Sociological Imagination

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What is the sociological imagination? The sociological imagination, in short, is the realization that the individual is interconnected with other individuals to make up a community or society as a whole. It can be broken down into two parts, public issues and personal troubles. The sociological imagination is the realization that for an individual to prevent or end their personal troubles, they may have to look at the issues in their society. Societies change for better or for worse and always have different sets of issues. These issues will affect the individuals in that society accordingly. When an individual is experiencing a private problem, we can say that they have troubles, but when society is experiencing a problem, we call it a public issue. Not that these things are unrelated. For instance, if gas prices went up by ten dollars a gallon, then that society would have a very public issue to deal with. However, the middle-class soccer mom in this society would have major troubles trying to get kids from point ‘a’ to point ‘b’ without the use of gasoline. C. Wright Mills says in “The Promise of Sociology” that there is a good and bad lesson to be learned from the sociological imagination. In simple terms it states that someone can more easily understand why certain things happened to them, or turned out as they did, by looking beyond what they where doing personally when it occurred, and instead look at what society was doing. Individuals can also use the sociological imagination to compare themselves and prepare themselves simply by taking a step back and looking at their current society. What are its strengths? What are its weaknesses? Where does the individual, or can the individual fit in? Or even, where do the people around that individual fit in? This is a terrible lesson because you will always find that there are others that are greater or lesser than yourself, or you are trapped by geography or obligations to society/social forces (i.e. employment,...
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