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Sociological Imagination Applied to Real Life Essay

Dr. Philip Zimbardo conducted the SPE (Stanford Prison Experiment ) 1971. Funded by the US Navy and the Marine Corps a team of researchers and the then psychology professor Dr. Philip Zimbardo investigated the causes of conflict between prisoners and military guards. Though the experiment was abruptly stopped after only six days it went beyond Dr. Zimbardo’s expectations.

All of the twenty-four male students selected to be assinged random roles of either a a guard or a prisoner adapted to their roles, including Dr. Zimbardo in his role as superintendent. During this short lived experiment prisoners were subjected to various forms of psychological torture. In conculsion, Dr. Zimbardo’s study demonstrated both obedience and impressionability within social, instiutional and ideology support. In other words, even an ordinary person’s situations, rather than thei r personality, will prevoke their behavior. Social imagination determins the relationship between an ordinary person’s life and to a much larger scope of social forces. If you trace the root cause of a problem you can find how the social issue or problem developed; directly or indirectly.

Example: Suppose, there is a pirsoner who has had three strikes against him and now must serve a lifetime in prison. He tried his best to get a job but no one would hire him. Rent is due, the baby needs diapers and formula, and the engine in his car blew. The burden of all these problems drives him to engage in illegal activities. When you analyze this situation you may concluded that him took the easy road instead of trying harder to get a job. However, when you analyze using the sociolgical imagination prespective a much larger scope of social forces is then revealed. Such as:

The economic breakdown caused an astornomical growth in the unemployment rate reguardless of your educational background.

Lack of regulating SS, SSI, and Welfare funding has led to a decrease of funding for born American citizens and an increase in funding for illegal alliens.

The auto industry has made it impossiable for the average person to buy parts and fix their vehicals in their own backyards.

All of which has had a direct impact on not only his life, but the lives of each family member as well. Yes, we could blame his character if the amount of men facing the same situation was low. But when there is a significant increase in the number of men facing the same situation you must declare it to be a public or social problem primarily due to the lack of government policies when comes to employment, decrease of funding for born American citizens and an increase in funding for illegal alliens, and the greed of the auto industry.

Perhaps, before you lop your opinion and judge a book by its cover or when you’re facing a problem you should examine the sociolgical imagination prespective first. Because its use can aide in finding promissing, longterm, or permanent solutions to some of the problems you may be facing today.


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