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A View of Society Through Sociological Imagination

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Sociology is defined as the systematic study of social behavior and human groups. Sociological Imagination is a type of critical thinking used by sociologists to understand the behavior of different groups of people around the world. Sociological Imagination helps us comprehend how problems and situations not only affect our personal lives, but also our society. It also helps sociologists understand how the society we live in affects us throughout our entire life. Using sociological imagination gives us a more vast view on the society. An example of this would be understanding how being on welfare affects not the individual, but the society, and also what societal issues turn people towards welfare. To use sociological imagination in this instance, we would put aside our own opinions and experiences, whether we are on welfare or not, and expand our view on the issue by looking at different societies as a whole.

Manifest function is one of two functions of functionalism. A manifest function is something that everyone knows about, and everyone knows what consequences or rewards they will get for a certain action. A manifest function of high school is to prepare students for college. High school gets children ready for college by teaching time management because there are many more privileges and freedom associated with college. Children will have to manage a heavier workload, sports or clubs, and a social life. This will prepare them for college because they are expected to have good time management skills so they can set their most important priorities first. Everyone is conscious of the main function of high school and they understand what consequences come along with it.

On the other hand, a latent function is something that isn’t openly stated, but everyone knows about it. The manifest function of Valentine’s Day is obviously a day to celebrate with your significant other, while a latent function of Valentine’s Day would be for stores to increase profits on holiday related items such as chocolate and flowers for company and economic purposes. Everyone knows that stores make more money on chocolates on Valentine’s Day, rather than a holiday such as Memorial Day, but stores don’t openly say, “Come to our store to buy chocolates so we can make more money than our competitor this holiday”, they would instead advertise, “Come to our store to buy delicious chocolates to show your significant other how much you care about them this holiday.” A latent function of Valentine’s Day is to boost sales and make Valentine’s Day seem like a day where you should be spending a lot of money to please your significant other.

Dysfunction is something such as an aspect or process that disturbs the stability and system of society. Dysfunction has the possibility to bring out negative or positive things in a society. A dysfunction has the potential to be either latent or manifest. An example of a dysfunction in society is teen pregnancy. Teen pregnancy disrupts society because it gives young girls the image that it is okay to have babies at a very young age. Most people in the U.S today believe you should be an adult when you decide to have children, but when a teenager gets pregnant, it can change that view. Teenage pregnancy disrupts most of society’s view on the typical teenager. Teen mothers are also less likely to graduate from high school and college. Many teen mothers also lack enough money to support a child so they need government assistance to help their family financially. This creates an economic problem. Teen pregnancy is a negative dysfunction in society today.

Cultural Universals are beliefs and practices that are practiced all around the world. Cultural universals are shared everywhere, but they differ in certain ways. Currency is a cultural universal. Everywhere around the world has its own type of money, but they are all different. The U.S. has dollars, Mexico has pesos, many countries in Europe have the Euro, and the U.K. has the pound. Each place has its own form of currency, but each form of money has a different worth. Games are another cultural universal. Everyone around the world has different games they play. People play games in every country around the world, but there are many diverse ways that cultures play their games. What one child may play in the U.S., may seem odd to a person who lives in Japan. Currency and games are ubiquitous, but they vary in different ways.

Each of these terms are very important in the world of sociology. Sociology is a science that looks at groups of people, unlike psychology, which focuses on the individual. Studying sociology broadens a person’s view on society, and helps them look at things in a different light.

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A View of Society Through Sociological Imagination. (2018, July 02). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 22, 2022, from
“A View of Society Through Sociological Imagination.” GradesFixer, 02 Jul. 2018,
A View of Society Through Sociological Imagination. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 22 Jan. 2022].
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