A little about myself, my name is Jane Perez I was born in Oceanside, California on September 8, 1991. I am 22 years old and currently unemployed. My mother is employed by the state of Washington as my grandmother’s caregiver. My biological father I know very little about because he was not a part of my life. My mother’s husband was the father figure in my life growing up. He is employed year round doing agricultural work. I will be discussing some significant personal troubles in my life and the role some issues have in creating them.
In “Sociological Imagination,” C. Wright Mills explains “Troubles occur within the character of the individual and within the range of his immediate relations with others; they have to do with his self and with those limited areas of social life of which he is directly and personally aware.”(Mills, 2000, pg. 8) A trouble in my life, according to Mills’ definition of the term, is not being married yet. I live with my boyfriend and basically live the married life. We can’t afford the traditional catholic wedding so we’ve chosen to wait until we can. My cultural background plays a big role in the formation of this issue. I’m reminded every Sunday at Mass that I’m living in sin unmarried in the same household with my partner. I get pressure from family to make it official because of our religious background. I could afford to have just the church ceremony, but the tradition is to have a celebration along with the ceremony and that’s not a possibility at the moment because of my financial status.
Not being married directly relates to another trouble I have, being unemployed. It’s my personal trouble because there is opportunity for me but I haven’t applied for jobs for the chance to be hired. Mills explains “… the statement and the resolution of troubles properly lie within the scope of his immediate milieu-the social setting that is directly open to his personal experience and to some extent his willful activity.” (Mills, 2000, pg. 8) I’ve been supported by my boyfriend for a while now and we’ve been living comfortably that way, so there was no need for me to get a job. We’ve recently taken on some new expenses, so there isn’t much extra money to put aside for an emergency much less a wedding, referring back to my other trouble. I could go find a job to solve my trouble, but I’m hesitant to go
out and apply because of the balance I need to maintain in my life. The extra money will help, but will I have time to keep up with my “wifely” duties at home? That culturally I am expected to perform. Will I still be able to put in the time I need to pass my classes at school with a job? What if my problem of unemployment isn’t easily resolved because there is a bigger issue, a public issue? Mills explains when we are dealing with a public issue “…we may not hope to find its solution within the range of opportunities open to any one individual. The very structure of opportunities has collapsed.” (Mills, 2000, pg. 9) If there are no jobs I’m stuck being unemployed with no way of changing my problem and bettering myself financially.
Another trouble that issues play a role in for me is deciding what major I’d like to pursue in school. Without a definite decision I won’t know what path to take or even where I’ll end up. I’ve had my heart set on phycology. So, for now, I’ve decided to make phycology the major I will work towards. Though, the uncertainty I have about this major stems from the question: Will I be able to reach my end goal in this field financially? I would have to pick up and move to attend a University with a good phycology program to reach this goal. Gathering up the money to move, finding a job that will get me by financially, plus the pressure of having to make sure to pass the classes, all while working and meeting my home duties would be very difficult maybe even impossible for me.
The expectations to have a set path in school, the pressure to be married before moving in with my significant other and managing to be financially stable while balancing everything are some significant troubles in my life that are brought on by other major issues in society. Reference
Mills, C. W. (1959/2000). The Sociological Imagination. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, Inc.