The purpose of this book is to explore various avenues of the existing ‘Age of Fact’ and the urgent role of the social analyst to integrate the particular history, biography, and social structure of humankind. According to Mills, the sociological imagination is to be aware of the idea of social structure and to use it with sensibility. He noticeably believes that the sociological imagination can only initiate and direct the individual towards the synoptic internalization and realization of social, cultural, and political realm, which would assist the social researcher to transform the understandings of his scientific experience. Subsequently, he validated the social-science study through translating the private issues to public issues.
With respect to this, social class is perceived in the sociology as the combination of economic and political characteristics that identify the belonging of a person to a definite group. The most common approach to the differentiation of classes is the stratification “according to their relations to production and acquisition of goods” (Textbook, p. 193). This idea was suggested by Karl Marx and offered the basis for his division of the society into the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. However, Max Weber pointed out the weakness of Marx's theory referring to its foundation on economic indicators only and offering a wider perspective including the introduction of status groups that are stratified “according to principles of their consumption of goods as represented by special 'styles of life'” (Textbook, p. 193). This idea adds to a more profound understanding of the complexity of class division and envisions also the inclusion of the political dimension in the processes of class
Jean Jacques Rousseau’s On the Origin of Inequality among Men is one of the most important pivotal publications in history, especially when it comes to social development. From the origin of man to his present day, Rousseau explored and dissected the evolution of the conscience and social hierarchy of men. More specifically, Rousseau delved into the reasons why there is inequality among individuals in society today, notably the differences in individuals in different fields and the capability of individuals for a job. In my opinion, this publication is a social educational weapon for society today. Humans are naturally good, but the formation of societies and the acquirement of knowledge and wisdom has altered the natural human state of mind.
Symbolic Interactionism George Mead (1863-1931) George Herbert Mead is one of the key developers of the symbolic interactionism. This is a micro-level perspective based on self and society. It states that human behavior is influenced by meanings and definitions that are created through interactions with others in society. This is the ongoing use of a language and gestures in suspense to how the other will react in a conversation. Within the George Mead’s theory of Mind, Self and Society, he said that the self is made up of 2 components: the “me” represents expectations, attitudes and learnt behaviors of others in society.
Marxist theory also helps us further our understanding of the achievement gap. We will interpret the achievement gap through the concepts of ALIENATION, SPECIES-BEING, and CLASS CONFLICT. Although these concepts pertain to critiques on capitalism, they remain useful and revealing to the U.S. education system, as this system itself was heavily influenced by capitalism. For example, there are bells to conduct the school day, grades to track student performance, incentives to outperform your peers, and many other aspects influenced by capitalism. Marxist theory allows us to examine how the organization of the school system either promotes or hinders the achievement gap.
INTRODUCTION C. Wright Mills was a mid-century Activist, Journalist, and more importantly a Sociologist who was critical of intellectual sociology and believed sociologists should use their information to advocate for social change. Further, his writings particularly addressed the responsibilities of intellectuals in post World War II society and recommended relevance and engagement over unbiased academic observation. Well known for coining the phrase ‘power elite,’ a term he used to describe the people who ran a government or organization because of their wealth and social status. He was also known and celebrated for his critiques of contemporary power structures. Influenced by Marxist ideas and the theories of Max Weber, Mills was highly
Social inequality is one of the main issues in social science. One of the main purposes of sociology is to criticise social issues. As Zygmunt Bauman is stating, “Sociology is a critical activity” (2014, 26), that aims to criticise economic and social improvement within the society. Society´s hunger of ceaseless improvement is often resulting in a paradox: the higher classes are taking advantage of capitalistic development, the more lower classes are suffering from this constant growth, due to an uneven distribution of power. This essay aims to analyse how capital and class division can affect education in our contemporary society, particularly focusing on non-traditional students and their experience at university, by presenting two approaches
Empowerment theory The empowerment theory owes its articulation to the woks of Freire (1973, 1998). According to Robbins et al (2012), the theory of empowerment draws a range of its ideas and key themes from economic and political theory, sociology, the social work tradition and liberation theology. It is grounded on the conflict perspective model and it endorses social activism and consciousness raising. The concept of critical consciousness is particularly essential for personal empowerment because it enlights people of the oppression and discrimination in their societies as well as its social and political impacts (Lee, 2007). Drawing from the understanding of Freire’s work, empowerment is vitally concerned with the structural barriers
As demonstrated by Marx and Engels in the introduction and development of instruments of labour, the division of labour and private property divide of people into social classes (i.e. the exploiting class and the exploited class). Alienation and contradiction – expressed through class struggles – are oppressive and dehumanizing, yet absolutely necessary for the general progress of the human society (Marx and Engels, 1965). Marx explains social change in endogenous terms, stressing the internal dynamics of the mode of production (Moratiu and Ignat 2011). From the social point of view, processes are qualified as being endogenous when they occur within the social system, conflicts arising due to tensions between socially unequal groups and classes, inequality being powered by economically contradictions, which, ultimately, grow into social contradictions calling for change.
By Ideology, unequal power relations are established and maintained through discourse. Ideology is also a means of transforming power relations in discourse. Power: Language is a means to gain and maintain power. Power relates to an asymmetric relationship among individuals belonging to different social positions and social groups. It is the possibility of having one’s own will within a social relationship against the will or interests of others.