies of thinking when analyzing social problems: Fallacies of thinking when analyzing SPs:Fallacy of dramatic instance:OvergeneralizingFallacy of misplaced concreteness:making something abstract into something concreteFallacy of personal attack:Argument by attacking the opponent personally rather than dealing with the issue
33examples Fallacy of dramatic instance: Overgeneralizing “We saw two young boys doing drugs in the street; the modern youth is really in decline”Fallacy of misplaced concreteness:Making something abstract into something concrete“The masculine Aruban culture inhibits a good education for women.”Fallacy of personal attack:Argument by attacking the opponent personally rather than dealing with the issue“We shouldn’t start a program for the homeless; they are all drug addicts.”
349 fallacies of thinking when analyzing social problems: Fallacies of thinking when analyzing SPs:Fallacy of appeal to prejudice:Argument by appealing to popular prejudices or passionsFallacy of circular reasoning:Using conclusions to support the assumptions that were necessary to make the conclusionsFallacy of retrospective determinism:That argument that things could have not worked out any other way than they did
35examples Fallacy of appeal to prejudice: Argument by appealing to popular prejudices or passions“We shouldn’t hire gay people, they have AIDS”Fallacy of circular reasoning:Using conclusions to support the assumptions that were necessary to make the conclusions“Poor people are inferior because they are unable to make any money.”Fallacy of retrospective determinism:That argument that things could have not worked out any other way than they did“There will always be poor people, there always have been”“Without tourism Aruba would be broke”
369 fallacies of thinking when analyzing social problems: Fallacies of thinking when analyzing SPs:Fallacy of composition:The assertion that what is true of the part is necessarily true of the wholeFallacy of non sequitur:Something that does not follow logically from what has preceded itFallacy authority:Argument by an illegitimate appeal to authority
37examples Fallacy of composition: The assertion that what is true of the part is necessarily true of the whole“Members of parliament are wasteful, parliament is wasteful”Fallacy of non sequitur:Something that does not follow logically from what has preceded it“If you don’t donate to this charity organization, you don’t care about the poor.”Fallacy authority:Argument by an illegitimate appeal to authority“Aruba’s crime rates are rising”“Why do you think that?”“Professor x said so.”
38Defining the concept of “Social problems” Social problems can be defined in terms of different perspectivesThe specific angle you choose will influence the way you approach social problems
39A perspective influences how you: Identify (pinpoint)See (frames)Analyze(causes & consequences)understandValue & attitudeTalk about with others (discourse)Act (solutions)
40Tomorrow we will focus on different perspectives for the understanding of social problems