Sociology 2240E Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: The Sociological Imagination, Knowledge, False Consciousness

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The sociological imagination: private troubles vs. public issues. A value cherished by an individual is threatened. Issue: matters that transcend the local environment of the individual and the range of her inner life; they have to do with the organization of many aspects of institutions in a historical society as a whole. The sociological imagination is the capacity to shift from one perspective. [biography/troubles] to another [history/issues], from the most impersonal and remote transformations to the most intimate features of the human self and to see the relations between the two . Capacity to understand the social and historical meaning of the individual in your specific society and period. Possessing the sociological imagination allows you to: understand your troubles in a larger perspective & see the causes, avoid personal blame narrative. Translate your personal trouble into a public issue through i) reflection; ii) collective action. Mills and others are extending marx"s insight regarding the proletariat.

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