The Sociological Imagination. In order to do understand and develop a sociological imagination, we must be able to see a social problem from many perspectives. This is the goal of our first discussion. For example, experts are warning us about the dangers of obesity, a problem for both individuals and society. While some may suggest obesity is simply the result of individual choices, how did so many people suddenly begin to make such bad choices? Rather than the result of individual choices, perhaps obesity is the result of dietary options available to our society. This might explain variations in obesity rates from one geographic region to another. Wealth distribution, health care, and even the availability of food may also explain differing rates of obesity. In short, to those who have developed the sociological imagination, a variety of factors are clearly behind this epidemic of obesity.
After reading the assigned chapters in the textbook and visiting the website, Overweight and obesity, discuss each of the following points:
- What are examples of individual and societal factors leading to obesity?
- What are the individual and social consequences of doing nothing to address this problem?
- How would a conflict theorist explain the problem of obesity?
- How would a functionalist explain the problem of obesity?
- How would a symbolic interactionist explain the problem of obesity?
Additional research, focusing on scholarly sources, is expected. Websites can be included in your research, and eventually included in your list of references, although you are expected to rely on authoritative sources. You may also look ahead in your textbook, since health issues are discussed in several chapters.