The Sociological Imagination - The Sociological Imagination...

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The Sociological Imagination C. Wright Mills Book Review SOC 1110 December 2nd, 2018 The discipline of sociology attempts to study and explain the behaviors of a society. A
THE SOCIOLOGICAL IMAGINATION 1 society is defined as “a group of people who live in a defined geographic area, who interact with one another, and who share a common culture” (OpenStax College, 2015). In order to effectively study a society, an individual must first learn how to put the sociological methods into practice. He/she can do so through the study of all of C. Wright Mills’ theses within The Sociological Imagination . These theses seek to explain the downfalls of the social scientists of the past and present as well as how to address these shortcomings with the use of the Sociological Imagination. Within the The Sociological Imagination , Mills’ discusses how individuals, which make-up humanity, are going through a period of uneasiness and discomfort due to new situations arising from structural change (Mills, 1959). These new situations could be considered new social facts, which are the cultural rules that control a society (OpenStax College, 2015). The rise of new social facts has led to the change of social institutions as well as individuals. To address these sensations, Mills proposes the implementation of The Sociological Imagination, which would allow people to view social changes in relation to historical situations (Mills, 1959). The Sociological Imagination ensures an understanding of how one’s past relates to the pasts of others, as well as the history and structure of society (OpenStax College, 2015). Overall, Mills proposes that no work can be done effectively in the social sciences without the use of The Sociological Imagination (Mills, 1959). Throughout the book, Mills is proposing that all social scientists need to use this mindset in order to effectively study the phenomena and normalities within a society. Mills discusses that Grand Theory is not empirically useful to the social sciences due to its lack of important and firm problems, which leads to scientists being unable to hone in on their observations in a substantial manner (Mills, 1959). Mills is saying that Grand Theory makes the observationist incapable of realizing the threats to social solidarity, which are the ties that hold a society together (OpenStax College, 2015). Mills says that if the elite
THE SOCIOLOGICAL IMAGINATION 2 dominate the ideas within a society, than a symbol sphere will be created which are sustained by inequalities in power (Mills, 1959). The elite would be a part of the highest social class, which has granted them an incredible amount of influence, even though they are far outnumbered by the middle and lower classes (OpenStax College, 2015). These inequalities in power are essential to being able to analyze historical and sociological change. Without them, there would be no issues for social scientists to analyze (Mills,1959).

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