The Promise of Sociology

Discussion Board: The Promise of Sociology 2 2 unread replies. 2 2 replies. According to Mills, what is the promise of sociology? Be sure to put your response in your own words, do not copy and paste from the article. According to Mills, what are the differences between troubles and issues? Give an example of each and explain how it fits as an example.  Mills argues that “…the individual can understand [their] own experience and gauge [their] own fate only by locating [themselves] within [their] time period, then [they] can know [their] own chances in life by becoming aware of those of all individuals in [their] circumstances.” What does he mean? Apply this to some aspect of your own life. Remember, you have to post your direct response and reply to the post of at least one of your classmates.  You can find the article in the week one module and attached to this post. post from classmate: THE PROMISE OF SOCIOLOGY:  The promise of sociological imagination enables people to comprehend biography and history as well as the connections between the two in a society’s structure. This imagination is more than just a concept based on theory; rather, it is a promise that allows people to grasp their place in a wider social and historical background. Mills identified troubles as personal challenges meaning that they were a private matter whereas issues were depicted as more public; linked to the historical and institutional probabilities of a society’s social structure. Troubles or private problems usually affect an individual and the scope of their immediate connection to other people. For example, when only one individual amongst many loses his/her job then this becomes personal trouble (unemployment). The people who are directly affected by this are perhaps those who depended on this individual’s source of income. In this scenario, the individual may be typically blamed for his personal failings. Issues or public issues are beyond an individual’s personal control as well as the scope of his/her inner life. Issues are more rooted in society’s structure rather than on a personal level. For example, by using the same concept of unemployment but with a much larger range; when more than one person is unemployed say a quarter or half the population of those working in a particular then this becomes an issue. This means that the solution towards such a scenario may not be found by applying the range of chances available to any one individual. Mills’ argument that “…the individual can understand his own experience and gauge his own fate only by locating himself within his period, that he can know his own chances in life by becoming aware of those of all individuals in his circumstances…” can be a great lesson. Perhaps he means that we are not able to comprehend man’s limits when applying them to his capacity for pain, pleasurable brutality, and even his will to strive. However, based on our own experiences and learning about the history of other people’s experiences; our own nature is quite broad. We learn that each individual from every generation; past or present, has contributed to shaping society’s structure whether in a large or small manner; despite being influenced by society and by its historical “push and shove”. Life as we know it; is an intricate game in which no one really comprehends the rules; no one really knows their respective future and very few know what they want to do in this ‘game’. Very few individuals can even begin to know how to alienate their emotions from how society has ‘made’ them. By applying this argument to aspects of my own life; I presume that we all have a part to play in shaping society no matter how minute. This very influence we create on society’s structure will soon be part of a historical sequence as the next generation tags along. In retrospect; there are moments in my life when I did not really know what I was doing or why I was doing it since I followed society’s norm; “….go to school…get a job…get a car…get a house…” No one really explained to me what happens after cause they lived by the same norm and they also did not know what followed after. I had this sudden realization that I would end up missing out on the subtle things that made life beautiful and worthwhile. It was a good thing that I realized this early enough to change my major in University to something I actually liked without the pressure of abiding by the norm created by society’s framework”…go to school…get a job…get a car…get a house…” and actually enjoy the simple things life has to offer. SOURCE: The Promise of Sociology by C.WRIGHT MILLS.

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