Sociological Imagination Essay

1267 words - 5 pages

SOCIOLOGY "" ESSAY The study of the social world in addition to sociological imagination contests the individualistic and naturalistic approach to the analysis of social forces that mould human behaviour in contemporary society. The interrelated social concepts that influence human behaviour challenge both explanations through suggested theories, empirical investigation and critical analysis hence, illustrate difference in perception.A direct interpretation of sociology, as defined by the writers of the text, "˜Sociology: Themes and Perspectives' is, "¦"˜ the study of society.' (R. Van Krieken, P. Smith, D. Habibis, K. McDonald, M. Haralambos, M. Holborn 2000:05). The study reveals mixed assumptions and perspectives of the institutions of the social world and how it influences the development of social behaviour. It challenges ideas and factors outside an individual for the pattern of human behaviour, that is, an external view. (E.C. Cuff & G.C.F. Payne 1979:09).Understanding the patterns of individuals and groups in society as a whole is accepted as a scientific venture. Thus, it engages in theoretical assumptions that are empirically tested via systematic methodology and critically analysed after research results are displayed. (A. Giddens 1997:12). Sociology can only act as a window, suggesting viewpoints that may assist in a greater understanding of society. It will never determine the "˜truth' as a concluding result. (E.C. Cuff & G.C.F. Payne 1979:09).The distinctive characteristic of sociology is the concept of being able to think beyond what is logically obvious in a particular situation concerning an individual or a whole population. It also reflects the position of an individual within the barriers of a social institution within society. This concept is referred to as "˜sociological imagination.' Author of "˜The Sociological Imagination: The Promise', C. Wright Mills, establishes the significance of "˜personal troubles', stating that, "˜Troubles occur within the character of an individual"¦they have to do with his self"¦a biographical entity"¦ a private matter: values cherished by an individual are felt by him to be threatened' and "˜public issues' as, "˜An issue, in fact, often involves a crisis in institutional arrangements"¦' (C.R. Mills 1959:08-9). The exemplification of unemployment can be adapted to illustrate the framework of sociological imagination as a means of perspective. In the working field of a society, an individual is depicted as unemployed in contrast to the employed members of society. The individualistic situation is viewed as a "˜personal trouble' therefore theories based upon the character, skills and available opportunities of the individual are critically analysed and considered as possible explanations. Conversely, a group of individuals labelled as unemployed, are juxtaposed to the remaining employed members of...

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