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The Importance of Sociological Imagination for Society Improvement

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A sociological imagination “is the ability to see the relationship between individual experiences and the larger society.” Sociological imagination helps us think how we experience as our personal problems. Some of these personal problems include homelessness, domestic violence, addiction, unemployment, obesity, etc. These are all common examples of social issues we all share and experience. As sociologist C. Wright Mills talks about in Sociology: In our times, people are constantly comparing to others daily life via social media, such as twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. These internet sites reflect how we seem quite interested what others do or think with their personal life and what goes on in a larger social world. Mills goes on to continue explaining on how we as people, contribute to the shaping of society and its history during our lifetime. Where we can go on to determine our personal problems, to societal (social) problems. Sociological imagination is the key to helping us as people understand the social issues we encounter and use that to help us improve society instead of misjudging.

Student debt is a huge social issue in today’s society and many people are becoming more vocal about how big the issue is becoming. Let’s narrow it down first to a more personal problem. A student wants to further their education and continue their studies at a university. Due to financial problems, this student cannot afford college therefore is now finding themselves facing student loans. Upon graduating they are now facing student debt from the student loans they borrowed to help fund his/her education and not only that but stress to accompany with that debt because they are unsure of how they will pay off the great amount of school debt they are in now.

Viewing this at a larger scale or as Mills describes it “public issue” it is now affecting a larger number of people and often require a solution at a more societal level. If we take society now there are many college students that face this problem of going into college not being able to afford it and catch themselves being drowned with student debt upon graduating. According, to Copeland, the percentage of those with student debt has increased, more than double from 10.5% in 1992 to 22.3% in 2016. More than half of those in college debt are under thirty-five years old. According, to Kendall, Sociology: In our times, the essentials, most issues that start off as a personal issue that later develop to become a more public issue often lead to suicide. Although suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the world not every personal issue has to lead to suicide. This is where sociological imagination steps in and we as society/people in this world can make a change and come up with new idea of what can we do to have more preventative measures and offer our help to those in need. Where we think to ourselves away from what we would normally think and look at them at a whole new perspective. Sociological can be viewed as the new awareness that we need in this world for the relationship between a personal experience one may be experiencing and society as a whole (public issue).

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