sociological imagination

(noun) The use of imaginative thought to understand the connections between the forces of society and the personal lives of the individual.

Example: 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.

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  • “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).

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