Difference Between Common Sense And Thinking Essay

Difference Between Common Sense And Thinking Essay

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It is widely assumed that sociology and common sense are very similar, with some people often thinking that sociology is in fact the study of common sense, however, this could not be further from the truth. Undeniably many findings in sociology do appear to be consistent with common sense, nevertheless sociology as a discipline is more than just common sense; it is a method of questioning that uses systematic testing of principles and evidence to determine whether ideas are fact or fiction. Whereas common sense is a way by which general ideas and beliefs are taken to be factual, based on the fact that the majority of people think or believe the same thing. Although sociological facts may seem unquestionably straightforward, there are deeper sociological meanings in them. There are many differences between common sense and thinking sociologically that can be explored along with the support of different theories by Durkheim and Weber.
Thinking and theorising is an essential sociological practice, one might confuse this with thinking sociologically, however it is just the initial stage. The social world is complex, multi-layered, and taken-for-granted but there are many different ways of understanding ‘social reality’. There is a need for a ‘sociological imagination’ and common sense thinking. Thinking sociologically is different to common sense because it is more than just a strong opinion or viewpoint on social reality. Thinking sociologically tries to view society as not just individuals, but as a whole. Emile Durkheim argued that "society is nothing unless it be one, definite body, distinct from its parts" (Durkheim 1960 p.83). Therefore highlighting that although thinking sociologically is important, it is equally important to ...


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Sociological thinking attempts to draw connections between the individual and the world they live in. - That is between the psychological and the social, or as C. Wright Mills referred to it, connection between history and personal problems. This exploration is referred to as the "sociological imagination." The sociological imagination acknowledges the complexity of life, and resists attempts to understand phenomena as either strictly social or strictly personal. Rather, the social and the personal intersect in dynamic ways.
Nevertheless, it is often the about social world (as opposed to, say, nuclear physics) that people make common-sense assumptions. Moreover, the ideas of Sociologists may start in common-sense (we may want to check the validity of an assumption, for example) but transcend it. Sociology thus has a special relationship with common sense.

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