Personal Troubles & Social Issues- C.W.Mills

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Before a distinction can be made between ‘Personal troubles' and ‘Social issues' it is important to determine exactly what the Sociological Imagination is.

The Sociological Imagination was introduced by C. Wright Mills in 1959. Sociological imagination refers to the relationship between individual troubles and the large social forces that are the driving forces behind them. The intent of the sociological imagination is to see the bigger picture within which individuals live their lives; to recognize personal troubles and social issues as two aspects of a single process.

Sociological imagination helps the individual to understand the society in which they live in by moving the individual away from reality and looking beyond the picture it self. By doing so it helps to show the strong link between an individual's personal life and the society in which they live. The sociological imagination requires us to engage in the study of an individual's biography; but to place that biography in the larger context of the history and tradition of the society in which that individual lives. By acknowledging the relation between history and biography we can see how personal troubles and social issues are connected. Many times people fail to see their own biographies as being correlated to the larger public of society.

Personal troubles can be defined as when an individual is having problems related to him or herself. Social issues can be defined as issues and matters that are related to society on the whole in general.

Throughout this assignment I will link the concept of Sociological Imagination to the concept of suicide. Suicide is ‘the act or an instance of taking one's own life voluntarily and intentionally'. Emile Durkheim stated that "Suicide is the death resulting directly or indirectly from a positive or negative act of the victim himself, which he knows will produce this result."

Durkheim's aim was not to explain or predict an individual tendency to...
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