Home > S Words > sociological imagination

sociological imagination

Definition of Sociological Imagination

(noun) The use of imaginative thought to understand the connections between the forces of society and the personal lives of individuals; when history meets biography.

Example of Sociological Imagination

  • Watching a documentary about Jazz, the Civil Rights Movement, or the history of baseball and putting yourself into the mindset of the time and place to better understand the lives of the people depicted in the film.

Etymology of Sociological Imagination

Sociological Imagination Pronunciation

  • IPA Pronunciation
    • American English
      • /ˈˌsoʊsiəˈlɑdʒək(ə)l ᵻˌmædʒəˈneɪʃ(ə)n/
      • /ˈˌsoʊʃ(i)əˈlɑdʒək(ə)l ᵻˌmædʒəˈneɪʃ(ə)n/
    • British English
      • /ˌsəʊʃ(ɪ)əˈlɒdʒᵻkl ᵻˌmadʒᵻˈneɪʃn/
      • /səʊsɪəˈlɒdʒᵻkl ᵻˌmadʒᵻˈneɪʃn/
  • Syllabification: (so·ci·o·log·i·cal i·mag·i·na·tion)

Usage Note

  • Plural: sociological imaginations

Related Quotation

  • “The sociological imagination allows us to identify the links between our personal lives and the larger social forces of life—to see that what is happening to us immediately is a minute point at which our personal lives and society intersect” (Hughes and Kroehler 2008:8).

Related Videos

Additional Information

Related Terms


Reference

Hughes, Michael, and Carolyn J. Kroehler. 2008. Sociology: The Core. 8th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill.

Works Consulted

Andersen, Margaret L., and Howard Francis Taylor. 2011. Sociology: The Essentials. 6th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Brinkerhoff, David, Lynn White, Suzanne Ortega, and Rose Weitz. 2011. Essentials of Sociology. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Brym, Robert J., and John Lie. 2007. Sociology: Your Compass for a New World. 3rd ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Delaney, Tim, and Tim Madigan. 2015. The Sociology of Sports: An Introduction. 2nd ed. Jefferson, NC: McFarland.

Ferrante, Joan. 2011a. Seeing Sociology: An Introduction. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Ferrante, Joan. 2011b. Sociology: A Global Perspective. 7th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Ferris, Kerry, and Jill Stein. 2010. The Real World: An Introduction to Sociology. 2nd ed. New York: Norton.

Griffiths, Heather, Nathan Keirns, Eric Strayer, Susan Cody-Rydzewski, Gail Scaramuzzo, Tommy Sadler, Sally Vyain, Jeff Bry, Faye Jones. 2016. Introduction to Sociology 2e. Houston, TX: OpenStax.

Henslin, James M. 2012. Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. 10th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Kendall, Diana. 2011. Sociology in Our Times. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Kimmel, Michael S., and Amy Aronson. 2012. Sociology Now. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Kornblum, William. 2008. Sociology in a Changing World. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Macionis, John, and Kenneth Plummer. 2012. Sociology: A Global Introduction. 4th ed. Harlow, England: Pearson Education.

Marsh, Ian, and Mike Keating, eds. 2006. Sociology: Making Sense of Society. 3rd ed. Harlow, England: Pearson Education.

Ravelli, Bruce, and Michelle Webber. 2016. Exploring Sociology: A Canadian Perspective. 3rd ed. Toronto: Pearson.

Schaefer, Richard. 2013. Sociology: A Brief Introduction. 10th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Shepard, Jon M. 2010. Sociology. 11th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Shepard, Jon M., and Robert W. Greene. 2003. Sociology and You. New York: Glencoe.

Stewart, Paul, and Johan Zaaiman, eds. 2015. Sociology: A Concise South African Introduction. Cape Town: Juta.

Stolley, Kathy S. 2005. The Basics of Sociology. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Thompson, William E., and Joseph V. Hickey. 2012. Society in Focus: An Introduction to Sociology. 7th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Tischler, Henry L. 2011. Introduction to Sociology. 10th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Cite the Definition of Sociological Imagination

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “sociological imagination.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved October 15, 2019 (https://sociologydictionary.org/sociological-imagination/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

sociological imagination. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/sociological-imagination/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “sociological imagination.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed October 15, 2019. https://sociologydictionary.org/sociological-imagination/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“sociological imagination.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 15 Oct. 2019. <https://sociologydictionary.org/sociological-imagination/>.