Sociological Imagination

Sociological Imagination

Definition of Sociological imagination and its importance

Wright Mills of Waco Tx. coined the term sociological imagination from one of his works which means the use of imaginative thought to gain knowledge on the association between societal issues and individual problems. Sociological imagination allows one to intuitively – analytically grasp relationships between great historic shifts in nations, institutions, public awareness, and the lives lived by the average citizen (Mill, 1959). Employing sociological imagination in our everyday life helps us comprehend our lives and try to improve them by enabling us to look at the world and come up with many things concerning our lives and how we can improve them. First, we examine the experiences that define our personalities including our social activities and emotions. Through sociological imagination, we can then understand and acknowledge the people around us (McIntyre, 2014). It can also allow us to learn about each other, connect our issues with the social problems and come up with effective ways of solving these issues.

How Sociological Imagination Can Help Today’s Families

Mills’ sociological imagination allows us to see the relationship between family events and the events in society (Mills, 1959). It helps in examining the interactions between family members on daily basis and how they reach a mutual understanding concerning different situations. Nonetheless, it enables us to understand how families perform different functions within the society such as providing practical and emotional support for its members, socializing children, providing members with social identity, and regulating sexual reproduction (Coontz, 1997). The power of social imagination lies in how people can learn how to differentiate between the family and social levels. Once people do that, they can make family-based choices that serve their families the best despite the more complex social problems they face. As the institution of family continues changing the concept of sociological imagination will remain useful since it has been there for many years. This concept will continue helping families to understand their problems even as societal problems become more complex.

How Sociological Imagination teaches about Academic Integrity

Sociological imagination which means both personal troubles and public issues in academic integrity. Both are collective interests or values felt to be threatened. In relation to personal troubles, academic integrity is about producing solutions from individual trials or experiments and not copying or plagiarising from others’ work (Trautner & Borland, 2013). It is a must because ethical values get inculcated at the personal level in every individual and that will him or her a better citizen in the days to follow. In relation to public issues, academic integrity will determine the people we become in society and how effective we can be. Academic integrity is being honest and fair with yourself and others about your academic achievements and accomplishments. Individuals would want their doctors, lawyers, accountants, nurses, and teachers to be honest- in other words, dishonesty breeds ineptitude.

An explanation of the life I had in terms of sociological imagination

Sociological imagination is one’s understanding of the relevance of sociology to one’s life, if not its relevance to society in general (McIntyre, 2014). It is my story of how I grew up, the job and education plan I have, and my future health outlook.  As a child, I was engrossed in reading about many aspects of life. I had responsible parents and received all the necessary things I needed in life. However, I felt like I needed to try out new things. Throughout school, I always thought that sociologists look at the bigger picture and how people came to be the way are and how they interacted. I also learned that they understand the social environment and how people’s relationships came about in the first place. My sociological imagination blossomed because I finally knew in studying sociology to help me understand the complexity of our lives, the social problems, and how we can come up with effective ways to solve them in my future job. My future health should also be important to enable me to live longer to solve the problems in society.




















Coontz, S. (1997). The Way We Really Are: Coming to Terms with America’s Changing Families. New York: Division of HarperCollins Publishers.

McIntyre, J, L. (2014). The Practical Skeptic: Core Concepts in Sociology (Sixth Edition). New York: McGraw-Hill Publishing.

Mills, W, C. (1959). The Promise. In The Sociological Imagination. New York: Oxford University Press.

Trautner, N, M., & Borland, E. (2013). Using the Sociological Imagination to Teach about Academic Integrity. Teaching Sociology46(1), 12-24.




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