The purpose of the paper is to analyze two excerpts from C. Wright Mill’s The Sociological Imagination and Peter L. Berger’s and Thomas Luckmann’s The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge. To do this, the concepts found in the readings will be identified and described. Moreover, the connections between the concepts will be drawn and they will be compared to each other.
Berger and Luckmann’s chapter is focused on the reality of everyday life. The researchers state that everyday life is one of the most real realities because it is formed by spatial and temporal factors and does not require verification. It is self-evident, dominant, and has a strong presence in a person’s mind. However, sometimes, it can be disrupted or interrupted by a problem or distraction that shifts focus onto some other reality. Nevertheless, according to the authors, everyday life still prevails by integrating the problem or “reorienting” a person back to reality with the help of language, time, or space. Moreover, it is the only reality that puts a person in connection with other people and allows our perceptions of reality to interact with each other.
A chapter from C. Wright Mills’ book deals with quite similar concepts and also focuses on the perception of everyday life by an individual. Peoples’ lives, according to the scholar, are determined by their jobs, familial ties, and neighbors. However, these factors are limiting and lead to the absence of awareness that everyday lives are connected to larger processes happening in the outside world. Moreover, without this understanding, it creates situations when the personal problems of individuals become overwhelming. In this connection, the author introduces his main concept of sociological imagination, a capacity to put personal perspective into a bigger context of world history and societal processes. This sociological imagination is deemed to be the most necessary quality for people as it frees them from feeling trapped and allows individuals to connect their troubles with social issues.
Both readings deal with the perceptions of everyday life. However, for Berger and Luckmann, the reality is ordered, structured, and meaningful while it is quite opposite for Mills. It is more problematic and does not offer an individual any coherence if perceived in isolation. For Mills, the most obvious effort that any person can do is to achieve the state of the sociological imagination and connect with others in the larger historical context. For Berger and Luckmann, the connection among people is existent as well but rather as an intersubjectivity, a partial sharing of world perspectives. It is interesting how for different researchers the reality has various degrees of objectivity. For Mills, history and social processes are the most real phenomena that affect people’s everyday lives. For two other scholars, it is the everyday life and an individual’s perceptions that constitute the most objective but not only real.
This paper presented a very brief overview of the two conceptions of reality developed in the two books. For all the authors, the concept of everyday life and the ways it is perceived by individuals are very important. However, they have different views on the concept’s place: for Berger and Luckmann, it is the focal point of an individual’s existence, while for Mills, everyday life should be a part of the objective social environment.
The U.S. Economic Development: The Significant Periods
Nowadays, America can boast one of the most developed economies in the world. The service sector is an important source of the country’s budget; the U.S. is also a world leader in many spheres of industry. However, the history of the U.S. success is complicated; the country went through periods of rapid industrial development and decrease, which were followed by both positive and negative outcomes. In this paper, certain examples will be discussed in detail to analyze the processes that took place in the country and how they influenced its overall performance.
The period of economic rise in the U.S. economy is usually associated with industrialization. Many researchers describe industrialization as the process of technological development and the positive changes in the organization of production and labor (Vigezzi, 2019). Such changes, both economic and social, led America from an agrarian to an industrial society. In the U.S., industrialization took place in the nineteenth century, before and after the Civil War.
The changes that happened to the U.S. economy in the past are mostly connected with its unstable economic situation. From the end of the Civil War to the beginning of the twentieth century, America suffered from economic inequality and devastation (Ward & Himes, 2019). The Gilded Age is an example of how economic and social growth was supposed to solve the emerged problems. The main feature of the Gilded Age was the rapid growth of cities and industries; building railroads also is a significant development of that period. The West of the country was based on farming and mining, while the South remained a devastated area. As for the country’s political and social changes, labor unions became very widespread (Ward & Himes, 2019). These communities were concerned with current social and economic issues, such as child labor and non-standardized working day.
At the same time, industrial growth led to certain negative consequences. The Gilded Age demonstrated a high level of class inequality, which was also connected with the influx of migrants to the country. According to Piketty, at the end of the nineteenth century, the richest Americans could own up to 50 % of the wealth (as cited in Ward & Himes, p. 120). The majority of workers’ savings were spent on basic needs; the class gap became apparent. As a result, during the 1880s and 1890s, there were numerous strikes among workers because of inappropriate living and working conditions. The unrest led to more efforts focused on managing the labor issue; for example, one of the measures was to boost domestic production, decrease imports, and regulate worker’s wages.
As it is possible to see, the results of industrialization turned out to be ambiguous. The period before the end of the nineteenth century was characterized by the rapid growth of the domestic industry and the overall wealth. At the same time, the rapid economic increase became a cause of multiple social problems like wage inequality, poor working conditions, rising rates of migration, and the concentration of wealth in certain regions. Therefore, certain measures were needed to cope with the economic crisis and to stabilize the political and social situations.
In the second half of the twentieth century, the American economy went through another important process opposite to industrialization. Deindustrialization is often described as the reduction of industrial activity of a country (Rycroft, 2017). It is believed that this process started in 1947 when the discussion of the current economic issues took place, and the goal to reach “harmonious international economic relations” was defined (Rycroft, 2017, p. 112). At that time, the American economy was based on its large-scale automobile industry and steel production. However, the increasing industrial success of other countries, like Japan, Russia, and Germany, led to a decrease in the American industry.
Deindustrialization in the U.S. is often associated with the decline in its automotive industry. The bright illustration of this process is the manufactory shrinking of Rust Belt, a region around the Great Lakes that was once a powerful and developed area. Rycroft (2017) draws an example of Detroit that was “dragged into bankruptcy as industrial taxes and philanthropy disappeared” (p. 113). According to the statistics, at the peak of its success in the 1960s, Detroit had about 290,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector, while by 2009, this number had decreased to 27,000 (Rycroft, 2017, p. 113). At the same time, the industrial decline was followed by the growing service sector, including transport, communication, healthcare, and other spheres. These positive changes, however, could not fully replace the negative outcomes, such as loss of jobs, significant federal spending, and growth of imports. However, it would be fair to say that despite the deindustrialization-related problems, the Rust Belt remains one of the most important industrial areas of the country.
In conclusion, the processes of industrialization and deindustrialization played a vital role in shaping the modern economy of America. Although the outcomes of industrialization are considered the basis of today’s economy, the social turmoil of the 1880s and 1890s proved that all spheres of life need to be regulated equally. The industrial crisis of the Rust Belt caused a significant decrease in domestic production, and although many of the industries are no longer dominant in the world market, America has a developed service sector. In conclusion, such challenges demonstrate that economic growth is a complicated process that demands careful and integrated measures. The U.S. proved that careful and thoughtful economic measures lead to a balanced economy and the overall success of the country.
- Rycroft, R.S. (2017). The American middle class: An economic encyclopedia of progress and poverty (Vols. 1-2). ABC-CLIO.
- Vigezzi, M. (2019). World industrialization: Shared inventions, competitive innovations, and social dynamics. John Wiley & Sons.
- Ward, K., & Himes, K. (2019). Growing apart: Religious reflection on the rise of economic inequality. MDPI.
Differences Between Features Of Bipolar Disorder And Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Patients presenting with bipolar disorder are more mentally disturbed than the patients presenting with generalized anxiety disorder (Geller et al., 2002). Patients presenting with bipolar disorder for the first time are usually teenagers or young adults while those presenting with generalized anxiety disorder are at different stages of life. Bipolar disorder patients are characterized by intense mood changes that may last for several days or weeks (Geller et al., 2002). On the other hand, patients presenting with generalized anxiety disorder are characterized by fear associated with life events or things (Fricchione, 2004). Symptoms of the generalized anxiety disorder last longer than those in patients presenting with bipolar disorder. Patients presenting with generalized anxiety disorder are characterized by fear that is excessive, debilitating, persistent and intrusive (Fricchione, 2004). Patients presenting with bipolar disorder are characterized by manic episodes that alter their ability to operate and carry on their daily activities.
Teaching patients how to use inhaled medication devices
It has been shown that patients’ medication compliance is positively correlated to educational approaches used to teach the patients how to use of various medications (Kripalani, Bengtzen, Henderson & Jacobson, 2008). Medication compliance by patients is best accomplished by teaching methods that combine written material with practical applications. The best method to use in teaching patients how to use inhaled medication devices is the teach-back method. It combines written information materials with practical sessions. If patients under medication are too weak or unconscious to comprehend medication instructions, then their caretakers or relatives are taught how to give the patients medications (Kripalani et al., 2008).
The method might involve a healthcare professional teaching many patients under the same medication how to use them correctly. Also, it might involve only one patient and a healthcare professional. In both scenarios, the healthcare professional makes the sessions interactive by engaging those being taught. This method ensures that patients and/or their family members understand how medications should be taken, and further explanations are offered if they are found to misunderstand some parts of the instructions. This method would be used to teach both illiterate and literate patients how to use inhaled medication devices. The practical sessions accommodate the illiterate patients because they do not involve written tests (Kripalani et al., 2008). This method would reduce non-compliance by patients using the inhaled medication devices.
Lung cancers and how their occurrence and deaths can be reduced
Based on the visual aspect of tumor cells observed under a microscope, lung cancers are grouped into two groups: small cell lung cancers and non-small cell lung cancers. Research shows that lung cancers form and spread at different rates depending on various biological factors (Jemal, Siegel, Xu & Ward, 2010). The small cell lung cancer is the most rapidly growing and spreading form of lung cancers. Although lung cancers occur and kill many people in the US and worldwide, its rates of development and killing can be brought down. One of the ways to reduce its occurrence is by avoiding cigarette smoking. Exposure to carcinogens should also be avoided to reduce risks of lung cancers. People should consume alcohol in moderate amount, but eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. It has also been shown that lung cancers can be avoided by exercising regularly (Jemal et al., 2010).
Fricchione, G. (2004). Generalized anxiety disorder. New England Journal of Medicine, 351(7), 675-682.
Geller, B., Zimerman, B., Williams, M., DelBello, M. P., Bolhofner, K., Craney, J. L.,… & Nickelsburg, M. J. (2002). DSM-IV mania symptoms in a prepubertal and early adolescent bipolar disorder phenotype compared to attention-deficit hyperactive and normal controls. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, 12(1), 11-25.
Jemal, A., Siegel, R., Xu, J., & Ward, E. (2010). Cancer statistics, 2010. CA: a cancer journal for clinicians, 60(5), 277-300.
Kripalani, S., Bengtzen, R., Henderson, L. E., & Jacobson, T. A. (2008). Clinical research in low-literacy populations: using teach-back to assess comprehension of informed consent and privacy information. IRB: Ethics and Human Research, 30(2), 13-19.