* 2 discussions only , they don’t have to be long*

Discussion 1 

Finding Your Sociological Imagination

Read the Discussion Participation Scoring Guide, linked in the Resources, to learn how the instructor will evaluate your discussion participation throughout this course.

Much of the sociological perspective is captured by Mills’ (2013) understanding of the sociological imagination. This way of thinking allows us to better understand the impact of culture and structure on our lives. Many things that we think of as private troubles are constrained and shaped by society, thus making them public issues.

Think of an issue or social problem (for example, homelessness or poverty). What are some common sense understandings we have for why this issue or problem exists? For example, what explanations do we typically have if we see someone who is homeless? Now, try to use your sociological imagination to better understand the issue or social problem. Are there any causes for this social problem or issue that are beyond the individuals’ control? Finally, reflect on how the sociological imagination can be useful for your everyday life.

Discussion 2 

The Sociology of Your Name

Sociology is interested in better understanding the social contexts of our social lives. While we oftentimes see names as a reflection of who we are as individuals, they are the product of larger social forces. Based on what you learned from the Livingston and Sharp readings (see Resources area), reflect on your own name. How is something as simple as a name shaped by the social world around us? How has your name been impacted by time period, culture, your gender, et cetera? How might your name be different if you had been born one hundred years earlier? Why? Be sure to incorporate specific concepts and readings from Unit 1 in your initial post.

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