As used by C.W. Mills the term
sociological imagination refers to the ability to imagine and understand the intersection
between personal biography and historical social structures.
Sociological imagination is the
essence of sociology. Sociological Imagination is imagining that every individual's life
is given meaning, form and significance within historically specific cultures and ways of
organizing social life.
Having a sociological
imagination then is identical with being a good sociologist. Sociological imagination is a
standard against which to judge sociology.
Sociological Imagination took
issue with the ascendant schools of sociology in the United States, calling for humanism and a humanist sociology connecting the social, personal,
and historical dimensions of our lives.
The sociological imagination is
a sociological vision, a way of looking at the world that can see links between the
apparently private problems of the individual and important social issues.
A sociology student needs to
develop a sociological imagination. The fundamentals of sociological imagination needs to
Developing a Sociological
Imagination: Expanding Ethnography in
International English Language Education - ADRIAN HOLLIDAY, Canterbury
Christ Church College
Whereas the importance of ethnography in analysing broad social realities in education is
now established, in international English language education, ethnography has often been
restricted to oral aspects of classroom behaviour This paper argues that the cultural
complexity and variety in English language classrooms across the world also require
ethnographies of non-verbal behaviour and of curriculum and curriculum project design and
management beyond the classroom A professional sociological imagination needs to be
cosmopolitan, broad-based, and wide-ranging in the multiplicity of relations between
students, educators, the community, and also the people, material, and concepts which the
profession transports across cultures In the search for ethical research, we can and must
look wider than the emicism of verbal data.
A Remarkable Sociological
Imagination - Author: Edwards T.
Source: British Journal of Sociology of Education, Volume 23, Number 4, 1 December 2002
Abstract: This paper reviews the scope of Basil Bernstein's sociology, indicating some of
the research that his ideas have inspired, shaped or provoked. Although it takes a roughly
chronological approach to the development of his ideas, the paper emphasizes how
consistently he explored the making of societies and social classes, and the structuring
of social interaction. The title of the paper
reflects how successfully Bernstein met Wright Mills' criterion for a true sociological
imagination, that it seeks to grasp the extent to which 'personal troubles' are 'public
issues' arising from the changing forms of social
inequalities as these are produced from generation to generation.
Taking the sociological
imagination to school: an analysis of the (lack of) impact of information and
communication technologies on education systems - Somekh, Bridget
Source: Technology, Pedagogy and Education, Volume 13, Number 2, July 2004, pp.
This article suggests that it is time for sociologists to redirect their focus from
critiques of policy makers' unrealistic visions for information and communication
technologies (ICTs) to the more generic issues that consistently mobilise resistance to
ICTs within schools and education systems. There is an extraordinary difference between
young people's experiences of ICTs at home and at school. The article explores the nature
of ICTs, which are fundamentally antipathetic to the culture of the school, and draws on
theories of institutional formation and structuration to explain the subliminal processes
of institutional resistance that have so far been effective in emasculating their
disruptive power. Illustrations of this process in practice are drawn from recent research
in schools in the United Kingdom.
RALPH ELLISON'S SOCIOLOGICAL IMAGINATION - Randal Doane
This article investigates how the theoretical frameworks of Hegel, Marx, and Freud inform
Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, and it highlights the novel's exploration of sociological
concepts such as alienation, freedom, and the unconscious. I
will consider Ellison's emergence as a writer and explore how the formal and the thematic
variations of the novel are informed by the concepts of dialectics,
being, and labor (Hegel and Marx), and psychic structure, Eros, and Ananke (Freud). I will
conclude by considering how Ellison's project resonates with the tenets of feminism and postmodernism and how
literature can be conceptualized for sociological analysis. - The Sociological Quarterly -
Volume 45 Page 161 - January 2004.
Books on sociological
and Society: An Introduction to the Sociological Imagination - by Stephen
Examples from a college or university setting to illustrate society in terms of social
groups and forces. College and Society is based on the premise that colleges are not
ivory towers that stand in contrast to the larger society. Rather, the author
argues that colleges tend to reflect many of the same social structures, culturally based
expectations of social conduct, and patterns of interaction seen at work in the larger
society. For anyone interested in learning basic concepts of Sociology.
Eclipse of Morality: Science, State, and Market (Sociological Imagination and Structural
Change) by Lawrence Busch
We are heirs to three approaches to the problem of order developed in the seventeenth
century: science, the state, and the market. Busch uses the works of Bacon, Hobbes, and
Adam Smith as Weberian ideal types. Each attempted to describe, to predict, and to
prescribe a solution. Different as they were, each proposed a solution that relieved
people of most moral responsibility and assigned it to an extrahuman force: God's hand as
revealed through the method of science, the visible hand of the state, or the invisible hand of the market.
Order and Social Disorder: The American Search for Civil Society (Sociological
Imagination and Structural Change) Frank Hearn
Drawing upon both classical insights and more recent writings, Hearn provides a compelling
account of social breakdown in the United States. The book examines the conditions most
responsible for the deterioration of social institutions, notably of the family and of
communitarian interdependencies, such as those that support neighborhoods. More
specifically, Hearn analyzes the defining forces of liberal modernity, in particular, the market economy.
Sociological Inquiry: Readings Across the Sociological Imagination
by Edward Sanford
Problems and The Sociological Imagination: A Paradigm for Analysis
by David R Simon
Designed for use as a supplementary social problems text at the undergraduate level, this
book analyzes social problems using the paradigm of C.
Wright Mills' Sociological Imagination, focusing on the relationship between personal
troubles and public issues affecting the society at large. After describing the major
problems of American society and grounding the reader in the fundamentals of the
sociological imagination, the author centers each chapter around one of the basic concepts
of the paradigm (structure, biography and alienation, historical main drift, ideology, and
social change). Each chapter contains two exercises, one
short, the other long, which teach students how to develop a sociological imagination.
While other texts discuss the sociological imagination, no other text applies it
by C. Wright Mills
C. Wright Mills is best remembered for his highly acclaimed work The Sociological
Imagination, in which he set forth his views on how social science should be pursued.
Hailed upon publication as a cogent and hard-hitting critique, The Sociological
Imagination took issue with the ascendant schools of sociology in the United States,
calling for a humanist sociology connecting the social, personal, and historical
dimensions of our lives. The sociological imagination Mills calls for is a sociological
vision, a way of looking at the world that can see links between the apparently private
problems of the individual and important social issues.
Voices : Linking Personal Ethnic History and the Sociological Imagination by John P.
In this unique reader, eighteen sociologists write about their own personal experiences,
and those of their families, as members of a particular racial or ethnic group in the
United States. The essays are both personal and sociological; each contributor compares
the experience of his or her own family to the larger group experience.
Justice, and Society: Criminology and the Sociological Imagination, with Free PowerWeb
by Ronald Berger, Patricia Searles, Marvin Free
This is a uniquely sociologically oriented Criminology text designed to help students
cultivate their own "sociological imagination" about crime and criminal justice.
The book takes a critical approach and places questions of social inequality and power at
the center of criminological inquiry. It views class, race, ethnicity, and gender as
pivotal organizing principles of social life, prisms through which we come to know
ourselves and our social world and as central mechanisms by which social relationships are
The Sociological Imagination: How Radical Sociology Changed The Discipline by Rhonda
Since the 1960s, radical sociology has had far more influence on mainstream sociology than
many observers imagine. This book pairs seminal articles with new reflective essays
written by the founders of progressive sociology, including Fred Block, Edna Bonacich,
Samuel Bowles, Herbert Gintis, Val Burris, G. William Domhoff, Richard Flacks, Harvey
Molotch, Goran Therborn, and Erik Olin Wright.
Work, Race, and the Sociological Imagination (Heritage of Sociology Series) by Everett
C. Hughes, Lewis A. Coser (Editor)
A collection of 17 papers by second generation American sociologist Hughes (1897-1983)
that speak to work, race and status, and the sociological imagination. Among the titles
are Social Role and the Division of Labor, The Knitting of Racial Groups in Industry, and
Good People and Dirty Work. A substantial introduction outlines Hughes' life and
contribution to the profession. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.
Power of Place: Bringing Together Geographical and Sociological Imaginations by John
A. Agnew, James S. Duncan (Editor)