MEANING OF SOCIOLOGY, SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE AND SOCIOLOGICAL IMAGINATION

The word "Sociology" was coined by a French man called Auguste come in 1838. He coined the term "sociology" from two words "socius", which has a Latin origin, and logos which has a Greek origin.

"Socius" can variously mean association, togetherness, companion, and society.

"Logos" means the study. Hence, sociology can be defined as the study of society.

Another definition of sociology is that it is the scientific study of social behavior, social institution, and social structure.

Before going any further, it is important to define two concepts that are central to sociology: society and culture.

At the risk of oversimplifying, a society is a group of people who shared similar institutions, interact with one another, and live in a geographical area. Loop

Culture, as I told you before, is the norms, values, customs, material, and objects shared by a group.

Now, turning to the definitional issues of sociology. Sociology can be simply be defined as the study of society.

It is interested in how we interact with each other, the laws that guide our lives and social interaction, the influence of social background on individuals.

At the heart of sociology is the sociological perspective. Sociological perspective, a term coined by Peter. L. Berger, refers to seeing the general in the particular and generalizing patterns in the behavior of a specific individual.

One can also think of the sociological perspectives as the view that your behavior and attitudes are influenced by social backgrounds.

To explain this phenomenon, sociologists make use of the sociological imagination or the appreciation of the structural basis for individuals' problems. 

To understand sociological imagination better, Let's distinguished between personal trouble and public issues.

Personal troubles are the problem affecting individuals that the individual and his society blame on the individual own failings. Such problems include eating disorders.

Public issues are problems affecting many people in the society whose source lies in the social structure of the society.

The sociological imagination, as pioneer wright mills noted, is the ability to situate personal trouble into public issues. 

In other words, it is the ability to account for problems that individuals experience using the problem of society.

To understand the sociological imagination, let analyze a contemporary social problem in our society now: unemployment.

If only a few were unemployed, as mills noted, we could personally pinpoint their unemployment to their laziness and lack of goods work habits(personal trouble)

However, not a few are unemployed. Many people are unemployed, which means the sources of unemployment lie in the structure of the society.

Hence, employment is better understood as a public issue. If we are to analyze unemployment as a public issue, the range of solution would require that we consider the economic and political institutions (like the labor market rigidities) which has to lead to an increase in unemployment. 

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