Saturday, August 24, 2019

Developing Sociological Imagination Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 2000 words

Developing Sociological Imagination - Essay Example They hide at the first sign of trouble, withdrawing into indifference and fear. "Faced with issues they do not understand, with structural forces that they cannot comprehend and over which they appear to have no power, ordinary people withdraw into apathy or anxiety," observed C. Wright Mills, the social scientist who in 1959 blazed the trail on developing a quality of mind that could help ordinary people dissociate themselves from the ostriches in dealing with danger and problems. A false sense of security is all the ostrich example can give us. By developing what came to be known as "sociological imagination," we would know what we are up against. This knowledge will then help us understand any problem that gets in our way to effectively cut it down to size and hopefully cease to elicit fear in us since it is no longer an unknown entity. When we don't feel any threat to the set of values we cherish, it is believed we experience well-being. In the presence of these threats, we experience a crisis. And when we are unaware of any cherished values and feel no threat, this becomes an experience of indifference, apathy if it concerns all our cherished values. However, when unaware of any cherished value but aware of a threat, this results in an experience of uneasiness and anxiety which, if total enough, becomes a deadly unspecified malaise. Sociological Sociological imagination, Mills explains, is the quality of mind urgently needed in our cultural period to cope with the anxiety, uneasiness and indifference that prevail in today's world. Uneasiness and indifference are considered the signal features of our age as a result of the dizzying changes happening in our midst. Governments that used to function as democracies, for example, suddenly fell into the control of despots. In states that were once political colonies, new and subtler forms of imperialism were installed. Societies once relatively peaceful became the object of random and senseless terrorist attacks. Such changes send people out of kilter, giving them the sense of being trapped. We get this sense of being trapped, sociologists believe, when we are not aware of the intricate connection between the pattern of our own lives and the course of history, and what this connection means for the kinds of people we are turning into and the kinds of history-making in which they mi ght take part. To let ourselves out of this trap, we must employ sociology ethically, through sociological imagination, to allow us some sense of control over events by showing how public issues are interconnected with our lives, our history, biographical experiences and social structure milieus. By understanding the larger historical scene in terms of its meaning for the inner life and the external career of a variety of individuals, we will be equipped with information necessary for developing reason that would "achieve lucid summations of what is going on in the world and what may be happening within ourselves." Sociological imagination will enable us to shift from one perspective to another - from the political to the psychological, from examination of a single family to comparative assessment of the world's national budgets, from the theological school to the military establishment, even from studies on the oil industry to that of contemporary poetry. With such

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