Sociology and Secularization Essay

2278 Words Dec 1st, 2010 10 Pages
There are many broad topics that are inserted into the main study of Sociology. Many traditional focuses include social stratification, modernity, culture, and deviance. There are two focuses, sociological imagination and secularization, which have been debated and researched through out the years. In C. Wright Mills’ article, The Sociological Imagination, he states the sociological imagination “enables its possessor to understand the larger historical scene in terms of its meaning for the inner life and the external career of a variety of individuals”(Mills, 15). This article states that there are many natural forces that influence a person’s life. Sociological imagination helps a person realize his place in society over the context …show more content…
His main argument is that religion and its importance in society fluctuates depending on the certain time period in history. Religion has had its ups and downs through out the course of history, and secularization has been promised for years, and yet religion is still a dominant factor in many lives of people around the world. He also shows that important figures in religion have never been exactly what they seem to be. One example he uses is from 1551: “This was confirmed when in 1551 the Bishop of Gloucester systematically tested his diocesan clergy. Of 311 pastors, 171 could not repeat the Ten Commandments and 27 did not know the author of the Lord's Prayer”(Starks, 6). Similar to this example, Starks uses others to enforce his theory that secularization is myth. Mills goes on to state that the sociological imagination requires a person to think three sorts of questions. The first set of questions requires a person to think about how their society is structured as a whole and how it differs from the other varieties of social order. Mills states: “ 1. What is the structure of this particular society as a whole? What are its essential components, and how are they related to one another? How does it differ from the other varieties of social order? Within it, what is the meaning of any particular feature for its continuance and for its change?”(Mills, 15).
These types of questions involve assessing how a certain society is structured and how a

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