SAGE Journal Articles
Journal Article 1.1: Shields, R. (2017). Expanding the borders of the sociological imagination: Spatial difference and social inequality. Current Sociology Monograph, 65(4), 533–552. doi:10.1177/0011392117694411
Abstract: This article argues that C. Wright Mills’ The Sociological Imagination has changed, as evident in sociologies that think beyond national societies and analyze globalization. This “imagination” has in effect been “expanded,” moving from one-dimensional (linear) analyses based on historical vectors of force and teleologies to a more contextualized, relativized spatial analysis with more dimensions. There were always outliers. However, at least for mainstream North American sociology, this represents a change in the spatialization of social science, a change in its presuppositions about space, not the becoming spatial of a non-spatial sociology. Borders and mobilities across and along borders are examined in relation to what is needed to confront them critically in a new spatial regime—a new “spatialization” of the social. A hypothesis is developed that understands borderlines relationally as institutions and social technologies that introduce difference and inequalities into an otherwise homogeneous social and spatiotemporal “cultural topology.”
Learning Objective: 1.1: Explain the sociological perspective.
Summary: Shields takes the modern process of globalization as a starting point to expand upon Mills’ The Sociological Imagination. In doing so, students are able to look at economic, social, and political inequalities through a critical lens.
Journal Article 1.2: Spalter-Roth, R., & Senter, M. S. (2016). First-Generation sociology majors. Context, 15(2), 76–79. doi:10.1177/1536504216648159
Abstract: First-generation immigrants studying as sociology majors see excellent employment outcomes.
Learning Objective: 1.2: Describe why sociology can be useful for us.
Summary: As a discipline sociology is walking the walk by promoting positive diversity outcomes in hiring practices.
Journal Article 1.3: Watson, A. (2016). Directions for public sociology: Novel writing as a creative approach. Cultural Sociology, 10(4), 431–447. doi: 10.1177/1749975516639081
Abstract: This article presents a creative direction for public sociology: novel writing. Narrativity is embedded within much contemporary sociological work, and sociologists and novelists share a number of complementary approaches for understanding and interpreting the social world. This article argues that novel writing presents sociologists with a process and medium through which they can expand their work for a more public, engaging, affective, and panoramic sociology. Here, the historical development of sociological thought is considered as well as the recent progress of public sociology. Three key strengths of sociological novels are presented: promoting public sociology and interlocutor engagement; transforming knowledge exchange from mimetic to sympractic communication; and addressing issues of scope. Two recent sociological novels are discussed: Blue by Patricia Leavy and On the Cusp by David Buckingham, both published in 2015. Finally, two linked aspects for (thinking about) writing sociological fiction are explored: the concept of glocality and the methodology of ethnography. Employing creative mediums such as novels as public sociology may cultivate a wider, affective public engagement with significant academic ideas such as the sociological imagination. Sociological novels work to bring the local and global into dialogue, and may help achieve the scope and panoramic depth that sociology requires.
Learning Objective: 1.3: Show how the social world model works, with examples.
Summary: Watson takes something students are familiar with, fiction novels, and demonstrates its potential for informing and expanding sociological thinking.