According to OpenStax (22), sociological imagination refers to comprehending how one’s past is connected to other peoples’ past and societal structures and history. Crossman (par. 1) attests that it is the practice of thinking ourselves away from the routines of life that we are familiar with and looking at them with critical, fresh eyes. Tracing its roots in the sociologist Mills Wright, sociological imagination is the intense awareness of the relationship between the wider society and experience.
For example, my grandmother would have learned the art of drinking coffee when she met her friends and was dating. During those times, coffee was not just a drink, but it symbolized every day’s social ritual. To them, the social way of taking coffee was more important than the actual act. People understood that when people met to have coffee in a restaurant, they were creating time to meet and chat as opposed to what they were drinking. Crossman (par. 17) finds that drinking and eating are occasions in all societies for social interaction and performing rituals. My mother instilled this in us, even at home. My mother could have coffee before work; we perceived coffee as a daily morning drink. To her, she wanted to start her day feeling alert before going to work, and this way, she would start her day on a positive note, feeling great about herself and impacting people positively at work. She would have learned that coffee could also be used to meet a friend or colleague for a social or business meeting.
In contrast, people take coffee more as a drug than a social ritual. Coffee has caffeine, which stimulates the brain. Therefore, when one feels tired or sleepy, they often make coffee to stay alert and continue their daily activities. Using sociological imagination to look at my parents’ history, I would have learned the aspect of the social ritual of coffee because taking coffee would encourage me to meet more people and interact socially. I would also know that having coffee occasionally could help my daily work activities. This would prevent me from being a caffeine addict.
My favorite sociological perspective on food consumption is conflict theory. This is because the approach brings out the fundamental inequality in a society where technological advancement has influenced farming practices and profit at the expense of food quality. Therefore, understanding the right of people to protect themselves as they intersect with the drive to make a profit from advanced farming methods is essential so that human health is not jeopardized. Besides, many local farmers have been found to produce quality food products. Yet, they face fierce competition in the dynamic business work with the more advanced and big farming giants who embrace seed technology (OpenStax 17).
In conclusion, by studying sociology, my skill is set to benefit understanding social services and how it would benefit a society that is structured differently and unequally. Sociology would help me understand why there is a conflict between the powerful and the powerless and assist in formulating informed decisions that would address challenges such as unemployment and unfair competition in the business market and solve disputes to protect common interests such as shared natural resources like water, land and other natural features like water and minerals.
Crossman, Ashley. Definition of the Sociological Imagination and Overview of the Book. https://www.thoughtco.com/sociological-imagination-3026756
OpenStax (2017). Introduction to Sociology 2e. Texas: Rice University.
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Your authors state: “Studying sociology is beneficial both for the individual and society. By studying sociology,, people learn to think critically about social issues and problems that confront our society. Studying sociology enriches students’ lives and prepares them for careers in an increasingly diverse world. Society benefits because people with sociological training are better prepared to make informed decisions about social issues and take effective action to deal with them.”
1. So, knowing this information, please describe what your authors define as the “sociological imagination.” After you define it, please explain how people fit into society using your family. For example, pick your great-grandmother or great-grandfather and state in a brief paragraph what values they would have learned being born in their time in history. Then, describe the values your grandmother or grandfather would have learned in their time frame. Then describe a few values that your mother or father would have learned growing up in their time frame. Then describe one or two values you would have learned from your parents in your current time and history.
This exercise would show how individuals fit into society and are affected by their “social location” -time and place in history and how the sociological imagination would use a broader view of society to define their values.
2. Read “Farming and Locavores: How Sociological Perspectives Might View Food Consumption” on page 17 of the online textbook chapter 1. What is your favorite sociological perspective on “food consumption”? Please explain in detail.
3. What is your skill set to earn by studying sociology from page 20 of the online textbook chapter 1? Explain in detail.
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