Writersociological imagination’s choice
Writer Sociological Imagination’s Choice
Name of Student
Name of University
The concept of sociology is a branch of sociology delineating the impact of the life of an individual upon the entire society. It may seem that society conditions the social beings but as an element of sociology, people are equally responsible to shape the nature of society. Sociological imagination is developed by the eminent American sociologist C. Wright Mills. According to him, sociological imagination is a relationship between the wider society and personal experience with vivid awareness (2000). Sociology portrays any concept or pattern noticed in society in a much generalised way. To be more specific, a problem in public or private life contributes a feature to society and afterwards society tends to understand the individualistic effect in general. But, with that effect of individualistic problem does not confirm to represent all aspects of that problem. For example, depression in person’s life may be caused by experiencing something painful or bad but it does mean depression in general would be the result of bad experience all over the society. A depressed person with no such bad encounter in life cannot be explained sociologically as the approach of this field is always some kind of holistic (Kebede, 2009). As for this paper, I would like to consider my specific case of life and in regards to entire society.
I have lived my life mostly on societal welfare and as being financially deprived. I am a single mother and I have five children to look after on my own. I continued my study further to move my family and myself from this state of poverty. Thus, the main concern lies with my being a single mother and the poverty-stricken situation I have been living in. Surely, this type of difficulty is to create some certain of impact upon the wider sphere of society. But, it should be remembered that there are many people especially women who are going through more or less same situation but the impact their experience is completely different from mine in terms of many things such as culture, society, politics and economics thus creating different degree of impact upon society. I will explain my case applying sociological imagination. There are four sections of sociological imagination that are culture, structure, critique and health. This is collectively called the biopsychosocial model. It encompasses all the four aspects in the private life of a person and their contribution in shaping the society. Poverty is a social phenomenon and sociological imagination bridges the relationship between personal to general. Personally poverty is an acute vacuum of economical support to live on. That is why I needed external financial support from childhood to live on and pursue my study. Somehow, I never dropped studying as I have been in a constant search for a better life with a quality life as I also have the added responsibility to bring up my five children. In this context, history plays an essential part upon the continuous time flow.
I got my exposure to the world with my academic journey. C. Wright Mills has revolutionized the relationship between individual and society rather letting continue the age old perception of a dominance of society over individuals (Kebede, 2009). After completing my studies, I entered into the world of profession and along with maintaining a certain status in community and livelihood for my family I got run into some heavy debts. Being the single earner in the family and a single mother as well and pressurized by mounting responsibilities, I got into depression. Now, from the point of view of sociological imagination, people develop a kind of opinion regarding me or likely people whom they see in the similar situation. In this way, I with my specific situation create impact upon society. As sociology is a study to understand the behaviour, conception, attitude and reality of society, the preceding conceptions of Mills have mostly avoided it. They were unable to think or look anything minutely over social changes. But, in reality, it is not always the result that is changes, society like mankind goes through a process of evolution and new things are eventually adopted. Imagination here is not something superficial, but it is the ability to perceive. As mentioned before, sociological imagination encompasses everything of an individual life to analyze its effect on society. Thus, a vague sense of imagination keeps lingering over the conception as on the basis of a particular situation or experience some general views get developed automatically.
On the contrary, there is another concept of sociological perspective. It is about developing a perception regarding the contribution of human behaviour and its pattern and its holistic relation to society (Mills, 2000). The main difference between sociological perspective and sociological imagination is the former is behaviour oriented and the latter is situation oriented. As in my case, the situation of getting drown into debt was caused by several reasons. My parents were not competent enough to guide me over every thick and thin of my life due to poverty. As a consequence, I made some drastic and wrong decisions in both my personal and professional life. It generates some behaviour that I started expressing to my acquaintances. Having received such social perspective, they developed a specific sociological imagination such as pity, anger, jealousy, revengeful and others.
The conceptual framework of sociological imagination thus goes like starting from a problem or experience by an individual, how he or she deals with it or reacts to it and then through his or her surrounded people, the impact diffused through the society. But the way Kebede (2009) has put it, sociological imagination is a theoretical part of sociology to understand how society and individuals correlate and exchange with each other and continue to grow as a paradigm. The four parts of sociological imagination as depicted by C. Wright Mills are actually the four aspects by which an individual gets affected and the society accordingly.
Sociological imagination is a much celebrated conception to establish the theoretical connection between individual and society. Considering my case, generalizing the situation of a single mother raised from poverty would not be fair. Thus, it can be said that the concept of sociological imagination is a bit overrated. It is true that society is run by individuals and those individuals again are conditioned by the history of society. There are cultural, political and religious exchanges, but every phenomenon cannot be generalized by this interrelation. However, the way C. Wright Mills instituted this conception to bring a revolutionary wave in the field of sociology and to break the stereotyped assertions for society as an ultimate institution was truly commendable.
Kebede, A. (2009). Practicing Sociological Imagination Through Writing Sociological Autobiography. Teaching Sociology, 37(4), 353-368.
Mills, C. (2000). The sociological imagination. Oxford [England]: Oxford University Press.