Thinking and theorising is an essential sociological practice, one might confuse this with thinking sociologically, however it is just the initial stage. The social world is complex, multi-layered, and taken-for-granted but there are many different ways of understanding ‘social reality’. There is a need for a ‘sociological imagination’ and common sense thinking. Thinking sociologically is different to common sense because it is more than just a strong opinion or viewpoint on social reality. Thinking sociologically tries to view society as not just individuals, but as a whole. Emile Durkheim argued that "society is nothing unless it be one, definite body, distinct from its parts" (Durkheim 1960 p.83). Therefore highlighting that although thinking sociologically is important, it is equally important to ...
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Sociological thinking attempts to draw connections between the individual and the world they live in. - That is between the psychological and the social, or as C. Wright Mills referred to it, connection between history and personal problems. This exploration is referred to as the "sociological imagination." The sociological imagination acknowledges the complexity of life, and resists attempts to understand phenomena as either strictly social or strictly personal. Rather, the social and the personal intersect in dynamic ways.
Nevertheless, it is often the about social world (as opposed to, say, nuclear physics) that people make common-sense assumptions. Moreover, the ideas of Sociologists may start in common-sense (we may want to check the validity of an assumption, for example) but transcend it. Sociology thus has a special relationship with common sense.
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