This exercise provides the opportunity to more fully explain the concept of the “sociological imagination” and how it helps us to understand our experiences and society.
Developing a sociological analysis of society often involves developing the capacity to “strange the familiar” or look at the taken for granted world around us from a fresh perspective. One of the concepts that helps us do that is the “Sociological Imagination.”
Please write an essay that includes the following components.
1) What the Sociological Imagination is.
2) What role it plays in sociological analysis.
3) Choose an everyday item (examples may be: a can of pet food,inserts for women’s high-heeled shoes, a bag of Halloween candy, a child’s toy, bottled water, earbuds, anti-aging cream, Axe Body Spray, the list is endless…).
4) Use the concept of the sociological imagination to explain this item. What do you need to know about this particular society, this particular point in history and the individuals within this society to understand this item? What does this item tell us about this society? About ourselves?
5) Finally, your answer should include a description of sociological analysis differs from “common sense” ways of knowing. What sets it apart from informal conversations with friends, your opinion or interactions on talk radio?
Your essay should reflect an understanding of sociological imagination by being able to place an everyday item within a broader social context. For example, perhaps you choose to focus on these pink and blue hangers. Or even gender reveal smoke bombs.You might first think, “Why do these exist? What do they tell us about society?” You could construct your essay around gender norms, and why we feel a need to distinguish between male and female. You can talk about gender socialization, or how we learn about the gender binary, and how these types of product reify those distinctions.