Examples of Sociological Imagination, Free Essay

Published: 2018-05-11
Examples of Sociological Imagination, Free Essay
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Sociology
Pages: 9
Wordcount: 2241 words
19 min read

Essay Sample #1 - Why is sociological imagination important

Sociological imagination can really help to achieve success. This is so because understating societal norms and its relationship t human behavior will help to have informed and beneficial decisions. Humans do not exist in a vacuum. They live and co-exist in a society that is shaped by values, norms, and belief. Human beings unavoidably interact and live together, therefore, issues that affect the society inevitably affect individual for the better or for worse. This is why it is important to be aware of and understand issues that affect the society and individual so that one does not let the social views limit his or her potential. Since our understanding of society can change the way we view the world, it is clear that this knowledge helps people to think critically and enhance the possibility of achieving success.

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If one individual was to blame his failure on social ills like segregation or economic problems then there would be a lack of sociological imagination. In this case, it would be important to look at issues critical ally from a broader point of view. One person cannot be responsible for segregation; it could either be the social structures that exist in a given society. Similarly, one person cannot be able to solve the same societal ills because society is greater than the individual.

An individual who is limited to thinking that being unemployed is because of his academic lacking whereas there is a lot of other unemployed people with similar academic qualification does not think out of the box. It is given that if a country is facing problems of unemployment there is bound to be low employment. Hence there is a need to always think beyond the personal. Of course, a person may feel the need to push themselves in order to be successful or to achieve but it is eve limiting not to look at such issues from a broader viewpoint. The ultimate goal is to solve all the issues that might be limiting an individual or the society as a whole. It is thus important to note that because the society is comprised of individuals who come to live together in a village, state or country, therefore, the two cannot be dealt with separate from one another. For instance, the success of an individual ultimately brings positive results to the society. If on individual starts and grows a business then employs the people in the community, then success has been achieved. Here the individual's problem of not having a job and the societal problem of unemployment have both been solved. However, there still may be some in the same society who will not get jobs at the same business. Thieres is not to blame themselves but have sociological imagination enough to realize that the problem is beyond themselves.

A successful personal life of individuals living together in a society eventually leads to a successful society. For the individual to be successful they must be able to identify societal problems and their roots and try to solve them to make the situation better. If and when they cannot achieve this alone, there comes the need for society to come together and use social imagination to combat the social problems.

C. Wright Mills on sociological imagination

Sociological imagination refines the ability to look at context from a different point of view than the one you are familiar with. The American sociologist C. Wright Mills used sociology to show that most of our problems are as a result of the society. Sociology was mainly used to change our personal issues into public and political problems. According to Mills, sociological imagination refers to being aware of the relationship between our experiences and the society.

Mills was trying to show that most of the problems that people go through in our society have social roots and are also being faced by other people. These roots are connected to the structure and changes of the society. Therefore, it is important that sociologists, and other social scientists, demonstrate why these problems have sociological causes, enabling the individual to understand how his or her biography is linked to the structure and history of society. This may hopefully help empowering individuals to transform personal unease into public issues in order to facilitate social change.

The lack of the ability to find a job, pay the mortgage or to pay the rent is often seen as the result of personal weakness, created by a person’s own errors. People therefore search for causes within themselves, internalizing the problem. However, it is highly unlikely that the various thoughts, feelings and ideas you may have had, and situations encountered in your life, are completely unique. At one time or another they have all probably been experienced by others.\n\nUnemployment can be an extremely negative private experience, and feelings of personal failure are common when one loses a job. But when the employment rate reaches up to 30 percent, as it has in several European countries today, it cannot be seen as the result of a character flaw or weakness. When many people in society face the same problem, one must rather ask whether there is something within the structure of society that is contributing to this problem. In many countries today, unemployment may be explained by the public issue of economic downturn, caused by the subprime mortgage industry. In other words, it may rather be defined as a social problem than of one stemming from personal shortcomings.

It is important to point out that the idea of the sociological imagination should not be used as an excuse for an individual not to try harder to achieve success in life. Some people would misuse this idea as a way of running away from personal responsibility. However, in many situations a person may fail even if he tries to do everything right, like working hard, getting an education and trying to get a job.

When many people in society lack the ability to achieve success, it is important to identify the roots of the structure, such as inefficient political solutions, discrimination of certain groups and the exploitation of the labour force. Since problems like these cannot be solved by the individual alone, it is important that we use our sociological imagination and apply it in our daily lives, enabling us to change our personal situation and ultimately create a better society.

Essay Sample #2 - Sociological imagination definition

The sociological imagination is a term that C. Wright Mills coined to describe the need for individuals to comprehend the connection between their lives and their environments. Specifically, in Mills’ perspective, the sociological imagination is a clear awareness of the connections between the society and experience. He suggested that remote and impersonal historical forces could be related to events that happen in the lives of individuals. On further interpretation, the sociological imagination directs that for people to succeed in life, they should work hard against the negative forces that hinder their success. This essay argues that the sociological imagination could be used to attain success through pressuring people to think creatively to overcome challenges in their environments.

The sociological imagination could be useful in helping persons succeed in their endeavors through fostering creativity. In Mills’ conceptualization, the environment and backgrounds of people have a significant bearing on their lives (Mills, 2000). This connection between the environment and people means that those who succeed are individuals who should think outside the box to overcome the possible negative forces. Persons who fail to think constructively and creatively, therefore, might fail to succeed altogether. The sociological imagination provides useful approaches to problem-solving, which is a foundation for success.

The sociological imagination further fosters success through informing people of the need to constantly improve their environment. The fact that the environment influences the personal accomplishments of people means that they should always strive to improve such surroundings. Improving the environment, for example, could involve people transferring from their present unhelpful environments to better ones (Agnew & Duncan, 2014). In the new environments, people might meet with opportunities that would provide the stepping-stones for their success that they would have otherwise missed out if they had not relocated.

Lastly, the sociological imagination might influence success in individuals’ lives through training them to harness opportunities for self-improvement. Persons living in environments with histories of failure might fail to succeed if they do not learn to capitalize on opportunities that would improve their lives (PennState College of Agricultural Sciences, 2018). Therefore, the sociological imagination would be resourceful in reminding them to always be ready to take at opportunities within their environments that might better their living. In a world of scarce resources, people are required to use opportunities that come their way immensely to improve their living statuses. The opportunities, consequently, become part of the rare resources in the contemporary world that upgrade the lives of individuals.

In conclusion, the sociological imagination provides a useful approach to success since it informs individuals to think creatively. Creative thinking provides an avenue for better problem solving that still allow them to capitalize on the opportunities for self-improvement that would otherwise be rare. The sociological imagination also informs individuals to improve their environments since the surroundings influence the levels of success that they experience. Improving the environment might increase the opportunities for self-advancement, which are quite rare in the contemporary world of scarce resources.


Agnew, J. A., & Duncan, J. S. (Eds.). (2014). The power of place (RLE Social & Cultural Geography): Bringing together geographical and sociological imaginations. Routledge.

Mills, C. W. (2000). The sociological imagination. Oxford University Press.

PennState College of Agricultural Sciences (2018). Sociological Imagination: A Critical Way to the World (Community, Environment, and Development: An Undergraduate Research Journal). Community, Environment, and Development: An Undergraduate Research Journal (Penn State University). Retrieved 8 March 2018, from http://aese.psu.edu/students/research/ced-urj/news/2015/sociological-imagination-a-critical-way-to-the-world

Essay Sample #3 - Sociological imagination concept

The sociological imagination is the capacity to look past one's particular regular day to day existence as a reason for day by day triumphs and disappointments and see the whole society in which one lives as the potential reason for these things. It is depicted by C. Wright Mills in 1959 as an empowering \its owner to comprehend the bigger verifiable scene as far as its importance for the internal life and the outside profession of an assortment of people." Plants go-ahead to depict individuals as being "From time to time mindful of the perplexing association between the examples of their own lives and the course of world historycustomary individuals do not normally recognize what this association implies. They do not have the nature of mind basic to get a handle on the transaction of people and society of life story and history of self and world." Having sociological creative energy is basic for distinct individuals and social orders everywhere to get it. It is critical that individuals can relate the circumstances in which they experience their day by day lives to the neighborhood national and worldwide societal issues that influence them. Without the capacity to influence these relations to individuals can't see societal issues that influence them and can't decide whether these issues expect change to better their regular day to day existences. All through history diverse social orders and countries have gotten distinctive levels of social creative energy. A few social orders have never had it others have acquired and lost it while others have gotten it and flourished with it. The social orders that have not gotten it or that have lost it are for the most part inside countries that have endured continuous mistreatment needinessand social bad form. The social orders that have gotten it and blossomed with it are as a rule inside the countries with the most flexibilities and with the most progressive societies. This topic is examined in Linda Schneider and Arnold Silverman's book Global Sociology: Introducing Five Contemporary Societies Fourth Edition. The social orders that have needed sociological creative ability have encountered administering administrations as the standard and people live inside the same humble limits that have tormented them for a considerable length of time. These social orders have fallen behind what we consider as present-day societies. Industrialization opportunity and uniformity are everything that the people in these social orders need or are simply starting to get. A case of this subject from Global Sociology is found in a talk of Mexico in the second part of the book the general population of Mexico have lived under regularly changing administrations for quite a long time. From the Mayan and Aztec rulers to the Spanish rulers to the degenerate legislature of today the general population of Mexico have lived under absolutist rulers as poor slaves. The primary endeavor at social creative energy was through a little upset to pick up autonomy from remote administer just to capitulate to nearby government treating the general population in a similar way. All through time this has been a typical subject and in countries where social creative energy has been perceived people have discovered the base of their issues in the absence of progress and administration that they survive each day. In countries where sociological creative is common for example Japan and the United States of America the social creative ability has roused earth-shattering changes to the way of life and lifestyle.

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