- Reflect on the significance of sociology in your personal experience.
- Specifically examine how the sociological imagination can be applied to help you understand the impact of sociology in your own life.
- Be sure to define sociology, the sociological imagination and social forces (e.g., culture, social structure, socialization or social institutions).
- Reflect on the relationship between the individual and society.
- At the microlevel, identify examples of either individual behaviors or personal experiences that carry significance.
- At the macrolevel, identify examples of either agents of socialization, large secondary groups or formal organizations that shape your individual behavior or personal experiences.
- Reflect on how sociological theory and research can be used to help you understand the relationship between individual and society.
- Which sociological theory (e.g., structural-functionalism, conflict perspective, symbolic-interactionism) can best be used to understand the relationship between individual and society? Why?
- Which research methodology (e.g., quantitative, qualitative) can best be used to understand the relationship between individuals and society? Which specific research methods would you use? Why?
Johnson and Wales University
Significance of Sociology in my Personal Experiences
Sociologists cultivate a mindset through the use of the sociological imagination in order to explain how these individual experiences, together with the challenges they present, shape the larger society in which we function. When it comes to influencing outcomes on any level, having a deeper knowledge of the connection between personal and public concerns can be of great assistance.
You have entered the realm of sociological imagination when you start thinking about a variety of circumstances or actions from perspectives other than your own. Take, for instance, the issue of people living without homes. Some people hold the mindset that homelessness is an individual issue, and that the person who is homeless must have done something to cause it by making poor choices in their life. We are aware, however, that this is not always the case; for many people, homelessness may be the result of an unforeseen sickness, high medical bills, or the loss of their employment. If you were to apply the sociological imagination to the problem of homelessness, you would realize that it is the result of a number of societal forces that might place obligations on individuals.