The framework of sociological imagination
The sociological imagination was created by C. Wright Mills which provides the concept of social reality that defines the relationship between the society as well as the personal experiences to aware of the world. The framework of sociological framework provides a view of society that surpass the limitation of the social world. This concept evaluates the understanding of the historical process and biography that unfolds the huge context in the society. This essay will explore the concept of sociological imagination explained by Mills. In addition, the distinguishment between Mills on History and Biography and public issues and personal trouble will be highlighted to identify their ideas of Mills.
- Wright Mills has established a concept and wrote it in a book to provide an understanding of the sociological imagination in which awareness is provided of the relationship between the wider society and personal experiences. Mills was an American sociologist that promoted the idea of social responsibilities among the social scientists and has concerned about the ethics of the sociological feelings and peers to allowing special interests and assume the position of leadership that can surrender the social responsibilities. Sociological imagination refers to the capability to identify things differently and the process of influencing and interacting with each other in the wider society. The ability provides development on the central perspective of the wider society. It is considered an essential concept that provides the identification of personal life and important social events that has a connection with each other (Staubmann, 2021). In addition, Mills evaluates the sociological practices into an ideal version in which the importance of identifying the experiences of individuals and worldview are addressed in historical context. The worldview on historical context is significant for the human behaviors that improve the society and perspective of people to get a positive society (Edmiston, 2018). By this concept, Mills highlights the significance to view the connection between the experiences of people and social structure and agency. It is considered an upsetting and revolutionary sociological concept that forms a bedrock of the practices of sociology.
The sociological imagination helps to identify the social perspective and surpass any common sense that derives from the limited social experiences (Mills, 2000). Mills supports people to identify the insights into the daily life of members of the society in which he conveys that the experiences and history, both should be understood that connects the larger social issues and personal challenges. Sociological imagination allows people to identify the relationships between the events in society and the events of their experiences. Events of the society refer to the biographical context and events of experience refer to the history which has a strong connection as well as have some differences. The biography depends on an individual whereas the history indicates the wider social world. In addition, their mindset indicates the ability of the individuals to identify the connection between their personal experiences and the wider society to live their life correctly. It shapes the decision-making process of individuals and provides the ability to make the decision on behalf of others. The decision-making process helps to provide support to the family and friends and evaluate their future with a proper planning process. It provides the understanding of the connection of people on their problems with the problem of the public and their history.
In this concept, Mills aims to reconcile the abstract concepts of the social reality such as society and individuals. It encourages individuals to alter their perspectives and get a new viewpoint. This new viewpoint shapes society and creates a positive move in which the issues can be improved by focusing on public issues (Staubmann & Treviño, 2018). Sociology focuses on different approaches due to the identified issues of individuals that are rooted in the problems and stemming from the social aspect itself. According to Wright Mills, personal trouble can be defined as the issue that affects individuals and the members of the society in which the moral and personal feelings have been blamed such as unemployment, eating disorders, and many more. On the other hand, public issues refer to the source of the lie in the cultural and social structure that affects many individuals, and this helps account for problems that are experienced by individuals.
According to Mills, it is identified that biology refers to the human perspective and history refers to the events of the past that allows people to identify the relationships between events in the society and personal lives of individuals (Bannink & Trommel, 2019). On the other hand, personal trouble refers to the personal issues that are experienced by individuals within a character of the range of relations and individuals to others. Mills indicates that the functions of the personal life as an actress and actor who can make choice on the behalf of the family groups, friends, schools, work, and other issues that is in the control of individuals (Fraser & Hagedorn, 2018). Mills wanted to connect the biography of individuals and the history of the society that evaluate the society and improve the decision-making skills. Based on the sociological imagination, Mills aims to change the perspective of personal life and shape the decision-making ability by intersecting personal histories and biographies.
Evaluating the Historical Process and Biography
This book has another important insight into the sociological imagination that focuses on public issues and private troubles. The biography of individuals can make sense in the context of history and the history cannot be understood without indicating people in their personal context. This concept helps to recognize the cause of the issues as well as indirect prevention to situated the flaw in the public issues instead of decisions of one's personal life (Seeger & Davison-Vecchione, 2019). It provides a wider society and intersection of the one or two main objectives of disciplines that help people to understand the perspective of the society in which people live. This approach evaluates the human understanding of their behavior and places it into a wider social context to recognize the sociological perspective in which an individual and the influence of the social facts can be addressed. The aspects of the sociological imagination such as History, Biography, Personal trouble, and public issues are related to each other and provide an outcome for the individuals to change their perspective. In addition, public issues are those that can be controlled by individuals and change their perspective of them that resulting in their inner life. The sociological imagination has some real power to distinguish between the social and personal levels in the lives of individuals (Wall, 2019). This concept allows individuals to focus on the problems and issues that can affect the greater society as well as affect the lives of individuals. Most personal issues are influenced and affected by social expectations, habits, and norms and these issues include homelessness, access to healthcare, divorce, crime, and many more. Hence, the personal issues are followed by societal issues, and these all are interconnected with public and personal concerns.
Personal problems are experienced by individuals and public issues are experienced by a population that is rooted in the society and reflected in the history. Mills indicates the connection between history and sociology in which he felt that history can shape the individuals as well as collective lives of people and identify the issues of personals troubles and social structures (Tsortanidou, Daradoumis & Barberá-Gregori, 2022). Based on the sociological imagination, the utilization of imaginative thought to understand the relationship between public issues and personal troubles. It indicates a better question and identification of different aspects of society in order to live within the situation. Mills differentiates the biography and history in which biography indicates an individual and identify the personal problems whereas history indicates a wide range of social perspective that identify the public issues (Mead, Thurston & Bloyce, 2022). The differentiation between the biography and history provides the understanding of the individuals and the social influence on them to make accurate decisions to shape the future. Hence, these distinguish focus on the society and interconnect public and personal concerns to improve the society.
The sociological imagination was created by Mills which provides the idea of sociology and the foundation of the discipline. This concept is based on awareness of the connection between the wider society and personal experiences. Personal experiences are depended on the social norms that affect public and private issues. In addition, the sociological imagination provides the capability to get a viewpoint to learn things based on social perspective and influence and interact with each other. Mills' book on Sociological Imagination evaluates the idea of sociology and the concept of individual and society. It has some aspects such as biology, history, personal issues, and public troubles. Biology and history from Mills' perspective are connected to each other and have some differences in which history focuses on wider society and biology focuses on the individuals. This focuses on the existing social life pattern to identify the possible future and provide a positive social perspective to get a healthy society.
Bannink, D., & Trommel, W. (2019). Intelligent modes of imperfect governance. Policy and Society, 38(2), 198-217. https://doi.org/10.1080/14494035.2019.1572576
Edmiston, D. (2018). The poor “sociological imagination” of the rich: Explaining attitudinal divergence towards welfare, inequality, and redistribution. Social Policy & Administration, 52(5), 983-997. https://doi.org/10.1111/spol.12366
Fraser, A., & Hagedorn, J. M. (2018). Gangs and a global sociological imagination. Theoretical Criminology, 22(1), 42-62. https://doi.org/10.1177/1362480616659129
Mead, R., Thurston, M., & Bloyce, D. (2022). From public issues to personal troubles: individualising social inequalities in health within local public health partnerships. Critical Public Health, 32(2), 168-180. https://doi.org/10.1080/09581596.2020.1763916
Mills, C. W. (2000). The sociological imagination. Oxford University Press. https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=zJtpAgAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA1&dq=sociological+imagination+c+wright+mills&ots=9eX_rLd9Sn&sig=WFfnWU8E8uH_BMSwnopGUdFLndM&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=sociological%20imagination%20c%20wright%20mills&f=false
Seeger, S., & Davison-Vecchione, D. (2019). Dystopian literature and the sociological imagination. Thesis Eleven, 155(1), 45-63. https://doi.org/10.1177/0725513619888664
Staubmann, H. (2021). C. Wright Mills’ The Sociological Imagination and the Construction of Talcott Parsons as a Conservative Grand Theorist. The American Sociologist, 52(1), 178-193. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12108-020-09463-z
Staubmann, H., & Treviño, A. J. (2018). Introduction to: Kathryn Mills: C. Wright Mills through his letters–His time in Innsbruck and the making of The Sociological Imagination. Österreichische Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft, 47(4), 59-60. DOI 10.15203/ozp.2846.vol47iss4
Tsortanidou, X., Daradoumis, T., & Barberá-Gregori, E. (2022). Convergence among imagination, social-emotional learning and media literacy: an integrative literature review. Early Child Development and Care, 192(2), 173-186. https://doi.org/10.1080/03004430.2020.1753720
Wall, J. (2019). From childhood studies to childism: Reconstructing the scholarly and social imaginations. Children's Geographies, 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1080/14733285.2019.1668912
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