Women and Sociology the Sociological Imagination Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1120 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Sociology

Women and Sociology

The Sociological Imagination

In the year 1959, the American sociologist C. Wright Mills created the term "sociological imagination" as a means of describing a person's ability to connect personal aspects of one's individual life to larger historical forces. The implication of the sociological imagination is that people should strive to recognize that their personal problems are oftentimes a part of a larger social issue. By connecting one's personal life with the larger workings of society, you can often see how and why certain things in the society need to be changed. What is more, the sociological imagination helps individuals determine whether they are having a personal problem, or whether their problems are part of larger public issues. Those individuals struggling with poverty, for instance, who become imbued with a sociological imagination will consider that they are not wholly responsible for their situation - that there are social forces that have been complacent in placing them and making sure they remain in a state of poverty. Once this sociological imagination is reached, a person might then begin to take the correct steps to lift themselves out of poverty.

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According to Mills, "nowadays men often feel that their private lives are a series of traps" owing to the fact that "their visions and their powers are limited to the close-up scenes of job, family, and neighborhood" (3). Owing to such trappings, individuals are thus prevented from coming to a fuller understanding of the sociological implications of their problems. What complicates this matter further is the fact that society is continually undergoing changes, and it is oftentimes difficult for individuals to keep track of all these changes when they are caught up in their own day-to-day struggles.

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In a recent issue of the New York Times Magazine, reporter Roger Cohen traveled to Israel in order to write a profile on Tzipi Levni, who is described as the "daughter of Zionist militants, ex-spy, foreign minister and rising political star" (34). The article begins shortly after Cohen has conducted his first interview with Levni, when he receives a phone call from the politician in which she concernedly wishes to correct some things she said about her personal life: "I was thinking about this idea of me as a disciplined person," she begins, in response to an earlier question the reporter had asked her.

There are parts of me that are different. I prefer jeans to a suit, sneakers to high heels, markets to malls. You've just returned from Paris: I prefer the Quartier Latin to the Champs Elysees. In general, I don't like formality at all. It is just part of what I do. You know, when I was young, I went to the Sinai and worked as a waitress" (36).

This startling pronouncement by one of Israel's leading political figures infers that Levni herself has a keen understanding of the sociological imagination and all its implications. Speaking to a journalist, she is aware of the media's capability of manipulating things that are said in order to serve dubious purposes. Rather than allow herself to be portrayed as a stiff, formal, bureaucrat, she wishes to assert those human sides of herself that show how she relates to the world at large. Such assertions will undoubtedly make her appeal to women from a particular social class - namely, those who have the privilege… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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"Women and Sociology the Sociological Imagination."  Essaytown.com.  January 9, 2008.  Accessed August 5, 2020.
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