Sociology Imagination

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Sociology Imagination

By | September 2011
Page 1 of 3
Sociologists differ in their understanding of the concept, but the range suggests several important commonalities.

Mills defined sociological imagination as "the vivid awareness of the relationship between experience and the wider society."

The sociological imagination is the capacity to shift from one perspective to another: from the political to the psychological; from examination of a single family to comparative assessment of the national budgets of the world; from the theological school to the military establishment; from considerations of an oil industry to studies of contemporary poetry.[1]

Sociological Imagination: The application of imaginative thought to the asking and answering of sociological questions. Someone using the sociological imagination "thinks himself away" from the familiar routines of daily life. (Glidden A12) Another way of describing sociological imagination is the understanding that social outcomes are shaped by social context, actors, and social actions. To expand on that definition, it is understanding that some things in society may lead to a certain outcome. The actors mentioned in the definition are things like norms and motives, the social context are like country and time period and the social action is the stuff we do that affects other people. The things we do are shaped by the situation we are in, the values we have, the way people around us act, and how that all relates to some sort of outcome. Sociological Imagination can also be considered as the capacity to see things socially, how they interact, and influence each other.

The sociological imagination could also be defined as the capacity to see how sociological situations play out due to how people differ and social circumstances differ. It is a way of thinking about things in society that have led to some sort of outcome, and understanding what causes led to that outcome. Things that shape these outcomes include (but are not limited to): social norms, what...