C. Wright Mill’s concept sociological imagination. Define and explain C. Wright Mill’s concept sociological imagination using the text book as your scholarly source of information.
2. Provide an example of how an individual experience can be understood more broadly by using a sociological imagination.
3. Cite the text at least once by using ONLY the information provided in these instructions, and provide a reference citation according to ASA method of citation. You can either quote the text directly (word for word) or indirectly (taking an idea from the source and putting it into your own words).
4. At the end of your essay, make a heading called “References” and provide the reference for the source you used (ie. The text) using the ASA method of citation.
Little, W. (2016). Introduction to Sociology: 2nd Canadian Edition. Retrieved from
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C. Wright Mill’s concept sociological imagination
Although the scale of sociological studies and the methods of carrying them out are different, the sociologists involved in them all have something in common. Each of them looks at society using what pioneer sociologist C. Wright Mills (1916-1962) called the sociological imagination, sometimes also referred to as the “sociological lens” or “sociological perspective.” In a sense, this was Mills’ way of addressing the dilemmas of the macro/micro divide in sociology. Mills defined sociological imagination as how individuals understand their own and others’ lives in relation to history and social structure (1959/2000). It is the capacity to see an individual’s private troubles in the context of the broader social processes that structure them. This enables the sociologist to examine what Mills called “personal troubles of milieu” as “public issues of social structure,” and vice versa.
Mills reasoned that private troubles like being overweight, being unemployed, having marital difficulties, or feeling purposeless or depressed can be purely personal in nature. It is possible for them to be addressed and understood in terms of personal, psychological, or moral attributes — either one’s own or those of the people in one’s immediate milieu. In an individualistic society like our own, this is in fact the most likely way that people will regard the issues they confront: “I have an addictive personality;” “I can’t get a break in the job market;” “My husband is unsupportive,” etc.
However, if private troubles are widely shared with others, they indicate that there is a common social problem that has its source in the way social life is structured. At this level, the issues are not adequately understood as simply private troubles. They are best addressed as public issues that require a collective response to resolve."
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By looking at individuals and societies and how they interact through this lens, sociologists are able to examine what influences behavior, attitudes, and culture. By applying systematic and scientific methods to this process, they try to do so without letting their own biases and preconceived ideas influence their conclusions."