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Theory as a Bridge between the Personal and the Public Essay

In his seminal work called “Sociological Imagination”, C. Wright Mills attempts to shed light on the processes and patterns through which individual troubles and public issues are closely related. For Mill, sociological analysis is the key to understanding the dialectics between personal troubles and public issues. II. What Constitutes the Sociological Analysis? The epistemological premise of sociological enquiry is based on its ability to understand the concrete nature of personal troubles in the abstract nature of public issues.

In other words, sociological analysis in its ontological position is an abstraction of the overarching phenomena. According to Mill, sociological imagination is constituted by the ability to see through the core of the social and the soul of the personal and the complex interactions between them, while without being blinded by any. Based on this idea, Mills (2000) points out that “the most fruitful distinction with which the sociological imagination works is between ‘the personal troubles of the milieu’ and ‘the public issues of social structure”.

As an individual, one would experience his/her problems as personal but such problems still may well derived from the general problems from within the society. Therefore, sociological imagination has to give its due to both the larger social forces and the individuals and groups. It is the mutually interactionist nature of both social forces and individuals that matters. Behaviors are not only shaped by the social forces, but also individual actions too influence the course societal dynamics.

III. Conclusion Sociological imagination is always interactive. It demands a balance of approach in looking at the specific problems of individuals as they often closely assembled to the wider social context. On the other hand, the social context too is necessarily linked to the actions and behaviors of individuals and groups. Reference Mills, C. W. (2000). The Sociological Imagination. 40th Ed. New York: Oxford.


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