Sociological Imagination and Its Importance


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Sociological imagination is the capacity to be able to understand the relation between the history of society and the life of the individual. This helps to understand the rational but complex monologues of our own lives and the part we play in world history as individuals. It’s the ability to understand how we are being shaped by our social environment and how we are almost simultaneously playing a part in shaping society itself.

Why do We Need a Sociological Imagination?

We need a sociological imagination as it enables us to comprehend the historical imagery and the connection between our inner life and the external environment. It gives us a good grasp of our social position in society, and as a result, our perception is changed. By allowing us to make sense of our reality, this compels us to act upon and confront the public issues we face. As C. Wright Mills quoted “in many ways it is a terrible lesson; in many ways, it is a magnificent one”.

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Some of the personal problems that Mills identifies are unemployment and sets of opportunities offered to the individual. Marriage when it collapses due to social expectation or when war breaks out, and the personal stand one should take, such honour or how to profit from it or how to climb ranks.

The Questions of Sociological Imagination

The three consistent questions of the sociological imagination are:

  • How is this society formulated altogether? What are the principal elements and how do they interact with one another?
  • As a group of individuals, what position are we awed to take in this narrative of humankind? What are the critical pivots by which society is moving? What has been placed at the core of it and what do we make of this as for the progress of society entirely? What are the key demarcations between the current eras and the past ones? And by which specific means are we making History?
  • In this current social time, what kind of women and men are the ones that succeed? As well as that, what is the heterogenetic that succeeds in the current social climate? How are we affected by the traits, characteristics and aspects of the society we try to understand?

My Personal Experience

Around a year and a half ago, I decided to remove myself from the majority of social media platforms. This resulted in my means of communication being restricted, and I became unfamiliar with the current trends in society. My social life was almost immediately affected as I struggled to stay relevant. However, my social skills have drastically improved as I am now forced to communicate with people on a more personal level. This has strengthened my relationships with these individuals and allowed me to feel more connected with the outside world. When looking at things from a historical point of view, over the past 20 years, it can be argued that social media has created more polarization than connections. Resulting in more line demarcation rather than bringing people together. This seems like a strange paradox considering that we live in a world that is more connected than what it has ever been.

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