the sociological imagination

1614 Words7 Pages
This essay will explain how the sociological imagination aspect works in society. It will define ‘sociological imagination’ and discuss how it can be applied to possible cases. It will also define ‘critical thinking’, ‘de-familiarizing’ and the ‘general in particular’ with particular cases to show its understanding of how these terms work in society. Sociological imagination is what C. Wright Mills defined as a “process whereby you link individual experiences with social institutions and one's place in history. In this perspective, people who are in poverty could link their personal situation to the social forces relevant to their present circumstance” (Macionis and Plummer, 2008: 11-12). This term is used today and can be seen in social problems. Sociological imagination is seen in unemployment where people will attach their incapability to find a job based on their own personal traits when instead it is due to forces such as the economy. They have a narrow minded view to unemployment as described by sociological imagination. ‘Critical thinking’ as described by Michel Foucault is a “process whereby society’s power is inserted into our lives in very subtle ways such as discourse” (Macionis and Plummer, 2008: 551-552). These actions by the people, cause unintentional results and so sociology attempts to expose the problem. This is seen in social institutions such as prisons. When Foucault talks about a specific prison in the past he describes that the tall watch tower in the middle is like an eye which perceives all the prisoners on the peripheral. The prisoners know they are being watched all the time. This leaks out into society causing problems. This is because the people outside the walls understand that those prisoners are basically losing their right to privacy. Knowledge leaking out into society causes problems. People misinterpret or abuse it. The
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