DSOC 1101 – Reading Response Paper #1 Due in section the week of February 2, 2009 As originally put forth by C. Wright Mills, the “sociological imagination” encourages us to recognize the intersection of personal biography and history. According to Mills, individuals need to understand that their values, behaviors, and experiences do not occur in a vacuum; rather, are situated and consequently influenced by their social environment. In other words, we can best understand our own experiences in life (biography) through an awareness of the larger societal patterns (history) and the shared, common fate with those in similar circumstances. Although each of us has a sense of our own life — where we’ve been and where we’re headed —there are larger dynamics and historical forces that influence our lives. This response paper will help you begin to develop your sociological imagination by considering the historical events which occurred on your birthday, the day your personal biography began.
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