Common-Sense, the Sociological Imagination and Teenage Pregnancy

1955 Words8 Pages
‘Explain the difference between the Sociological Imagination, as described by C. Wright Mills, and common-sense explanations. Then through the use of examples show how each approach would explain teenage pregnancy.’ In this essay, I aim to discuss the various differences between common-sense and the sociological imagination, and through the use of relevant examples and appropriate sources, I will then go on to explain how each of these approaches can explain teenage pregnancy and why rates are so high in the UK. Firstly, I shall define common-sense and the sociological imagination and will examine the differences between the two. According to C. Wright Mills, who was an American Sociologist and a professor of sociology, the sociological imagination is the ‘quality of mind essential to grasp the interplay of man (sic) and society, of biography and history, of self and world.’ (Mills, page 4). In simpler terms, it is the ability to look at the structure of society and individual’s lives simultaneously, and it allows people to make sense of their private problems in terms of public issues. The subject of sociology as a whole is the systematic study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behaviour. It draws from a multitude of life-worlds and seeks to deconstruct the familiar. It also needs evidence and its statements to be tested. Conversely, common-sense is very different. It is the ‘sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts’. (Merriam-Webster, 1996). Explanations are untested, rely on a limited global view and help to reinforce the familiar. As a result of this, these explanations are not at all reliable due to the fact that knowledge is not obtained from a dependable source and that the knowledge itself and evidence behind it is lacking in detail. Through these two approaches,
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