Charles Wright Mills Concept Of The Sociological Imagination

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The Charles Wright Mills’ concept of the Sociological Imagination was a sizeable step forward in the sociological discipline. In this paper, I intend to demonstrate what exactly Mills means of the Sociological Imagination, and how he is able to connect the concept of private troubles and public issues. Additionally, I plan to prove how he is able to link an individual’s private troubles to largely be a product of historical and social forces. To do this, an example will be taken from my own life and then applied to show how something that has seemingly only impacted a single individual to create a private trouble, is actually a result of a larger pushing force in the sociological world. In doing this, I hope to show how a private trouble can exist as a consequence of a larger institutional issue. To round out my…show more content…
To understand how the Sociological Imagination works, one must first understand the distinction between these two terms. Private troubles occur when it is only an individual and their immediate social environment that is impacted by an upset. A trouble is seen as a personal matter; they only occur when an individual feels their values are being threatened (The Sociological Imagination, 1959). Typically, private troubles have the stigma that it is usually the individual’s own fault that they are struggling; that the individual has somehow not done enough to keep their values safe, and now it is on only one person’s shoulders to fix what has gone wrong. An instance where this has occurred many times is in unemployment; from the outside it seems that an unemployed person is lazy, and because of this they are unable to get a job. This in turn puts stress on the individual and their immediate social circle, but really does not affect others in the grand scheme of things (The Sociological Imagination,
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