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ERIC Number: EJ890032
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Apr
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 7
ISSN: ISSN-0092-055X
The Importance of Place: Using Local-Focus Videos to Spark the Sociological Imagination
Hoffmann, Elizabeth A.
Teaching Sociology, v34 n2 p164-172 Apr 2006
Sociologists have documented how important place is in people's lives. C. Wright Mills (1959) argued that people must understand that they do not exist in a vacuum, but that their values, beliefs, and behaviors are influenced by the particular time and place in which they themselves exist. The development of this "sociological imagination," as Mills called it, is a key goal for every sociology class (Kaufman 1997). The sociology instructor provides students with a "framework for analyzing how the sociohistoric context in which they live informs their individual choices and chances" (Kaufman 1997: 309). By applying sociological concepts to their everyday lives, students increase their sociological imagination (Mills 1959). In this paper, the author proposes a teaching technique that uses videos featuring local issues to build upon students' connections to "place"; the use of local-focus videos allows students to apply sociological concepts to their everyday lives, thus enhancing their sociological imagination. She begins by describing the setting in which she compared the use of local-focus and more general interest videos in her teaching. She goes on to describe some possibilities for using local-focus videos in other sociology classes. Finally she reports the results of her analysis of student response to the use of local-focus videos in two different courses. (Contains 2 tables and 2 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois; Indiana; Michigan