The Social Imagination of Forrest Gump

1665 Words Mar 28th, 2005 7 Pages
The Sociological Imagination of Forrest Gump
OR
The Sociological Imagination Concept As Illustrated by the Movie, Forrest Gump

What is sociological imagination? Our textbook describes sociological imagination as the ability to see our private experiences, personal difficulties, and achievements as, in part, a reflection of the structural arrangements of society and the times in which we live. The movie entitled Forrest Gump is a great example of sociological imagination. In this paper, I will cite examples from the movie and tell how they correlate with sociological imagination. Sociological imagination allows us examine the events of our lives and see how they intersect with the wider context of history and tradition of the society in
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One of the black students dropped her notebook on the sidewalk and didn't notice that she had done so. Forrest jumps through the crowd, picks up her notebook without noticing the tension or significance of the moment, and returns it to the young woman. Because of Forrest's personal strife of always having to run from bullies in Greenbow, he was able to attend the U of A. Forrest innocently participated in one of our Nation's most significant moments in history. His simple, personal act of kindness, intersected with the struggle of society to de-segregate the schools. Once again, the attitude of society towards handicapped persons landed Forrest at the University of Alabama and in the middle of de-segregation, a major historical episode of our society. Because society was very racist in its behavior at this time, Forrest's kindness and caring for people of any race, shows a sharp contrast to his personal life and behavior and the ways of society at the time.
As referenced at the beginning of the paper, Forrest's participation in the Vietnam War is the most significant example of sociological imagination or social web as C. Wright Mills sometimes called it. What were the happenings in Forrest's personal life that placed him in the midst of a major societal event, war? After graduating from high school, Forrest was approached by an Army recruiter giving him some literature on the Army. Forrest…

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