Discussion #1 – The Dumbest Generation?
Carefully read C. Wright Mills’ “Sociological Imagination”. In addition, read the overview of the Sociological Imagination in Chapter 1 of You May Ask Yourself.
Read: “The Dumbest Generation.” LA Times Review, by Lee Drutman. 2008.
Watch this video below (take notes on the film clip, write down specific examples and arguments from each).
Write a thoughtful, in-depth, post to the discussion forum in light of the questions below. Parts 1 and 2 should be a minimum of 150 words (you can always write more). I suggest you write out your posts first in Word, so you can edit it for grammar, spelling, etc.
First part of post – Apply C. Wright Mills’ concept of the Sociological Imagination to explain the “Dumbest Generation”? Be specific about how the concept can be used to help us understand the Dumbest Generation hypothesis. You should first lay out the sociological imagination followed by a careful application to the topic. Be sure to reference at least two of your own specific examples that you identified in the readings and film clips to support your argument. The key here is to NOT think solely on an individual level, but instead to challenge yourself to develop your own sociological imagination to frame the discussion which ideally will discuss the intersections of social structure (mass media, social media, technology, narcissistic consumerist culture, etc. thereby impacting individual experiences (e.g. Mills’ distinction of troubles vs. issues).
Other questions to consider: Do you think the “Dumbest Generation” actually exists? How has digital technology (and social media) shaped this situation? What will be the ramifications for the generation of young people as they get older? Is literacy being undermined? How can we work to solve this issue beyond individualistic solutions?
Second part of post – I want you to think deeply about the amount of time you spend on social media. It’s not about being “for” or “against” social media. It is here. Instead, I want you to reflect on it. Spend a day and log the number of times you check your various accounts: facebook, instagram, twitter, etc. How dependent on these forms of media are you? How has it impacted your relationships and interactions with other people? In your own experience, what have been the positives and/or negatives?
You should thoughtfully engage at least two of your peers’ posts. Your goal is to create dialogue. Dialogue is more than simply stating “I agree” or “Good point.” Be specific, and put in an effort to build dialogue and conversation.
ATTACHED IS THE CHAPTER 1
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