Society & Culture Task 1 Sociological imagination is the ability to look at your own relations or problems from different angles and to think outside the box. This will allow us to see if there is any sort of connection between our personal struggles and the struggles of the society. It is an idea to look at life with different and new perspectives for an enlightened vision on society. Having sociological imagination is critical for individualistic people and societies at large to understand as It is important that they are able to relate to situations in which they live their daily lives to the local, national, and global societal issues that affect them. Mills, 1959 had much to say on the sociological imagination saying it is the ability to “think ourselves away from the familiar routines of our daily lives in order to look at them anew” In other words, the sociological imagination according to Mills is, the vivid awareness of the relationship between experience and the wider society. An example of the social imagination is, if someone is laid off and cannot find any work, that person may be deemed incapable or lazy and that one person’s unemployment would make it a personal problem. On the other hand, if many people in the society are out of work than that would be a social issue and the government will have to look deeper into the situation. Another example of sociological imagination is exercise, it can show health benefits such as maintaining wait and social benefits such as connecting with friends at the gym. Mills has also said that once we step outside our own troubles and see the societal troubles is when we experience sociological imagination. We can use sociological imagination to explain many social issues and to better understand how society works so we can take steps to improve not only ourselves but the society as a whole. If we look back at the unemployment example again, if we start to see that many people are unemployed than we need to start taking the situation more seriously because if no preventive steps are taken than the people will start causing havoc like we have seen before, due to the fact that once many people become unemployed it becomes a public issue which according to Mills is not of a person’s personal preference but actually but the way society and an individual has its intricate relationship. Society & Culture Task 2 Globalisation is the expanding connection of individuals, states, or nations through the development of the worldwide stream of cash, thoughts, and culture. Globalization is principally a financial procedure of incorporation that has social and social viewpoints. It includes merchandise and ventures, and the financial assets of capital, innovation, and information. This morning a person can wake up and put on a polo shirt that reads ‘made in China’ on the inside tag. He would then go to a garage and get in a car that had parts that were manufactured Germany. He could drive that car to the supermarket where he buys cocoa beans from Ghana, sugar from Jamaica, and curry from India. These are all examples of Globalisation. Globalisation has both positive and negative effects. On an individual level, globalization affects both the standard of life and the quality of life. On a business level, globalization affects an organisation’s product life cycle and an organization’s balance sheet. Globalisation also affects how governments throughout the world create policies affecting areas such as monetary regulation and trade. Negatively, various environmental issues hare caused by globalisation. Global warming, air pollution, soil pollution, deforestation, etc. are global issues. The countries are interdependent on each other. The need of the hour is to act together against various environmental and other Global issues so as to ensure a safer world. India has been a country most effected by globalisation and liberalisation, as the Indian market has been flooded with quality foreign products, affecting the Indian industries adversely. This has also resulted in the loss of jobs to many poor workers. Clothes, bikes and motors from China, toiletries and herbs from Indonesia and Malaysia, food from Australia and many more await the Indian consumers with the lifting of trade restrictions. Indian manufacturers are no longer able to compete with their global counterparts. The closing of industries and small businesses have become very common. It can be claimed that the advantages of economic reforms on the Indian economy would be a benefit however, only if the negative impacts that mentioned above such as, unemployment, and an ever-growing population, closing down of local businesses and more did not outweigh it. Society & Culture Task 3 Social stratification is the structured ranking of groups of people into a sort of hierarchy. It perpetrates unequal economic rewards and power in a society. In Western countries it is usually clear some groups have greater status, power and wealth than some other groups. The ranking can apply to social groups who may share a common characteristic without interacting or identifying with each other. This can cause social inequalities such as gender being used to stratifying people. There are a few basic systems of stratification, one being slavery. This is an extreme form of inequality where people with power and wealth own other people as property. Just recently, slavery in Libya has been spotlighted due to thousands of immigrants are being sold and forced into slavery. Underclass people do not have the power to stop the upper-class people from treating them in an unequal way. Caste systems is when a social status is given to a person for life. It is a system still used today particularly in India were Hindu people are divided into hierarchal groups based upon their work and religion and duty. It came about through the culture and is still around due to tradition in some places in India. The final system of stratification is class. Class systems are fluid and not established through legal or religious means. Class positions are in some part achieved as they are not actually given at birth. It is also economically based as there is inequalities for possession of material resources. Class systems are large scale and impersonal also. Karl Marx believed there are two main groups in terms of class, those who own capital and those who own only their labour. Whereas Max Weber believed class is accompanied by status and party and that life chances depend on skills and qualifications rather than means of production. There are different types of classes, starting with the underclass who are at the bottom in the hierarchy, then comes the working poor and working class who are working in semi-unskilled professions, then comes the middle class who are often in relatively high-income professions and finally comes the upper-class who are the most powerful and wealthy in society. Being from a middle-class background myself, I feel that Max Weber’s theory of social class is correct in the sense that life chances are dependent on skills and qualifications. I believe this as five years ago I completed my GCSE’s with average results meaning I was only able to do 3 A-Levels at college instead of 4 whereas many people who are of a working-class background achieved better results than me going on to do 4 A-Levels proving that social class is not always dependent on how much wealth or power you have. Society & Culture Task 4 Goffman’s theory of frame analysis can be simply defined as social science research method used to analyse how people understand situations and activities. His theory suggests that frame analysis is a way of organising one’s thoughts on any given event or experience, to see how the person perceives that event to see ‘what is going on’ and whether it is salient. An example of this being a person reading a tweet on twitter is going to perceive it in a different way to the person who tweeted it along with the other readers of that tweet. Goffman also argues that people frame things in order to guide their future actions by organising their understanding of situations. An example of this is, in a court room the prosecution will frame events from a legal perspective trying to get the offender to be punished and the offender will frame events in terms of fear and regret. We can use frame analysis to discuss the conflict in Syria and the civil war that began in 2011. It began when the president of Syria Bashar al-Assad tried to pass an anti-regime uprising that kicked off the civil war and it is fought by soldiers who support the dictatorship of Assad and rebel fighters who want him out of power. The war has resulted in many casualties an estimate of 220,000 have been killed. Many government forces have allied themselves with Assad including Russia’s president Vladimir Putin who set out with Assad to eradicate the rebel groups believing them to be terrorists. The Syrian conflict is known as the first “social media war” as it began in a time were social media’s influence and popularity began to rise at an unprecedented level. Throughout the 6 years of the conflict there have been videos on YouTube covering the war and people have also gone onto Facebook and Twitter to read articles and write their own opinions on the topic. However, people that read and watch videos about it will always frame the ongoing war different to those who are being affected by it either as soldiers fighting or civilians being caught in the crossfire. ISIS have been linked to the fighting in Syria, also using it as agenda for their own purposes. They have also been involved in the murders of journalists who try to cover the war. Kenji Goto was a freelance video journalist who was killed by ISIS after entering Syria trying to rescue another Japanese hostage. Using frame analysis, us as readers of this would be fear being in Syria and feel relieved to not be there, however for journalists they may feel bravery and eagerness in terms of trying to get a story from being there. Society & Culture Task 5 Society & Culture Task 6 Education is the tool that gives people knowledge of the world around us and changes it into something better. It develops in us a perspective of looking at life. It helps build opinions and have points of view on things in life. When a person is born all, we have is the capacity to learn and all that persons behaviour is learned from environment. Ivan, 1999 believed there are two types of people that view education, Functionalists who see it as a form of socialisation transmitting necessary skills and inculpating social values. And the second being Marxists who view education as a means of workforce for employers to use for work. Durkheim believed that education is a major function to transmit societies norms and values, saying that without similar attitudes social life would become impossible. He also believes that schools allow children to learn and co-operate with other members of society not just the main influences of the person’s life such as their family or friends. The teaching of history in particular provides a link between individuals and society allowing children to develop and commit to a social group. Talcott Parsons believed that school acts as a bridge between family and society and that it prepares them for life as an adult. He said that “schools match children based on aptitude and achievement” meaning that they are shaped into being a member of society to survive in workplace. Personally, I received a good education despite going to two public schools, a sixth form and also a private university. Money is not really an issue as an amount would have to be paid to continue my education at university. According to Gerwitz, 1995 there are three types of parents when selecting schools, I consider my parents to be semi-skilled choosers despite having privileged skills due to me being at a public primary and secondary school around the local area. One of the main powerful people who structured my education as a child was my mother who would devote much of her time helping me with homework and other learning. When I would work well and complete tasks I would receive a gold star for my work which is positive reinforcement as I would continue to repeat this behaviour for the reward at the end of it. B.F. Skinner developed the theory of learning through consequence and it true in my own case as I would be rewarded for good behaviour and punished for bad behaviour such as not completing my homework.