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Wright Mills defined social imagination as “the vivid awareness of the relationship between experience and the wider society.” That is, social imagination is the ability of viewing a thing or incident from different social perspectives. It is based on the idea that any…
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Social Imagination” - C. Wright Mills “Social Imagination” - C. Wright Mills C. Wright Mills definedsocial imagination as “the vivid awareness of the relationship between experience and the wider society.” That is, social imagination is the ability of viewing a thing or incident from different social perspectives. It is based on the idea that any action/thing is affected by the various social factors surrounding it. Therefore, social imagination is the ability to see different perspectives of a social outcome. For example, two people can react to a same situation differently. The reason for this is that their decisions are based on various factors such as situation itself, their belief system, other actors in the situation, etc. The ability to see the reasoning behind the different reactions of the two individuals to a same situation is known as social imagination.
Social imagination is not just limited to viewing a situation from a different social perspective involving others. Social imagination is also the ability to see the different views or perspectives of a situation that one is involved in. This needs the person to discard his/her personal belief system and values and see the situation from the perspective of the other person. In order to do this, a person must be able to pull away from the situation and see it from a wider perspective.
This can be applied to various situations such as running in a marathon, where we shop or where our children go to school, etc. A person’s shopping behaviour depends on various factors such as the religious belief of the person, eating habits (vegetarian or non-vegetarian), spending purse etc. A vegetarian due to religious purpose would prefer vegetarian products only or a person from a poor family would choose a cheaper grocery store. Similarly, cultural values and economic status also play a role in where our children go to school. Read More
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