• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

If you are setting this submission as

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Sociological Imagination In 1959, C. Wright Mills released a book entitled 'The sociological Imagination'. It was in this book that he laid out a set of guidelines of how to carry out social analysis. But for a layman, what does the term 'sociological imagination' actually mean? In his own words, Mills claimed "it is the capacity to shift from one perspective to another...the capacity to range from the most impersonal and remote transformations to the most intimate features of the human self - and to see the relations between the two of them." . Mills believed that being able to see the relationship between the ordinary lives of people and the wider social forces was the key to the sociological imagination. Fundamental to Mills' theory is the idea of 'public issues' and 'private troubles'. An individual's troubles are personal when they occur because of the person's character. Public issues, however, are a direct result of the problems within society, they affect people hugely but often the individual will assign the problem as their own personal downfall rather than as a societal problem. An ordinary man may get depressed about being unemployed and automatically accept it as his own personal trouble. ...read more.

Middle

The naturalistic explanation, for example, would assign war to man's natural aggressiveness. It explains marriage by saying that it is natural for a man and woman to fall in love, settle down, get married and have children. For the man to go out to work, the woman to stay home and care for the children, and for the children to want to live at home until roughly the age of 18. (Jones) The naturalistic explanation claims it is unnatural for any individual not to have these instincts. The fact that people within a society learn to accept these norms, values and roles (Mills. 29) without ever questioning it is called in sociological terms 'socialization'. "Deeply immersed in our daily routines, though, we hardly ever pause to think about the meaning of what we have gone through: even less often have we the opportunity to compare our private experiences with the fate of others, to see the social in the individual, the general in the particular, this is precisely what sociologists can do for us. We would them to show us how our individual biographies intertwine with the history we share with human beings." ...read more.

Conclusion

But by reading the above quote, and watching the film, there can be seen an underlying common theme. That the life we are given and expected to accept is not the only of life That it is appropriate to question 'why are we here?' and 'what is our purpose?' It is the latter part of Bauman's quote which illustrates this the most. "Suddenly the daily way of life must come under scrutiny..." It is this idea that this hamster wheel way of life is not the only way, and not the natural way. The main character of the film 'Neo' questions the meaning of his entire existence quoting "I don't like the idea that I'm not in control of my life' and eventually becomes literally detached from the illusion which is the so called 'world' in which they live. Although this may be seen as a far fetched connection, it would be interesting to see if the producers of this film meant it as a reference to the sociological idea of norms and deviance. It can be concluded that the sociological imagination is essentially a sociological state of mind. It is a method which sociologists use to deal with the analysis of information. "The quality of mind essential to grasp the interplay of man and society, of biography and history, of self and worth" (Mills. 1959) ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Sociology essays

  1. A-Level Sociology Theory + Methods Revision.

    The soc/ist has already decided how to study a particular phenomena. From a Phenomenological perspective the appropriate procedure = not to measure degrees of job satisfaction. Instead the soc/ist should discover whether workers themselves categorise jobs as satisfactory or unsatisfactory + if so, what procedures do they adopt to do this.

  2. The position of widows in Nepalese society - sociological study.

    Among women aged 60 and over, the proportion of widows is some 60 per cent. Despite this, and the knowledge that widows are a particular disadvantaged social group, few attempts have been made to study the way they actually live.

  1. Main features of Functionalism.

    The basic structure of the social world can be seen as resting solely upon establishing or interpreting meanings. Phenomenologists claim therefore that sociologists who claim that there really is a constraining world of social facts, are suffering from the same commonsensical self delusions as any ordinary member of society, i.e.

  2. Sociological imagination - Notes

    hippy culture - typewriter> computer> palm pilot> ipod Macro & Micro- the relationship between them Socio-economic class and the lifestyles and life chances that flow from economic class Roles- we do not play one fixed role, we may play many roles in one day (teacher, parent, friend).

  1. Assessment of Mill's 'Harm Principle'

    The existence of welfare might also have implications for self harm: as society has to pay for self-harm, through medical and other expenses, arguably it could be entitled to restrict self-harm legally. (3) THE LAW SHOULD PREVENT SELF-HARM According to Mill the license to self harm includes giving consent to be harmed by others.

  2. The following essay will use the ideas of Durkheim to construct my social biography ...

    A second characteristic is generality (Johnson, 1986). Generality is something that is potentially universal and diffused with a group. Again, using the speeding ticket as the example, the generality is that the speed limit applies to all persons that possess a valid driver's license.

  1. To what extent is it possible to demonstrate that a sociological analysis of the ...

    our bodily states are shaped and formed by the history of our society and our place in it. He criticises medical explanations, stating that they only serve to obscure, or completely cover, the social shaping and distribution of disease, disease categories and health services.

  2. Some sociologists even speak of an 'educational revolution'

    adjusting the socially inequitable participation, nobody knows what would have happened if these social policies would not have been there. Young people from disadvantaged background still have a fair chance - be it not the same chance as children from rich families - to attend higher education and to acquire a degree.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work