Personal Sociological Imagination

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I shall assess E.M. Walsh’s main points in her paper Understanding Fear Using My Sociological Imagination and give my reaction to this article in relation to my understanding and own life experiences, my sociological imagination. E.M. Walsh begins with her personal struggles that lead to her internalizations of fear, and her struggle to understand where the fear comes from, how to cope with the fear, and why fear becomes ingrained into all areas of life (Walsh, 1999: 117). She evaluates her self-concept and the resulting self-destructive behaviors of self-blame, alcohol (Walsh, 1999: 117). Furthermore, she engages in a self-assessment (Walsh, 1999:118), in which she identifies the primary socializations – her fears of her father dying due …show more content…

She assesses her social situations and relationships to identify internalized reactions (Walsh, 1999: 120). She acknowledges the reaction she has in approaching dyadic relationships is motivated by her parental relationships and her assault. This results in her personal sociological imagination formation (Walsh, 1999: 121). This processed is based on Herbert Blumer’s “three basic premises of symbolic interaction” (Walsh, 1999: 122). These three premises work in a cycle we act on things and people based on meanings, which arise out of social interaction, which shapes the meanings as we deal with encounters (Walsh, 1999: 122). These premises rebound further off the Dubois concept of “double-conscience” – how we think others see us, and judge us (Walsh, 1999: 123). All of the above is further filtered through gendered expectations, which dictate how each gender is expected to react to fear, thus guiding the emotion management (Walsh, 1999: …show more content…

By identifying the macro elements, such as social institutions, and external causes of fear, she could find reaffirmation of her fears (Walsh, 1999: 126); this further lead to her identification of the functions of fear, as a means to protect – society and the individual (Walsh, 1999: 127-128). Walsh also acknowledges an individual, or group’s free will to act in a functional or dysfunctional way to the stimulus of fear (Walsh, 1999:128-129). Furthermore, she weighs how conflict, politics and modernity and postmodernity effect fear with regards to societal and personal reaction, internalization, and externalization (Walsh, 1999:

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