Sociological Imagination Essay

1228 words - 5 pages

The idea of sociological imagination was created by C. Wright Mills in 1959 to describe the special way sociologists look at the world. Basically, most personal problems in people's lives are rarely ever truly personal. Usually these “personal” problems are problems experienced by a large population of people in society. Many personal problems are really just social problems disguised by people's selfishness. The difference between a personal and societal problem in an individual are the troubles a person experiences and the issues an entire society experiences that could threaten its structure. An example of the distinction between troubles and issues in society is unemployment. When only one man is unemployed in a city of thousands or millions, it is this person's personal trouble that stems from a flaw in his or her character, set of skills, or the amount of opportunities he or she may receive. Comparatively, if thousands or millions of people are out of work in a city, this shows there is an issue with unemployment in that city. This issue affects the structure of society and should be fixed to bring society back to normal. A current example is the issue of debt and corporate greed in 21st century America. A large amount of the American population nowadays is in debt and losing their jobs and just generally living a lesser way of life than they were five or ten years ago. The American Dream is being perverted into a Marxist nightmare where the corporate bourgeoisie is taking advantage of the American proletarians more and more. In response to this issue, some activists have started a movement called Occupy Wall Street. Occupy Wall Street is a movement to acknowledge the current corporate decadence and how it is affecting the American economy. It is looking towards the American government and the corporations themselves to change their policies and ways of thinking. The sociological imagination is a unique way of thinking that collectively describes individual problems in society and hopefully leads to social change.
Early sociological breakthroughs in the late 19th century introduced new concepts and ideas that have been influential to sociology and everyday life as well. These sociological scholars paved the way for sociologists like Mills and allowed for ideas like the sociological imagination to develop. Comparatively, European sociology was more theory based and American sociology was mostly based around practical experiments and action. There are three main architects of modern sociology. These men are Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, and Karl Marx. Emile Durkheim analyzed the different stages of a civilized society. Pre-industrial societies utilized mechanical solidarity because every person in that agrarian system had to work towards a collective goal to survive. He then surmised that society had evolved into a modern society where people used division of labor and specialization to survive. This was caused by industry developing and...

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