Part 2: Introducing Sociology
People today blame themselves more and more for every bad thing or "troubles" they have on personal fault rather then looking towards the social issue (Mills 1959, pg.1). In the article The Promise C. Wright Mills' say that "the 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 circumstances" (Mills 1959, pg.2). This means that people can understand themselves better if they look past themselves and start looking at in conditions as a whole, not just blaming yourself but seeing that there is a problem in the society and you cannot necessarily help yourself or blame yourself (Mills, 1959 pg. 1). Mills also says that using history is a huge part of the sociological imagination because it gives the person something to compare what they are analyzing to (Mills 1959, pg.3). The distinction between troubles and issues is not something that is not always done and is usually confused. I know that I fist heard the two being used didn't differentiate them from one another and I thought they were just two synonyms of each other. But after hearing Dr. McIntyre explain the two and how they are different I then learned that troubles are on a personal level and only affect yourself, and issues are dealing with a larger group and possibly a whole culture or species and issues effect a lot of people (McIntyre, Lecture). Differentiating between trouble and issues and taking the approach of looking past troubles and toward the issues and comparing it to history is a key part in having a sociological imagination (Mills 1959).
Mills would conclude that Coontz has a sociological imagination because Coontz looks both to History and to the Social Issues of teen and parent conflicts. Coontz uses history in the example of how teenagers are more dependent on there parents then earlier...
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