Sociological Imagination: Looking At Homelessness

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The sociological imagination is thinking that is done with the realization that both the individual’s experience and the historical context which they live in must be looked at to fully gain insight about the world around them (Elwell, 2006). In other words, “the individual and society cannot be understood apart from each other” (Pyyhtinen, 2016, p. 4). The intersection of the two is where valuable information is found. The sociological imagination requires the ability to change between perspectives of biography and history (Mills, 1959). One can practice the craft of sociological thought by using the sociological imagination. Better understanding of the world around them will be gained by both thinking about personal situations and characteristics of individuals, but also by taking that thinking further and considering the institutions within their lives and how they are functioning. One way of doing this is knowing the difference between troubles and issues, which is an essential tool of the sociological imagination. Troubles are personal, private matters that impact the individual and his or her immediate …show more content…

Some people may think that homelessness is a trouble because they assume that the individual is lazy and just wants life to be handed to them. Further assumptions are made about drugs causing individuals to become homeless. While that sometimes happens, many times it is the other way around. Individuals who have become homeless feel helpless and give into the release from their reality that drugs can give them (Thompson, 2011). People that do not consider factors outside of the individual are overlooking the breakdown within many institutions including school and the family that could lead an individual to become homeless. These factors indicate that this is an issue not a

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