Sociology

Part 2: Introducing Sociology

People today blame themselves more and more for every bad thing or "troubles" they have on personal fault rather then looking towards the social issue (Mills 1959, pg.1). In the article The Promise C. Wright Mills' say that "the individual can understand his own experience and gauge his own fate only by locating himself within his period, that he can know his own chances in life only by becoming aware of those of all individuals in his circumstances" (Mills 1959, pg.2). This means that people can understand themselves better if they look past themselves and start looking at in conditions as a whole, not just blaming yourself but seeing that there is a problem in the society and you cannot necessarily help yourself or blame yourself (Mills, 1959 pg. 1). Mills also says that using history is a huge part of the sociological imagination because it gives the person something to compare what they are analyzing to (Mills 1959, pg.3). The distinction between troubles and issues is not something that is not always done and is usually confused. I know that I fist heard the two being used didn't differentiate them from one another and I thought they were just two synonyms of each other. But after hearing Dr. McIntyre explain the two and how they are different I then learned that troubles are on a personal level and only affect yourself, and issues are dealing with a larger group and possibly a whole culture or species and issues effect a lot of people (McIntyre, Lecture). Differentiating between trouble and issues and taking the approach of looking past troubles and toward the issues and comparing it to history is a key part in having a sociological imagination (Mills 1959).
Mills would conclude that Coontz has a sociological imagination because Coontz looks both to History and to the Social Issues of teen and parent conflicts. Coontz uses history in the example of how teenagers are more dependent on there parents then earlier generations and having a sense or rolelessness. (Coontz 1997, pg10) Rolelessness is makes a kid feel like they are not doing anything important and have no real definition of where they stand in society. I have had the experience of rolelessness when I was about 15 and working for my father. He would always be telling me what to do and how to do it and always having someone older help me, even though it wasn't a challenging task for me and would only assign independent tasks if I was as complex as picking up trash. This underestimation of me made me feel as if I was useless and just a burden on him. Coontz then looks past the troubles of one couples marriage fights and into the social relationships that have been created in our society (Coontz 1997, pg.13). Social relationships have to do with situated social power. Situated social power by Coontz definition is, "various groups in society have unequal access to economic resources, political power, and social status, and these social differences limit how fair or equal a personal relationship between two individuals from different groups can really be" (Coontz 1997 pg13). I have personally experienced situated social power with my dad. He has said to me that I can do whatever I want to do, but that really isn't the case, there is actually only one correct decision and he is feeling like he has put the decision into my hands but I know if I do the decision that he doesn't want me to do there will be consequences. Then in the end, he just being my dad had made me make my decision with only one real choice. This also shows that since I'm a boy I answer to my father and this could also be another example of situated social power. In conclusion, By Coontz seeing past the troubles and into the issues using history as a reference Coontz has shown that he has a sociological imagination.
If I was the mayor of Chicago I would first look into if this murder of Sarah Gould and see if it was a freak, one time thing or if it is a serious problem in the way people on the south-side were thinking. If I came to the conclusion that there were recurrence
I would then start with having the chief of police talking to the officers about why they have chosen to turn a blind eye to the south-side people's injustices and that they need to enforce the laws more strict and educate people so that people understand the consequences of those types of crimes. Then if there wasn't any improvement in the amount of closed cases dealing with south-side crimes I would have to have a reform within the department.

Sociology 7.2 of 10 on the basis of 1613 Review.