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Course Date Wright Mill’s concept of Sociological Imagination Problem Statement According to Mills Wright (1), “ Neither the life of an individual nor the history of a society can be understood without understanding both.” Individual and society are the integral parts of each other…
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Download file to see previous pages... At the macro level, sociological theories explore the entire society and social systems, which relates to individuals, families, and other aspects of society. At the micro level, the same theories consider behaviors of individuals and groups. An individual at the micro level is concerned about his or her problems and tries to find the solution of cause and effect relationship of personal problems. In doing so, the individuals struggle with the issue if they are to be blamed for their personal problems or the society is to be blamed. The purpose of this essay is to find out how sociology addresses this issue. Literature review / Discussion The principal feature of sociology is to explore the relationship of individuals and society. Societal forces encompass the individuals. Therefore, the relationship between man and the society has always been a startling subject of many discussions and debates. The literature review and discussion section study this relationship from the viewpoint of sociological imagination. The term Sociological Imagination was coined in 1959 by the American sociologist Wright Mills. Sociological imagination is a sociological theory that encapsulates two concepts: individual, and society (“What is Sociology” 1). We know that society is the basic term of the sociology. What is society? Does it relate to some groups or describe norms followed by these groups? The definitions of society given by different sociologists fall under two categories: functional, and structural (“What do you mean by Society” 2). Functional definition views the society as a combination of groups in a reciprocal relationship, and structural definition states that society displays social customs of mores, habits, sentiments and ideals (“What do you mean by Society” 2) of different groups. If fused these definitions, we can conclude that a society consists of several groups whereas each group has their own mores, ideals, habits, and sentiments. Moreover, these groups are not homogeneous; on the contrary they are stratified (“Conflict Theory” 1). Karl Marks observed the stratification of a society in two fragmented groups with their own mores, habits, and ideals. Marx defined them as the ruling class and subject class. Karl Marx’s theory of fragmented classes relates to conflict theory. We may or may not accept conflict theory; however, a person truly is an element of the society, and society exerts societal forces on this element. Sociological imagination theory enables the person to recognize these forces. Sociological imagination is the ability of connecting micro level to the macro level. According to Mills, sociological imagination is a “status of mind” or “quality of mind” that assists an individual to envision the history of the society and biography of the individual and their relationship in the context of the society (Mills 14). Thus, an individual can see own place in the society and evaluate personal problems. Furthermore, sociological imagination emphasizes that individuals need to place themselves in their historical periods and envision the relationships between personal troubles and social policies of their societies (Mills 8). Sociological imagination, thus distinguishes differences between “the personal troubles of milieu” and “the public issues of social structure” (Mills 13). Mills agrees that there is a link between personal milieu and social issues, and they do not forever remain separated ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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