The Sociological Imagination Summary

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In C. Wright Mills, The Sociological Imagination, the author’s main goal is to attempt to reconcile two concepts of social reality: the individual and society. By doing so, Mills challenged the dominant sociological norms and continued by critiquing the basic definitions and terms. The sociological imagination is a concept of being able to “think” for oneself and with that to move away from the familiar routines in our daily lives in order to be able to view them in a new light. He defined the social imagination as the vivid awareness of relationships between experience and the wider society. This is the ability to see social things and how the influence and/or interact with each other. Mills is criticizing the dominant sociological perspective of his day.…show more content…
Empiricism there by becomes, paradoxically, “abstract”. Abstracted empiricism is the practice of gathering sociological data for one’s own sake without developing a theoretical framework that would give that data meaning and value. The views expressed in, for example, an opinion survey, become detached and free-floating empirical facts which can only be understood as the attitudinal residues of individual behavior that has been ripped out of its social context. Symbolic interactionists, with their focus on taking the actor's definition and conducting in situ research, and more generally qualitative sociology, would develop these embryonic ideas in the 60s and 70s and beyond. He argued that neither Grand Theory without research that tests its presumptions, nor 'Abstracted Empiricism’, that is research that isn't guided by theory, were useful in sociology. But that the two should constantly be used in tandem with each other: the Theories to provide the concepts for the research questions that then should be used to test the current

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