Application of Mill’s Sociological Imagination on Uprising in Egypt
The American sociologist C. Wright Mills critically stresses the importance of sociological imagination. He essentially states, “…within the framework of [sociological imagination], the personal uneasiness of individuals is focused upon explicit troubles and the indifference of publics is transformed into involvement with public issues” (5 The Promise). Mills here illustrates that sociological imagination enables an individual to better understand public issues and troubles in the context of society. He further suggests that it also empowers the individual’s political or social participation. Accordingly, a lack of a sociological insight would stop the individual from seeing the troubles of his life and issues in his community; this he is unable to bring about change in society.
The uprising in Arab Spring portrays how sociological imagination is at work in Egypt where the recent resignation of Mubarak has caused sweeping changes in the system of government. The protestors in Cairo are yearning for democracy and are willing to implement any instrument necessary to bring about change. The article elaborates, “radical Islamists, who once embraced an ideology that rejected participating in societies they deemed un-Islamic, including their own, were now engaged with their fellow citizenry. Peacefully engaged.” The protestors and radical Islamists seem to manifest Mill’s sociological imagination because they are targeting an inherent social problem: the system of an oppressive, dictatorial government, which they deem unjust. And they are willing to challenge and confront this with “fellow citizenry.” After understanding the social issue, the citizens of Egypt try to attain democracy and freedom through strikes, protests, and even violence. As Gamal El Helali, a member of a once-militant organization, the Islamic Group, corroborates, “We believed that the use of violence was the only path to...
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