Sociological Imagination And Common Sense

1592 Words 7 Pages
Introduction to Sociology To define the difference between the Sociological Imagination, as presented by C. Wright Mills (1959) and common sense, is the aim of this essay. Using Education failure as an example I will identify both sides to the argument and through the use of articles and academic documents, wrote in connection with this topic, will highlight how each approach has a different effect on our society.

Sociology is a combination of common-sense, statistical inquiry and social theory and provides a distinct, but partial, view of what is going on (Marsh and Keating, 2000). Sociology and sociologists have a very strong relationship with common-sense in that the object of study is often the common-sense view of social
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He describes it as the ability to “think ourselves away” from our current situation and look at things in a wider context, what got us to this point in time and how our current milieu has an effect on society. The Sociological Imagination is the application of imaginative thought to the asking and answering of sociological questions (Giddens, 2001). Mills (1959) defined the Sociological Imagination as “the vivid awareness of the relationship between experience and the wider society”. He describes it as the intersection of History with one’s personal history/Biography within society. To understand the sociological way of thinking one must have a knowledge of history, of the social sciences and an understanding of society and where our society stands in the evolution of human history. With this knowledge and understanding people can make adequate summations of their life in society (RadioHogan, …show more content…
Wright Mills introduces the idea of a personal trouble and public issue. He states that a personal trouble is a problem an individual is facing with their own character or position within society. Whereas, a public issue is a problem within society that reflects on the individuals lives. Mills explains that a personal trouble can be solved by looking into the individuals biography. However a public issue can only be solved by a changing the social system of society. Mills states that through the sociological imagination we can identify a personal trouble from a public issue (Mills, 1970). Mills states that for someone to think sociologically or carry out a sociological study, they must think about three questions. The first must be to gain knowledge of society and the way it works. We should also look into the individuals within society. Finally, referring back to the sociological imagination, we must make connections between biographies and history, where society stands in a historical context and how this will develop (Mills,

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