Abigail Vogel Sociology 101-002 The basic insight of the sociological perspective, according to Peter Berger, is when people's thoughts and actions are influenced by the groups to which they belong and by their interactions that take place in those groups. An example of this from the reader is when Cedric decides not to go to the school assembly where he would have received $100. Within his community and school it is looked down upon to stand out and do well, so Cedric is conditioned to be embarrassed of standing out and being proud. Sociological Imagination, as explained by C. Wright Mills, is a vivid awareness of the relationship between private experiences and the wider society. Later on in the book Cedric says how smart Phillip is but Philip chose a path that doesn't show his intelligence because he did not want the ridicule that Cedric had. Teachers see Phillip acting stupid and they deduce from their previous experience that that type of child turns out to be less than average. If they saw beyond that generalization they could see how much hidden potential Phillip does have. Another example is when Cedric goes to the summer program at MIT. He struggles a great deal to keep up with the other students and he seems to be inadequate, but in reality the other kids went to better schools and had a better previous education than Cedric. So, it isn't that Cedric isn't intelligent or lacks potential, but that he didn't have the same education or opportunities as other students. Cedric lacks experience with better education and now he is being thrown into the wider society with that higher education. The "crab bucket syndrome" happens when one crab tries to climb from the bucket and the others pull it back down. Suskind is saying that in some environments people don't want others to succeed and so they don't encourage them, and instead try to bring them down. This relates to Cedric because the students pick on him for doing well in school. At Ballou, Cedric would be accepted if he didn't excel, or care to. Also, if Cedric ?gets out? of Ballou and does well that would mean that the other students would have that same ability, which would be going against what they are conditioned to believe. The "crab bucket syndrome" relates to my life because on my softball team in high school my teammates always gave me a hard time for doing well in school and putting in first. I would often study on the bus on the way to games and they would constantly make fun of me, which my coach even joined in on at times. They often alienated me and called me ?lame? and ?boring,? letting me know that I would be accepted if I didn?t care about my grades.
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