The Sociological Imagination

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The Sociological Imagination
The sociological imagination is an idea or a way of thinking that interlocks an individual in a society with the society as a whole. Most people refer to sociology as the study of how people or individuals interact with each other. In order to fully understand sociology and the concept of the sociological imagination as proposed by C. Wright Mills, one has to be able to envision the individual and the society working together to better understand the role each plays in the social order. C. Wright Mills states that "Sociology must make a connection between the individual and the social. It must allow the individual to see the larger context in which his or her life is lived, and in this way give both understanding and meaning to personal experiences" (p. 43). This idea of the sociological imagination is a concept that can be utilized within many different disciplines, including sociology, to get a better grasp on how things work on the individual level and on the level of the society as a whole.

Individuals and society are usually linked together when considering most things in life. C. Wright Mills writes that "the first fruit of this imagination is the idea that the individual can understand his own experience and gauge his own fate only be locating himself within his period, that he can know his own chances in life only by becoming aware of those of all individuals in his circumstances" (p. 45). By this, Mills is saying that in order for individuals to fully understand their lives and to be able to answer the questions they may have about their own lives they must first be able to experience and understand the lives of other individuals that make up the society in which they live. Mills' concept of the sociological imagination can be seen in areas such as unemployment, healthcare, education, marriage, religion, war, as well as many other things. Mills' describes the sociological imagination...
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