200556186 Sociology 202
Summary and Reaction: Chapter One: The Promise
The Sociological Imagination (1959) by C. Wright Mills
1.1 Usually, people do not seem to find a relation between the “intricate connection” between their present state and the precedent events that shaped it.
1.1.1 People nowadays feel that their lives revolve on their personal, routinary experiences. Hence they feel “trapped” of their own preoccupied lives.
1.1.2 Usually, people do not seem to find a relation between the “intricate connection” between their present state and the precedent events that shaped it. In others they become “indifferent” about it.
1.1.3 Contemporary history, and our present state, is in fact formed from different patchworks of events that transpired before our lives.
1.1.4 What we are now is the product of world history.
1.1.5 History provides us the comparison between the past and the present state of man, thus it makes us oriented with what is happening around and how does it conflict with the values that is imparted to us.
1.2 Possession of the “sociological imagination” finds a link between the personal experiences of man, his outlook and his beliefs, to what transpired before he started his life
1.2.1 Given the abundance of information from every source possible, a possession of a sociological imagination can help a man achieve and develop the “reason” on making sense of what is really happening in this world.
1.2.2. The sociological imagination enables the person to realize that he is a part of a larger social circle, and he can now be able to find a link between his personal and explicit troubles to public issues (grasping the relationship between biography and history to the world society).
1.3 An individual interested in any social study comes with three basic queries regarding his analysis on the social reality using the sociological imagination.
1.3.1 How is social structure formed? How does it organize or disorganize itself?
1.3.2.How does society change from time to time? And where does the present society compare to the past society?
1.3.3 What sort of men and women will provide a definition of society? What sort of general behaviour would constitute the present society? What kind of “human nature” will prevail given the present conditions?
1.4 The sociological imagination enables the possessor to get a thorough understanding of the world, and also make them understand what is happening among themselves as a product of crossroads between history and biography
1.5 Possession of the sociological imagination helps the individual discern a “trouble” from an “issue”
1.5.1 A “trouble” occurs within the individual, and within the range of his own social circle, and all those that occurs within the areas of his social life in which he or she is personally or privately aware. Their solutions oftentimes require a assessment of an individual’s capacity, character and ability.
1.5.2 An “issue”, on the other hand, occurs on a collective or public understanding. Changes on it involve institutions, organizations and groups with similar values and beliefs. Their solutions oftentimes require a broader and collective analysis of the factors that bring “troubles” to its members.
1.6 Being aware of the idea of social structure, using it with sensibility, and tracing its linkage among a great variety of milieu, is the promise of sociological imagination.
As emphasized in the article, man oftentimes form a limited view of his society in the sense that what he sees is what he think he really gets. I personally believe that many of the opinions on society’s issues commonly mentioned by ordinary people are based on how it affects their personal sustenance and the way they lead their routine lives. In other words, many view society on the way they understand it, and the way they want it to understand.
However, the promise of sociological imagination takes these opinions to the next stage, where careful observation and sensible reasoning is conveyed to fully understand how society, in which he belongs, move collectively. I find this article to be a simple insight on what sociology really is and what is expected from us once we obtain our MA in the future.
Being mere characters in a larger scene involving a lot of other characters equally important but leading different lives, we sometimes do not recognize that our individual values, opinions, beliefs and biases are not only transmitted to us from the teachings of our parents or on what we personally see or experience. If examined on a broader context, it is formed due to the successive successes and failures of men before our time. What we are is a product of several events that now comprises the world history. Even if we wanted to, we cannot detach on the fact that our present consciousness was formed from the history and the information handed to us from preceding generations.
Based on the article that I have read, having a sociological eye, or imagination, gives me an impression of being like a divine demi-God. That skill enables him to see the world in a greater perspective. He sees that men are not only men embroiled in their personal dilemmas, but rather points the cause of their personal hiatus to a much broader sense. I am not saying that someone with that eye is not interested in the personal milieu of himself and the others, in fact that person is keenly interested on these affairs. However, that person with a sociological imagination strives to find a link between these personal businesses to what transpired in history.
The abundance and accessibility of readily-available materials gives this generation the power to express and do something for his personal benefit and gratification. However, being in this age gives some risk of wrong, biased and distorted information that will only benefit to solve the “troubles” of some. A possession of a sociological eye, I believe, provides a deeper and more careful analysis of sorting this information, and making sure that ordinary people be involved in the society they are into without being misled into something that will make them more confused and disorganized.