C, Wright Mills

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Andrew Sullivan
Sociological Theory 430
Marlene Fisher
The ability of an individual within society to recognize the world around us and to understand how it functions in correlation with one's life is, the social imagination. “The sociological imagination enables its possessor to understand the larger historical scene in terms of its meaning for the inner life and the external career of a variety of individuals.” (Mills, 1959, p. 3) In this paper, I will be discussing the various aspects of the sociological imagination in relation to one other contemporary article, (Benforado, 2010), as well as within my own life.

The idea that Mills presents in his writing, The Sociological Imagination, is the concept that one must be knowledgeable of their role within society. The process by which we become aware of our wellbeing in society is, by the "quality of mind" (Mills, 1959). What Mills (1959) is trying to acknowledge by the "quality of mind" is that, as individuals, we must be informed and understand society as a bigger picture. He explains that must not be narrow minded, but gain wisdom when developing our social views and opinions. “An individual can understand his own experience and gauge his own fate only by 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 circumstance” (Mills, 1959, p. 2). He is trying to explain that one must be aware of not only role in society through our own perception, but need to look at the boarder things society presents. For example, if we look at the high crime rates among young black males, it may be because of poverty or unemployment. But maybe the reason why crime rates among young black males is higher is because they may not have proper education or perhaps the amount of social disorganization within poor communities. The social disorganization theory explains that crime is a result of communities not establishing relationships...