The Term Sociological Imagination was discovered and first used by an American Sociologist named Wright Mills in 1959, hence the term Mills Sociological Imagination. The term “sociological imagination” is commonly used to describe the different types of principles and insights that can be learned from sociology. Sociological Imagination can usually be seen in the introductory parts of text books that have something to do with sociology and in some cases, psychology and anthropology. The main objective of books that feature a sociological imagination section in their introductory chapters is to be able to give an overview of sociology and how it can be relevant in our everyday life.
Sociology is defined as the science that delves into the internal modes of social groups, their associated processes that tend to affect their forms by way of altering them or maintaining relations between groups. Social Imagination on the other hand is the ability to think beyond the immediate situations that surround individuals in an interactive context. So basically, sociological imagination enables a more flexible approach in studying and applying sociological principles while sociology tends to be the more rigid approach that is based on the past and present sociological theories and principles. Even so, sociology forms the foundational framework of Mills’ Sociological Imagination.
Social Issues and Problems
A Social issue, otherwise known as a social problem, is something that could have a direct or an indirect impact on not a single person but a whole population’s personal lives, activities, and interactions. A social issue could be easily distinguished from other issues such as economic and political issues simply because the nature of these problems is entirely different. Even so, these problems could be interconnected. A political issue can have direct and indirect effects on society and that effect could later on be identified as another social issue, and so on and so forth. The same principle applies on other types of issues—political issues, international issues, regional issues, etc. This paper will focus on the social issue of drug abuse. Drug abuse has affected, an in reality, ruined a lot of people’s lives. It has also resulted into the destruction of families and caused an increase in the number of orphans. Drug dependent abusers who have a family to take care of were convicted of drug-related crimes. These drug abusers get incarcerated for several years most of the time, and in some cases, for a lifetime. Nothing would then be left to provide for the family they left because of the charges against the convicted drug abuser. The issue of drug abuse is certainly a serious sociological issue. It has caused countless unnecessary deaths, and destruction of lives. Unfortunately, drug abusers who happen to be influential people in the society use their power to escape the consequences of their actions while those who happen to be not so influential suffer. That is really unfair because no one should be exempted. Everyone can be a subject in the eyes of justice.
Sociological Theory—Social Conflict Theory
Perhaps the most applicable theory for the social issue we have just identified and describe would be the Social Conflict Theory. The Social Conflict Theory is one of the theories that were developed based on Karl Marx’s ideologies. It suggests that individuals and groups from different social classes within the society have varying amounts of resources that could either be material and non-material and that those with significantly more resources use their power against the groups with less power. In a way, this states that for an individual or a group to have power, they have to have a certain amount of resources that will give them the ability to leverage more competitively. They less powerful ones would simply be exploited by the more powerful ones, unless they could have a certain amount of resources that will give them the ability to leverage. Most of the time, the method of exploitation involves money. However, there are also other methods of exploitation such as exploitation by the use of brute force, political and police influence.
Causes and Consequences
The two main causes of Drug abuse are Depression and Anxiety. This was according to a recent statistics by the World Health Organization. According to WHO, most people who suffer from uncontrollable levels of drug dependency show multiple signs of Depression and Anxiety. There are of courses other causes of Drug abuse such as money but these two are the most incidental. The two most frequent consequences of Drug abuse are incarceration and the destruction of a family.
How to Bring About Change
Counseling is by far the most proven and effective method that could hopefully, bring about change. This can be an effective intervention for those who are at risk of abusing drugs and also for those who are already suffering from drug abuse. Counseling is usually done by having a psychological and/or sociological expert talks to the patient, set a goal, and then help each other reach that goal.
My knowledge of sociological imagination has helped me identify the different angles of the social issue that I have chosen. Had I only referred to my notes and knowledge in Sociology, I would not have thought of the idea that drug abuse causes the social issues such as injustices between the more powerful and less powerful ones in the society—specifically when those who are not so influential get convicted of their crimes while those that are influential get away with it. It enabled me to think outside the box and because of that, I was able to learn and discover more things about sociology. I was also able to apply the different principles and theories I learned from sociology in a real and socially-relevant scenario.