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Challenges in studying society

Discuss about the Insights and Research on Study.

Culture comprises of certain set of beliefs, attitudes, and objects along with several other characteristics, which are regarded as common to the members of a specific group or society. However, in contemporary society, the term culture can be associated with aspects of being well knowledgeable, conversant and courteous (Mills pp-71-91).  Sociologists identify society as the individuals who communicate in a manner in order to share common cultural dimensions. Both culture and society are said to be intricately associated. Culture supposedly embraces certain elements of the society, while a society is said to comprise of people who interrelated with common culture, goals and purposes, which further shapes the way of living (Ritchie et al pp-5-99). This essay will intend to study the issues and challenges experienced while studying society. In addition to this, the paper will closely intend to consider the concept of sociological imagination, and further analyse an individual’s issues and concerns with the broader public issue by shedding light on a particular contemporary instance.

Research, which involves human society and subjects, must adhere to certain level of ethical and moral standards to ascertain the subjects and elements are unharmed. There lay many issues while conducting a study on society by the sociologists. One of the most significant challenges experienced while studying a society is adhering to the principles of sociological as well as other human-centric investigation related to privacy and discretion of the society (Slade and Paul pp-1510-1529).  However, while studying sociological aspects sociologists must take into consideration these ethical deliberations of social subjects. Another major ethical challenge faced while examining a society is issues related to ethical dilemma, authority and consent. Informed consent or authority can be considered as a prerequisite for a wide range of investigations (Montano and Danuta pp-95-124). However, it must be noted that conversant or informed sanction becomes a particular issue when a researcher intends to incorporate specific populations in the study. There have been a large number of ethical challenges and issues, which are involved while studying convicts, prisoners and other segments of vulnerable populations. Sociologists often experience challenges while comprehending the changing structures of the society (Sorokin pp-1-12). Aspects of norms and beliefs of traditions, cultures and society can have immense impact on the characteristics of individuals by creating changes in the social structure. Social structure comprises of elements that incorporate culture, traditions, social class, roles, attitudes and social institutions (Henslin et al. pp-1-34). The changing characteristics of social structure become a challenging factor while studying society and its people. Social structure is not stagnant and further reacts to the transformations in culture, expertise, economic conditions, and community associations along with societal demands, needs and priorities. These forms of structural transformations develop fundamental and enduring changes to the way society organizes itself (Ritzer  and Jeffrey pp-1-10). However, several functionalist as well as conflict theories intend to evaluate broad aspects of social structure through the lens of macro sociological standpoint, known as symbolic interactionists have a greater level of inclination to evaluate interpersonal social interpersonal communication within a societal context.

Ethical considerations

The scale of sociological investigation along with the methods of conducting them have varied aspects, however the sociologists involved in studying society comprises some common attributes and characteristics. Each of the social investigators perceives society through the lens of ‘sociological imagination’ by sociologist C. Wright Mills that is sometimes regarded as ‘sociological lenses or concepts of ‘sociological perspective’ (Giddens et al pp-1-34). According to Mill’s sociological imagination the way individuals comprehend their own past along with others in association to history as well as social structurism. This can be referred as the method applied by Mills to address and focus on the dilemmas related to the macro or micro level divisions in the society. The concept of sociological imagination is referred as the competence to view the personal and private issues of an individual in the context of the broader public concerns that are responsible to structure them. According to Mill’s sociological imagination, the subject of social science can explain that society and not an individual’s own shortcoming and failures can be regarded as responsible for the plethora of societal issues (Goffman pp-1-98). However, apparently impersonal and inaccessible or secluded services and forces can be associated to events occurring in an individual’s life. This entails that individuals may view at their own personal issues and challenges as forms of social issues and further link those personal concerns with societal mechanism (Mills pp-71-91). However, sociological imagination facilitates individuals to draw the comparison and contrast between individual personal problems and challenges and public or societal concerns. The primary concern of Mill lie on the issues and challenges that people experience within societal context which have societal and collective roots and are further shared by other (Laliberte and Debbie pp-373-388). However, these roots often draw connections with the structural formulations of the society and the relative transformations occurring within it. As a result, it is essential for sociologists or other social scientists exhibit the reasons why these issues comprises of sociological causes further facilitating the individuals to comprehend the way the events of one’s life is associated to the structure as well as societal past (Denzin and Norman  pp-1-54). However, it is significant to identify that the notion of Mill’s sociological imagination should not be employed as a form of a justification for an individual for not trying to accomplish achievements and success in life. Mills in one of his article has established the theory and notion that demonstrates the dissimilarity between a ‘personal issue’ and ‘broader public concern’ further known as ‘public issue’ (Waddock and Josep pp-265-284). However, this concept of Mill has facilitated to recognize the association between one’s own individual concerns and challenges that develop on a larger domain.

Sociological imagination

An instance of a student can be sighted as an instance to understand the distinction between an individual’s problems relating to the public issue. An event of a student experiencing economic resistance and struggle to fund his own education can be recognized by shedding light on the theory of sociological imagination. Jamey, the student related to the aforementioned issue is supposedly pursuing business course to achieve his academic degree. Being, financially incompetent his education contributions have been aided by student loans. However, consistent education loan has resulted to him face considerate student liability and debts post his university completion. This can be referred as a personal issue because the aspects he has been experiencing belongs to his own personal domain.  However, it must be noted that Jamey’s individual problem of students loan cannot be sighted as a fundamental concern as, there consist an abundance of students across the world facing similar challenges (Mills pp-71-91). Thus, Jamey’s student debt problem can be linked with the broader context of public issue.  Being, a public societal subject of matter, there is a great population of students experiencing debts and financial overdue that eventually influence the student community within the domain of the university. Such problems related to students’ financial crisis of aiding education can be perceived as broader context of public societal issue because of the way they expand beyond the domain of an individual’s personal and confidential issues further comprehending social structure (Henslin et al. pp-1-34). Sociological imagination can be implemented as an effective tool in order to analyze the varied aspects of individual’s lives and of the society. Through the lens of sociological imagination such issues and be comprehended to perceive the association of personal and private issues and the broader context of public issue.

Therefore, from the above discussion it can be concluded that an integrated relationship between personal and societal concerns can be perceived through the lens of Mill’s sociological imagination. The paper has effectively evaluated various challenges researchers face while studying a society and further considering the concept of sociological imagination by shedding light on one’s personal problem and broader public issue.

References

Denzin, Norman K. The research act: A theoretical introduction to sociological methods. Routledge, 2017. 1-54

Giddens, Anthony, et al. Introduction to sociology. WW Norton, 2016.1-34

Goffman, Erving. Interaction ritual: Essays in face-to-face behavior. Routledge, 2017. 1-98

Henslin, James M., et al. Sociology: A down to earth approach. Pearson Higher Education AU, 2015. 1-34

Laliberte Rudman, Debbie. "Embracing and enacting an ‘occupational imagination’: Occupational science as transformative." Journal of Occupational Science 21.4 (2014): 373-388.

Mills, Albert J. "Studying the Gendering of Organizational Culture over Time: Concerns, Issues, and Strategies?." Insights and Research on the Study of Gender and Intersectionality in International Airline Cultures. Emerald Publishing Limited, 2017. 71-91.

Montano, Daniel E., and Danuta Kasprzyk. "Theory of reasoned action, theory of planned behavior, and the integrated behavioral model." Health behavior: Theory, research and practice (2015): 95-124.

Ritchie, Jane, et al., eds. Qualitative research practice: A guide for social science students and researchers. Sage, 2013. 5-99

Ritzer, George, and Jeffrey Stepnisky. Modern sociological theory. SAGE Publications, 2017.1-10

Slade, Sharon, and Paul Prinsloo. "Learning analytics: Ethical issues and dilemmas." American Behavioral Scientist 57.10 (2013): 1510-1529.

Sorokin, Pitirim. Social and cultural dynamics: A study of change in major systems of art, truth, ethics, law and social relationships. Routledge, 2017. 1-12

Waddock, Sandra, and Josep M. Lozano. "Developing more holistic management education: Lessons learned from two programs." Academy of Management Learning & Education12.2 (2013): 265-284.

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