Benefits Of Sociological Imagination

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The concept of a sociological imagination may seem simple, but it actually proves to be fairly complicated to carry out. The vast majority of people are unfamiliar with the idea of having a sociological imagination and therefore have many questions about it. When is it used? What purpose does it serve? How will it benefit me? The term sociological imagination was first introduced by C. Wright Mills, an American sociologist (McIntyre 2014). According to Mills, a person who has a sociological imagination has “the ability to look beyond the personal troubles of individuals to see the public issues of social structure" (McIntyre 2014:31). Mills wanted people to open their minds in order to see what forces from society were acting upon a person.…show more content…
Mills states that often, people feel trapped in their everyday situations and in their life as a whole. They feel as if they have no options or control over their circumstances (McIntyre 2014). Although in many cases they aren’t in control, they also aren’t always to blame for their situations, either. Often, society plays a role. With a sociological imagination, people are able to truthfully assess their own situations. Another benefit to having a sociological imagination is the ability to better understand other people and their situations. By having a social imagination, people are more likely not to judge others based on what they see, but rather, take the time to consider the social impacts that may have influenced this person and led them to their current position in life (McIntyre 2014). Instead of jumping to conclusions, we should use our sociological imaginations to assess the situation the societal factors that may have impacted…show more content…
Hernando was convicted of robbery, abduction, rape, and murder to Sarah Gould. (McIntyre 1999) McIntyre (1999) tells the series of events leading up to the crime. As I was reading the story, I was definitely not using a sociological imagination. I wondered how someone could commit such crimes and think that it was acceptable. McIntyre (1999) used sociological imagination to explain how to look at the story differently and changed my overall opinion about Hernando Washington. In McIntyre’s (1999) mind, and in my mind after reading her point of view, it may be true that Hernando honestly did not know the difference between right and wrong. He grew up on the South Side of Chicago, where crimes were common and often disregarded as jokes to authorities (McIntyre 1999). Hernando’s sister had been raped, the rapist being charged with nothing, and his brother had been shot and killed, the murderer also not charged (McIntyre 1999). When Hernando robbed, abducted, raped and shot Sarah, he may have thought that he would be in the clear, as these other criminals had been. He surely didn’t think he would be sentenced to death from his actions. Further, McIntyre (1999) informs us that one year prior to the murder, Hernando had been arrested with charges of kidnapping and rape. His parents had bailed him out and hired a lawyer, so he had suffered no consequences (McIntyre 1999). In addition to this, it was
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