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In my essay I will attempt to describe Mills concept The Sociological Imagination and common-sense explanation and use the main ideas and differences between sociological imagination and common-sense to analyse the topic of racism in UK.

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Introduction

We live in a regime which promotes the ideas of egalitarianism. An egalitarian favours equality of some sort: People should get the same, or be treated the same, or be treated as equals, in some respect. Egalitarian doctrines tend to express the idea that all human persons are equal in fundamental worth or moral status (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2002) but in reality equality, especially racial equality is a huge farce. In my essay I will attempt to describe Mills concept "The Sociological Imagination" and common-sense explanation and use the main ideas and differences between sociological imagination and common-sense to analyse the topic of racism in UK. Sociological imagination - what is it? The term Sociological imagination was coined by a colourful and controversial New York's Columbia's university professor C. Wright Mills. The sociological imagination is the ability to see the interrelationships between biography and history, or the connections between our individual lives and larger social forces at work shaping our lives (K. Brown, 2005). One of the primary goals and main benefits of sociological imagination are to help to develop the ability to participate in social life and then step back and analyze broader meanings of what is going on in the world around us and finally to allow us to look at your own society as though you were an outsider. ...read more.

Middle

It is 21 st century but racism is still a powerful and dangerous issue even though it is prohibited by law but still there is a problem with our communication with people different than us. Even in a country like UK which we can boldly call 'Cradle of race' there are still people who use violence, racially charged language and directly insult those who are different. Why is it like this? Looking from sociological imagination perspective we can find that UK historical context, political aspects, economy, social forces, circumstances and common-sense has a significant role in people's behaviour and attitude. Recently I had the opportunity to think how sociological imagination work when I read a newspaper article 'The killing of Anthony: The boy who died because of the colour of his skin' (I. Herbert, 2005). It is about a 17-year-old boy who has been found guilty of murdering black student Anthony. According to a newspaper article the killer harassed Anthony by a bus station calling him 'nigger'. Anthony tried to walk to another bus stop via park, where killer pounced from the bushes and dealt Anthony a single blow with the axe, Anthony died. So why stories like that still happen all over again? Could it be that history, politics and social structure are at play or is it a personal problem of the perpetrators? ...read more.

Conclusion

Today media are drawing examples that immigrants are UK 'economic enemy' because people arrive in UK, claim benefits, get council housing, access health and education services (A. Palmer, 21.03.2009) but economic benefit of immigration is small and puts an extra pressure on schools, transport and health services (T. Whitehead, 14.02.2008). When such formed hostility is lent justification by government policies and harnessed by political parties for electoral gain, racial ideas become firmed into a quasi-ideology which, in turn, feeds and justifies popular racism (H. Athval et al, 2010). In conclusion I want to say that racism is alive because people do not use sociological imagination but find useful common-sense ideas: they do not think with own head just follow stereotypes. If people with racist ideas used sociological imagination and looked at asylum seekers and immigrants from the perspective of culture and loss they would understand what must it be like to leave your country, family, language, and culture for a community in which you are treated as less than human (J. Rothenberg, 10.05.2009). Moreover if a racist used sociological imagination and looked at human but not at his skin colour, ethnicity or race I think they would understand that our all blood is red, we all feel pain and we are all equal. As for the future looking at our failing economy, increased number of hate crimes I think that teaching the next generation how to practice the sociological imagination is more crucial now than ever. ...read more.

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