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The Sociological Imagination Essay

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According to C. Wright Mills, the sociological imagination is when an individual views his society as the potential cause for his daily successes and failures. Individuals often tend to view their personal issues as social problems and try to connect their individual experiences with the workings of society. Mills believes that this is the way for individuals to gain an understanding of their personal dilemmas. The sociological imagination helps people connect their own problems with public problems and their history. In order for an individual to figure out the causes of their problems, they first have to be able to understand the causes of the problems in the society in which they are living in. The sociological imagination tries to come up with causes for certain social trends and provides a structure for comprehending the social world. Having a sociological imagination is vital since it is important for individuals to have a way to relate their personal issues to the issues of society at large. Without the means to create these relations, one is incapable of seeing how societal issues affect them. (Mills, 1959)
The world is full of social forces. A social force is anything in society that has the ability to bring about change and influence others. Social forces are created by society. They exist outside the individual; however, they still affect the individual. Social forces shape the way in which we relate and behave towards each other as a society. Many times we don’t even realize when social forces are influencing us. They often seep into us without us even noticing. Time and again when an individual performs an act, they believe that they are doing it solely because that’s what they feel like doing. When an idea sudden...


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...s the nature of society and its relevance to each individual’s daily life. It is the understanding that certain societal experiences and behaviors lead to other outcomes. The sociological imagination, combined with the ongoing social forces, often control how an individual will behave in a given situation. It is good for a person to sometimes look away from the sociological imagination and the social forces of society and create his own ideas. Marcus Aurelius once said, “The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.” Let your thoughts be your own rather than those of the social forces.



Works Cited

Cox, R. W. (1986). Social forces, states, and world orders. In O. R.
Keohane, Neorealism and its critics (pp. 205-210). New York: Columbia
Univerisy Press.


Mills, C. W. (1959). The Sociological Imagination. Oxford University Press.


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