Sociological Imagination And Historical Imagination

Decent Essays

Sociological imagination is the ability to look beyond one’s social environment and observe those of others. It is being able to make connections between these different milieu and notice any patterns; to see if something is just a person trouble or a social issue. “The sociological imagination enables us to grasp history and biography and the relations between the two within society” (Mills). We are given the ability with this imagination to see how one’s personal scene plays into that of the larger historical one. Often times, it may seem that in the grand scheme of world history, our personal lives offer little contribution, yet, sociological imagination shows us how we in fact are crucial factors in determining our historical time period. The Elliot passage further drives home the point that it is impossible to “set apart” the self “from the social, cultural, political and historical contexts in which it is embedded” (Elliot: 6). We like to think that we cultivate ourselves yet we disregard the fact that our identities are influenced by the external factors in our milieu; our biographies are connected with history. Donna Gaines except from Teenage Wasteland illustrates the ideas of Mills’ sociological imagination by showing the connection between personal and public issues. Gaines discusses the epidemic of teenage suicide by examining the individual motives and branching it to the larger picture. She notes the difficult the individual teen faces on a daily basis,

Get Access