Essay On Sociological Imagination

Essay On Sociological Imagination

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Charles Wright Mills writes about the relationship between private troubles and public issues in The Sociological Imagination (1959). Within his writing Mills explains the importance of adopting a sociological perspective when attempting to analyze and understand the word we live in. He called this theory the sociological imagination. The sociological imagination can be used as a lens, to examine everyday mundane activities and how they are connected to the larger structure of our societies. Our current milieu is linked with the biographical and historical contexts of our societies and together they makeup our everyday life. This paper will use a sociological imaginative perspective to analyze why I was bullied for my own body hair as a young girl. I intend to argue, with reference to the sociological imagination, that women’s hair removal is just a social construct and what felt like my own personal flaw was really the result of the internalized misogyny that we have historically been socialized to accept.

Mills’ (1959) sociological imagination requires the separation from the normalized tasks of everyday, in order to understand the influence from it’s social and historical context. One must see the “strange in the familiar” (Mills, 1959). He argues that you can start to understand the limitations you face as an individual whether they result from yourself or society, by acknowledging the larger forces both historical and social (Mills, 1959). To better grasp your own problems it is best to understand the intersection between biography and history. A person’s biography is personal, but they are socialized in relation to the historical context of who is socializing them and when. Therefore, even one’s own biography is influenced...


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...subject to these ideals and in turn socialized to believe these ideals. What I thought to be a personal problem; my excessive body hair, with reference to the sociological imagination, is actually the result of a greater public issue; the gendering of people’s bodies to a certain standard. In theory, in a different social milieu, the idea of femininity could be reversed and hair removal would not be relevant to women.

The sociological imagination is a strong force in being able to critique one’s constraints and how they are formed. With the ability to do this, people can better challenge and then work to solve the issues that they once perceived as their own personal troubles. To better grasp your own problems it is best to understand the intersection between biography and history. The context of your society will greatly affect the problems you face in your life.

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