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What is Sociology? • What is it? • The study of society. Sociologists are curious about the world and how it functions. • What do sociologists aim to do? • To understand the interaction between individuals and groups • To understand the role of institutions such as the family, peers, education, religion, mass media, the workplace, the law and the government, and how they may shape the behaviour and attitudes of individuals. C. Wright Mills and the ‘sociological imagination’ • Mills believes that studying sociology allows you to stop simply living in your own world, but to take your personal issues and connect them to wider public concerns. • Your personal issue – low income + • The wider public concern – high unemployment • So, when you start to see the relationship between your situation and the society you live in, you are developing your sociological imagination Terminology • Sociology has its own language which will fit together to create: • Key concepts • Wider concepts • Studies • Theories • Methods • Contemporary examples Success • To succeed in sociology you will need to learn and understand the language associated with the subject. • The way you apply the language/terminology will be rewarded. • For example ‘The family teaches you how to behave’ would count as none sociological. • But, ‘The family socialises children into certain behaviour by teaching them the correct norms and values’ would count as sociological.