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Part 1: The Individual and Society
Chapter 1
Taking a New Look at a Familiar World
Multiple Choice
Title: 01-01C
1. What defines the “quality of mind” that Mills refers to as the “sociological imagination?”
a. The ability to understand a wealth of information.
*b. The ability to understand the relationship between individual, history, and society.
c. The ability to use reason to find solutions to problems.
d. The ability to predict what a person will do given certain circumstances.
Topic: Mills
Title: 01-02C
2. Mills believes the common person does not possess the sociological imagination because:
a. most people lack an understanding of scientific concepts and terminology.
b. only a select few are capable of effective problem solving.
*c. people are disoriented by the fast pace at which the modern world is changing.
d. most people are insensitive to the rampant social injustice prevalent in today’s society.
Topic: Mills
Title: 01-03C
3. According to the author, what is the first lesson of social science?
*a. Individuals can understand themselves only within the context of their time and by being
aware of others in their circumstances.
b. Individuals are entirely responsible for their own fate.
c. The life course of an individual is determined entirely by demographic characteristics.
d. Individuals must understand their past before they reach future goals.
Topic: Mills
Title: 01-04C
4. Which question would not be asked by a social analyst who possesses the sociological
a. What is the structure of this particular society as a whole?
b. Where does this society stand in human history?
c. What varieties of men and women now prevail in this society and in this period?
*d. What is the most likely next stage for this particular society and its inhabitants?
Topic: Mills
Title: 01-05C
5. According to Mills, the most fruitful distinction within the sociological imagination is
*a. personal troubles and public issues.
b. history and science fiction.
c. social change and political domination.
d. qualitative and quantitative research.
Topic: Mills
Title: 01-06C
6. What does Mills mean by “the personal troubles of milieu”?
*a. Private matters that occur within the life of an individual.
b. The longstanding argument against the use of milieu to solve arguments.
c. One’s tendency to self-sabotage personal goal attainment.
d. An individual's difficulty orienting themselves to their society.
Topic: Mills
Title: 01-07F
7. The author defines a(n) _____ as a private matter in which an individual’s cherished values
are threatened.
a. illness
*b. trouble
c. failure
d. breakdown
Topic: Mills
Title: 01-08C
8. Which of the following situations would be the most interesting to a sociologist?
a. One’s coping mechanisms following the death of a loved one.
b. The psychological development of an aggressive child.
*c. The interactions among children playing in a small group.
d. The disease process of an Alzheimer’s patient.
Topic: Berger
Title: 01-09C
9. The impact of a totally new culture upon a newcomer is referred to as:
a. cultural insensitivity.
*b. culture shock.
c. cultural transference.
d. culture displacement.
Title: 01-10C
10. According to Berger, the fascinating aspect of sociology lies in its ability to help us:
*a. see a seemingly familiar world in a new light.
b. resolve our individual emotional problems.
c. understand why individuals commit crimes.
d. differentiate between right and wrong.
Topic: Berger
Title: 01-11C
11. The My Lai massacre was considered a(n):
a. military intervention.
*b. crime of obedience.
c. act of terrorism.
d. novice phenomenon.
Topic: Kelman and Hamilton
Title: 01-12C
12. The social process in which the usual principles of morality no longer apply to victims is
*a. dehumanization.
b. routinization.
c. stigmatization.
d. authorization.
Topic: Kelman and Hamilton
Title: 01-13F
13. The army’s inquiry into the massacre found that Colonel Barker’s orders were concerning
a. they were not aggressive enough.
b. the Colonel demanded the slaughter of civilians.
*c. they were too vague.
d. the Colonel was aware that his soldiers were emotionally unstable.
Topic: Kelman and Hamilton
Title: 01-14F
14. The only individual convicted of the My Lai crimes was:
*a. Lt. William Calley.
b. Seymour S. Hirsch.
c. Capt. Ernest “Mad Dog” Medina.
d. Col. Frank Barker.
Topic: Kelman and Hamilton
Title: 01-15F
15. Which factor did not contribute to Charlie Company’s frustration during the months
preceding My Lai?
a. They spent a lot of time waiting around for battles that never came.
b. They were led by incompetent commanders.
*c. They had spent hours reading books about death and dying.
d. They were grieving over the death of one of their sergeants.
Topic: Kelman and Hamilton
True or False
Title: 01-16C
16. According to Mills, “the public issues of social structure” are the discrepancies between
one’s perception and a society’s truth.
a. True
*b. False
Topic: Mills
Title: 01-17F
17. Berger compares sociologists to peeping Toms
*a. True
b. False
Topic: Berger
Title: 01-18C
18. When trying to explain sanctioned massacres, the authors state it is important to look at how
one’s moral inhibitions against violence are weakened.
*a. True
b. False
Topic: Kelman and Hamilton
Title: 01-19C
19. The targets of sanctioned massacres are deprived of the two essential qualities of identity
and community.
*a. True
b. False
Topic: Kelman and Hamilton.
Title: 01-20C
20. The sociological concern with the My Lai massacre involves the army’s extensive cover-up
of the massacre.
*a. True
b. False
Topic: Kelman and Hamilton
Short Answer and Essay
Type E
Title: 01-21C
21. How would a person with the sociological imagination explain the existence of crime? How
would it be explained by a person who lacks the sociological imagination?
*a. Varies. Replies should stress, in Mills’s explanation, circumstances outside the individual—
the distinction between issues and troubles. Explanations by those who have not developed the
sociological imagination will rely on individual characteristics.
Topic: Mills
Type E
Title: 01-22C
22. What is meant by Mills’s assertion that individuals are minute points of the intersections of
biography and history within society?
*a. Varies. Responses should point out that people are products of their times, that their
circumstances reflect broader social concerns.
Type E
Title: 01-23V
23. Define routinization, dehumanization, and authorization.
*a. Varies. Responses should be more-or-less in keeping with the definitions of these furnished
by the authors:
“Through authorization, the situation becomes so defined that the individual is absolved of the
responsibility to make personal moral choices. Through routinization, the action becomes so
organized that there is no opportunity for raising moral questions. Through dehumanization, the
actors’ attitudes toward the target and toward themselves become so structured that it is neither
necessary nor possible for them to view the relationship in moral terms.” (Emphasis added.)
Topic: Kelman and Hamilton
Type E
Title: 01-24C
24. Describe how dehumanization in sanctioned massacres differs from dehumanization in other
war situations.
*a. Varies. Responses should note that in “sanctioned massacres” dehumanization is more
extreme; individuals (enemies) are killed not only for threat they present, what they have done or
might do in the future, but because they simply belong to a particular category.
Topic: Kelman and Hamilton
Type E
Title: 01-25F
25. Charlie Company personnel were considered “average” for that time and place. List and
describe at least four of these average characteristics.
*a. Varies. Responses may include: (1) Most had volunteered for the draft; (2) few had attended
college; (3) most were between 18 and 22; (4) most preferred to read comic books; (5) about ½
were Black.
Topic: Kelman and Hamilton
Type E
Title: 01-26C
26. In your own words, what is the sociological imagination? How does this apply to research
within sociology?
*a. Varies. Answers should distinguish between troubles and issues, structural and widespread
concerns, and the circumstances of individuals.
Topic: Mills
Type E
Title: 01-27C
27. Mills gives a few examples of the distinction between “personal troubles of milieu” and “the
public issues of social structure.” Provide an example from modern society that also captures
this distinction.
*a. Varies. Responses may reference unemployment, increased use of prescription narcotics,
home foreclosures.
Topic: Mills
Type E
Title: 01-28C
28. Kelman and Hamilton state that psychological forces cannot adequately explain sanctioned
massacres. According to the authors, what are the major instigators for this type of violence?
*a. Varies. Acceptable answers may reference, directly or indirectly, three key concepts:
routinization, dehumanization, and authorization. Answers may also include reference to policy
Topic: Kelman and Hamilton
Type E
Title: 01-29C
29. Describe two individuals central to the My Lai massacre. What role did each of these
individuals play in the massacre?
*a. Varies. Individuals identified may include Capt. Ernest Medina, Second Lt. William L.
Calley, Jr., and Lieutenant Colonel Barker.
Topic: Kelman and Hamilton
Type E
Title: 01-30F
30. What factors contributed to the difficulty with investigating the My Lai massacre? What was
the result of the army’s inquiry?
*a. Varies. Responses may note that conflicting accounts were offered and that the circumstances
were often unclear in the minds of the individuals involved. Some may note that Calley was
found guilty of premeditated murder of 22 humans.
Topic: Kelman and Hamilton