Sociology 1020 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: The Sociological Imagination

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The Sociological Imagination
Concept by C. Wright Mills in 1959
Sociological imagination is the ability to view our society as an
outsider rather than from our own personal experience and cultural
Sociological creativeness is a state of mind the place in you
recognize the truth that as an person, you too is a member of a
bigger and numerous group of people which is the society
Within the book, Mills challenges the trends of sociological thinking of
his time and encourages sociologists to use sociological imagination
in order to alter their perspectives. His theories discouraged
specialization; but, instead, urged sociologists to be broad based in
their study and application of sociology.
Definition by Mills is
o “The vivid awareness of the relationship between experience
and the wider society
o Mills is stating that sociological imagination is the ability to
perceive situations an circumstances in a wide social context
and observe how interactions and actions are influential upon
other individuals and situations
o Virtually any behavior can have sociological imagination applied
to it
His goal in writing this book was to try to reconcile two different and
abstract concepts of social reality the "individual" and "society"
it is the ability to see things socially and how they interact and
influence each other
The sociological imagination is the concept of being able to “think
ourselves away” from the familiar routines of our daily lives in order to
look at them anew
To have a sociological imagination, a person must be able to pull
away from the situation and think from an alternative point of view
Enables its possessor to understand the larger historical scene in
term of its meaning for the inner life and the external career of a
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