Sociological Imagination Essay

580 Words3 Pages
The sociological imagination is “a kind of interpretive imagination which does not treat its subject matter like objects in the natural world. It is anthropological, historical and critical” (Holmes, Hughes, & Julian, 2003, pg. 7). These components make up the three sociological dimensions. The historical facet analyses the historical context of a subject matter to better understand the subject in the present. The purpose of history is not only “to study the past as an end in itself but as a way of reflecting on the present” (Holmes et al, 2003, pg. 10). Hence, the sociological imagination demands that it is not enough to examine the society merely in the present. The cultural aspect of the sociological imagination involves the “learned ideas, values, knowledge, rules and customs shared by members of a collectivity” (Holmes et al, 2003, pg 11). Culture in the sociological imagination allows the comprehension of why people hold certain ideas and values, and follows certain rules and customs. The critical aspect of the sociological imagination stipulates the initiative to analyze. Although it is, by human nature, to assume the meaning of actions carried out by people, C. Wright Mills claims that assumptions are not enough. Through assumptions, many things are taken for granted and the true meaning is not revealed. Therefore, reflection, observation and experience are the best ways to critically examine a subject matter. Having discussed the main characteristics of the sociological imagination, this essay will continue to discuss how sociologists, using the three sociological dimensions, might apply it to everyday social issues, namely racism in Australia and teenage drug use. Since the first white settlement, Australian culture has always consisted of beliefs and attitudes about race. These racial attitudes and beliefs have significantly influenced
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