The theory of sociological imagination was first introduced by pioneer sociologist C. Wright Mills in 1959. Griffiths et al. (2015) describe it “as an awareness of the relationship between a person’s behavior and experience and the wider culture that shaped the person’s choices and perceptions” (p. 6). Overall, in order to apply this concept to real-life situations, one should view the world sociologically and seek sociological answers to sociological questions they ask.
It is possible to say that this theory is about uniting all people, their beliefs and actions, as well as societal structures and history in general, in one major system. There is a mutual connection between the elements, which means that society and individuals shape their behavior according to various factors. For example, people are influenced by their historical period, technology and media, cultural values, and smaller elements like their own family and background (Griffiths et al., 2015). Therefore, in order to evaluate one’s actions, it is necessary to use sociological imagination to see the whole picture and try to pay attention to larger economic, political, and social problems.
Everyone can find examples of sociological imagination in their everyday lives. For instance, I would like to analyze how external factors influenced my choice of college and program, as well as the desire to get higher education in general. In order to do that, I will use several chapters from the textbook by Griffiths et al. (2015). These chapters are 5.3 Agents of Socialization, 8 Media and Technology, and 16 Education (Griffiths et al., 2015). I believe that precisely these factors had a significant impact on my choices, including my studies and career plans. Finally, I will use the theory of symbolic interactionism to analyze my situation.
Griffiths, H., Keirns, N., Strayer, E., Sadler, T., Cody-Rydzewski, S., Scaramuzzo, G., Vyain, S., Bry, J, & Jones, F. (2015). Introduction to sociology. OpenStax.