Sociological Imagination Critique

Eric McCarthy Our knowledge of our own social structure and a broader view of history can help us to change the course of our actions, and the course of history, to suit our own beliefs - Sociological Imagination Critique introduction. The issue with this is that one person cannot individually alter the course of history. One person can influence many others, and when this occurs, history can change. Most of the world does not look beyond their own small, segmented realm. They are burdened with the activities of day to day living and do not have the time, desire, or in some cases, the capacity to understand where their place is in the sociological hierarchy.

Only by taking this approach, can one start to realize that their path in life, no matter how minute it may seem, affects everything around them. Stepping back and looking at history and their current biography, and being able to clearly see the relations between the two is the sociological imagination. It is what allows the greatest minds to conjure up the most profound questions in sociology. Who are we as a society and where are we in relation to history? What drives us to change the way we are and how does this impact the direction to which the human race is headed?

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The sociological imagination becomes the driving force for society. We cannot pretend to understand sociology without first understanding our place in it. As I learn more about it, and understand the concept, I can start to place myself, at least in part, in sociological history. I can also start looking at others and other cultures to determine where they fit in. From this I can start to deduce where they are headed and how they will get there. Society will drive to wherever it is steered. It is typically steered by people who are able to utilize the sociological imagination.

These people can see their place in history and alter the course that it is headed. This can work both ways. It can make great things happen, or cause tremendous horror. This direction that it takes is dependent on their beliefs, status (economic and political) and other contributing factors. These factors are all caused by sociology. They are usually attributed to one’s upbringing. The way that someone is raised, either by family or others, greatly causes the outcome of one’s life. The sociological impact of others, whom one respects, is tremendous.

And their sociological impact was probably set forth by someone else’s. It is very rare that someone is raised in one society and does not adopt any of that society’s beliefs. In studying sociology, one must be able to correlate history and biography, and put them into order so that others can understand. We must define the difference between troubles and issues. A person has troubles and a society has issues. The differences between these two are such; troubles involve the immediate individual and his direct relations with others.

Issues involve a much broader range of society. When one has troubles, they are his own, or his immediate contact’s problems. When a society has issues, there is certainly a much larger underlying cause. Typically, issues are caused by the society as a whole and not one individual. The sociological imagination is also used for conducting sociological research. It can define the links between history and society and accurately describe what their current state is.

It can show not only where someone is in society, but it can trace, quite accurately, why they are in that particular role. It gives us the keys to understanding sociology and the tools to understand where society is headed, depending on which choices are made, dependent on sociological imagination. We could not perform sociological research without sociological imagination. Without it, we would only have our place in sociological time, with no linkage to history. This would be useless in gathering data.

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