Sociological imagination


  1. In his essay on the sociological imagination, C Wright Mills asserts the following:
    a. “We have come to know that every individual lives from one generation to the
    next, in some society; that he lives out a biography, and that he lives it out within
    some historical sequence. By the fact of his living he contributes, however
    minutely, to the shaping of this society and to the course of its history, even as he
    is made by society and by its historical push and shove.” P.6
    What does he mean by this statement? How does it begin to explain his concept called
    sociological imagination? What are some other examples of how he defines sociological
    imagination? Please provide an example of sociological imagination while using one of
    the following semester’s readings (On the Run OR The Mark of a Criminal Record).
    How does the author of On the Run OR The Mark of a Criminal Record use sociological
    imagination to explain the social phenomenon that interests them? Is the author’s use of
    sociological imagination convincing? Why or why not? Please provide direct examples
    from the readings and from any real-life examples (as reported in newspapers or
    academic journals) that you already know about.
  2. The readings on urban livelihoods, spatial segregation, and environmental racism tell
    common (and slightly different) stories about people and place in urban settings. Where is
    there similarity across all of these readings? For example, how do people generally seem
    to respond to challenging circumstance(s) in their neighborhoods according to these
    articles? What does challenge or despair look like in these neighborhoods? What are
    similar structural problems in these neighborhoods? Finally, how do people persist and
    thrive in these neighborhoods and how do they fail in these neighborhoods? Why is
    understanding any of this important? Please draw on direct examples from one article out
    of each of the weeks to answer these questions. This means you should use examples
    from a total of three articles. One article from urban livelihoods. One article from spatial
    segregation. One article from environmental racism.
  3. Deviance, unconventional behavior, and underground activities is underexplored in
    mainstream sociology and mainstream urban sociology. However, Terry Willams,
    Michele Foucalt, Saskia Sassen, and Ruth Wilson Gilmore give us some ways to think
    about these social phenomena. Along these lines, what are some examples of deviance,
    unconventional, or non-mainstream that at least two of these authors write about? What
    is deviant, unconventional or non-mainstream about their subject matter? How does their
    writing complicate our conventional understanding of these topics? Why is their
    perspective worth reading? What are some other examples of deviant, unconventional or
    non-mainstream behaviors that are not fully understood in other sociological subject
    matters? How do you propose we better understand those other examples? Please draw on
    direct examples from at least two articles out of the five articles that we have read from
    these authors to answer these questions.

Sample Solution