The term "Sociological Imagination" was introduced by C. Wright Mills in 1959. The definition of Sociological imagination from our textbook is “the ability to understand how your own past relates to that of other people, as well as to history in general and societal structures in particular”. In other words, Sociological Imagination is the ability to recognize that an individual's personal troubles are a product of public issues which aren’t always controlled by the individual. This concept can help to provide a better understanding about the current social problems our nation is facing. Sociological imagination helps an individual understand the society in which they live in by placing an individual away from reality and looking beyond the
1.1 Introduction In this essay I will be discussing the sociological imagination and the problems of families. The sociological imagination allows us to see the difference between personal problems and public issues and be able to link them. It basically allows a person to think outside of their personal perspectives and see beyond the outer appearance. 1.2
Society is shaped by a number of different forces and factors. Inevitably, these forces come together to construct the life of the individual. In this essay, C.W. Mills’ sociological imagination will be discussed. A personal problem,homosexuality, and a social issue, homosexuality, will be highlighted. In concluding the essay, a reflection on the usefulness of the sociological imagination will be offered.
Introduction The Sociological Imagination Defined The sociological Imagination is a form of analytic thinking, a concept that enables one to take into context the set societal patterns that affect and impact both an individual and the wider society. These patterns are characterised as personal troubles and/or societal issues. Sociologist C. Wright Mills was one of the initial social scientists to have written on this concept, in one of his books titled The Sociological Imagination (1959). According to Mills (1959), the task of sociology was to understand the relationship between individuals and the society in which they lived.
The sociological imagination refers to Mills notion on how social forces can influence an individual. He refers to it as an ability to see situations in a broader social spectrum and see how interactions can influence an individual and situations. It is important in terms of studying society because it is a way to help us see things not how they appear to be on a surface elements but through an alternative perspective. The differences between micro and macrosociology is that micro sociology studies people at an interpersonal way, such as face to face interactions while macro sociology studies people on a much larger scale by looking at the bigger picture. A societal issue that can be studied using both perspectives would be divorce. When looking
The sociological perspective encourages us to explore societies’ problems from a non-biased perspective. When investigating controversial issues it is quintessential to keep one’s opinion out of the equation. As C. Wright Mills stated in his 1959 essay “The Promise”, “Problems and their solutions don’t just involve individuals; they also have a great deal to do with the social structures in our society” (Leon-Guerrero, 2015). Eliminating personal experiences and self-perception creates an even playing field to determine fact from fiction.
Sociological Imagination The sociological imagination is the ability to look beyond one’s own everyday life as a cause for daily successes and failures and see the entire society in which one lives as potential cause for these things. Many individuals experience one or more social problems personally. For example, many people are poor and unemployed, many are in poor health, and many have family problems. When we hear about these individuals, it is easy to think that their problems are theirs alone, and that they and other individuals with the same problems are entirely to blame for their difficulties. Sociology imagination takes a different approach, as it stresses that individual problems are often rooted in problems stemming from aspects
In C. Wright Mills’ 1959 The Sociological Imagination is all about how society sees things in their lives and how the make sense of it. Throughout the chapter Mills continues to point out that pretty much everything influences other things. It’s all about how the people view certain things in the world, what the make of it, and what’s going to happen next with a relatable situation. The basic idea that one needs to get from this reading is that Mills is analyzing change. How things happen and how people change their views, attitudes, actions, and what have you from a certain situation. Mills points out that there are a bunch of factors that can influence one’s change of thoughts and actions. That is; money, power, and the social aspect of things.
Sociological imagination is a fear based on historical events including current events. A person can imagine themselves finishing college with a high income; based what they heard or seen from others experience. Sociological imagination can affect us or and individual. I believe certain things we watch, such as the News can have a negative impact on our imagination. If we heard about an Flu Outbreak on the News, we would panic and imagine ourselves with the Flu. Growing up I learned how to distinguish between negative and positive people. Political colonies are freed new and less visible forms of imperialism installed (The Promise 21).
Mill’s argues that to be able to distinguish between “personal troubles” and “public issues”, one must possess a sociological imagination. It is claimed that through having a sociological imagination individuals “acquire a new way of thinking” and “experience a transvaluation of values”. (Wright Mills, 1959) To strengthen this argument, Mills uses the example of a contemporary individual’s self-conscious view of themselves as an outcast from their society. He argues that such an outlook is a result of “an absorbed realisation of social relativity”.
To have sociological imagination is to have “vivid awareness of the relationship between experience and the wider society" (Mills 2). Overall, sociological imagination is the concept which is based on social locators. As mentioned previously, there is a difficulty to grasp control on class, gender, and race because a person is born into these three categories. In a practical sense, my personal choices are shaped by my social locators. Sociological imagination currently plays a role in my presence at Sacred Heart University.
When a woman chooses to keep her baby, it may not be her decision; it may be her moral duty to the society influenced by her family’s pressure and religious belief. However, if she considers the broad social factors that will shape and influence her views, and that will allow her to make individual choices such as whether to keep her baby or not, she is applying what C. Wright Mills’ called the Social Imagination. James Henslin (2013) stated that C. Wright Mills’s sociological imagination gives us the ability “to understand how our personal troubles (the problems we experience) are connected to the broader conditions of our society” (p. 2). It allows us to question the “norms” and gives us the ability to see things from different perspectives