The Sociological Imagination Concept As Illustrated by the Movie, Forrest Gump
What is sociological imagination? Our textbook describes sociological imagination as the ability to see our private experiences, personal difficulties, and achievements as, in part, a reflection of the structural arrangements of society and the times in which we live. The movie entitled Forrest Gump is a great example of sociological imagination. In this paper, I will cite examples from the movie and tell how they correlate with sociological imagination. Sociological imagination allows us examine the events of our lives and see how they intersect with the wider context of history and tradition of the society in which we live. (Hughes/Kroehler, The Core, p. 7)
One event in the movie that really stands out to me as a good example of sociological imagination is Forrest's stay at the Watergate Hotel. While recovering from a wound received in the Vietnam War, Forrest discovered and developed an outstanding talent for playing table tennis. Due to his exceptional table tennis skills, Forrest was called to Washington, D.C., and recognized as the "Player of the Year." He went to the White House to receive this award. As President Nixon presented the award to him, he asked where Forrest was staying. Forrest commented, in his very innocent way, that the hotel was not very nice or well kept. Nixon apparently thought Forrest deserved much better accommodations and told Forrest he would arrange for a better place. In the next scene of the movie, Forrest is on the phone with hotel security and is looking across the way into another wing of the hotel. Forrest suggests to the man on the phone that the hotel needs to send a maintenance person "to the room across the way." He explains that there are some men with flashlights in that room, and he (Forrest) thinks that they are trying to locate a fuse box. In actuality, instead of locating... [continues]
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