Sociological imagination refers to a term that C. Wright Mills introduced in 1959. Mills notes that this term means the ability, quality and capacity of a person’s mind that enables them to establish the relationship between their life and dynamics and forces that affect it (Mills, 2000). Sociological imagination’s main objective is to perceive the larger picture of where a person lives. Therefore, it assists a person to comprehend the society where he/she lives by establishing a link between societal life and personal life.
Additionally, sociological imagination makes it possible for a person to comprehend what other people face and what oneself faces (Mills, 2000). Looking at ones biography and relating it to the broader context of the history of the society as well as the tradition of where a person lives makes this possible. When a person acknowledges that there is a relationship between biographies and history, it becomes possible to comprehend the link that exists between societal problems and personal troubles. Mills noted that on several instances, individuals do not find solutions to problems because they do not view their biographies in relation to various issues that the entire society is facing (Scott & Nilsen, 2014).
A major reason why one should take this perspective while viewing the lives of others is to comprehend an intricate connection that exists between the patterns of the life of an individual in relation to the history of the world. According to Mills, most people fail to know the value that this connection has in regards to the type of individuals that they become and the history that they make while participating in it (Levine, 2004).
Therefore, sociological imagination is vital in assisting a person in coping up with personal problems in a way that regulates structural transformation which usually lies behind them. Mills notes that understanding and adapting to this manner of thinking depicts the highest social consciousness’ level (Hughes & Coser, 1994). When applied correctly, individuals with thoughts brushed by narrow orbits’ chain often realize a sudden awakening within a field that is filled with familiar ideas.
Such individuals usually feel courageous and content because they believe that it is possible for them to offer themselves adequate abstracts, all-inclusive orientations and organized assessments. The previous decisions which may have initially appeared logical may now appear as the outcomes of the inexplicably dense mind. The individuals develop the capacity of astonishment while acquiring new modes of thinking because they experience a revaluation of the values of their surroundings. Individual sensitivity and reflection makes this possible because one realizes the relationship that personal life has with the society (Harvey, 2009).
As a university student, one meets many people. Some were brought up under foster care programs with other siblings and they age to leave the system as they approach graduation. While trying to raise siblings and maintain a family bond, these students foresee several personal problems. This can affect them directly in terms of college or university performance. Such students endure excessive stress with some of them dropping out of school. Some of them have mastered courage and this makes sharing personal problems possible. This can appear personal to some students. However, it is a public problem because several miners are also brought up under foster care and they are forced to leave the system after they attain 18 years of age so that they can live alone.
The cost of the current housing system is relatively high especially for fresh graduates. Finding a place where one can live can be a problem due to the fact that they earn a relatively lower income. Thus the link that exists between public issues and personal trouble offers a better understanding of the life of a person.
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Harvey, D. (2009). Social Justice and the City. Athens: University of Georgia Press, pp.23
Hughes, E. C., & Coser, L. A. (1994). On Work, Race, and the Sociological Imagination.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, pp. 178
Levine, R. F. (2004). Enriching the Sociological Imagination: How Radical Sociology
Changed the Discipline. Leiden [u.a.: Brill, pp. 170, 265.
Mills, W, C. (2000). The Sociological Imagination. New York University Press, pp. 7. 12, 14.
Scott, J., & Nilsen, A. (2014). C. Wright Mills and the Sociological Imagination:
Contemporary Perspectives. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, pp. 62