Introduction to the Sociological Imagination

What you’ll learn to do: define the sociological imagination and apply it in a variety of contexts

A woman stands in the foreground holding a protest sign that reads "Jobs, Education, Healthcare". There are other protestors in the background.

Figure 1. Sociological imagination is making the connection between personal challenges and larger social issues. Occupy Wall Street protestors viewed the difficulty in finding jobs as connected to the larger U.S. social issue of increasing economic inequality. (Photo courtesy of David Shankbone/Wikimedia Commons)

The sociological imagination allows us to grasp the interconnectedness of history and biography. This section will introduce you to C. Wright Mills and his concept of the sociological imagination. The readings and videos will also provide a number of examples for us to explore how the sociological imagination can help us make sense of issues like obesity or the rising cost of college textbooks.


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