Comparing Sociological Imagination By C. Wright Mills And Allan Johnson

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Throughout history, the relation of individuals to society and vice versa has been a puzzling conundrum. Humans generally tend to understand their own experiences and lives through an individualistic outlook in which society is simply a collection of individuals. However, C. Wright Mills and Allan Johnson disagree and relate the significance of a “sociological imagination” in relating one’s experiences to a greater social context. According to Mills, the sociological imagination is “a quality of mind” that allows its possessor to employ information and develop reason in order to establish an understanding and a desire to apprehend the relationship between social and historical structures and one’s biography, which is their experiences and …show more content…

Firstly, Johnson disagrees with the individualistic explanation of society as simply a collection of people. Instead, he claims that every individual is always a part of “something larger” and the best way to understand social life is to determine what we participate in and how we participate in it (Johnson 2008: 9,13). He suggests that a collection of people makes up a system, whether they know it or not, and this system in turn lays out “paths of least resistance that shape how people participate.” Also, Johnson claims that systems and individuals are dependent on one another but are separate entities (Johnson 2008: 19). Thus, the sociological imagination for Johnson involves understanding our membership and the way we participate in systems such as race, class, and gender. More importantly, we must understand society not simply as a collection of systems or as a collection of people as individuals, but as both of them concurrently (Johnson 2008: …show more content…

I am a white teenager from a middle class family who went to a small private school. Being a white male I was given an unknowing and undeserving privilege when I applied for volunteering positions at the local hospital and other local organizations in order to build my résumé for college. This made it easier for me to be admitted into Holy Cross and receive a respectable college education, which will make it easier for me to establish a reputable career, have a greater income, and live a more secure life in the future. However, the opportunity to do this are more limited to nonwhite males in the United States due to a concealed oppression that has historical roots that trace back hundreds of years to the presumptions of biological difference between races. Therefore, my privilege emanates from the oppression of millions of minority citizens, which is a large issue in the current social atmosphere in which race relations and inequality are consistently being challenged and brought to public attention through social movements such as Black Lives Matter and many

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