The Sociological Imagination:
Mini-Paper 1 In this short paper you will have an opportunity to apply your sociological imagination to everyday items and situations. Your task is to explain the sociological imagination and how it is different than other types of analysis (sociological vs. individualist explanations). After explaining what a sociological perspective is, and particularly what the Sociological Imagination is, you should critically analyze an object/personal problem from a sociological perspective. Your essay should be 3-4 pages long, adhering to stylistic academic standards, and grammatically correct. You should do some research about the topic you analyze, and use full
citations (any format is acceptable, as long as it is consistent).
Question: Analyze a personal problem that impacts your life, using the sociological imagination. In your analysis you should consider the social dimension of this problem and analyze the ways in which social forces, history and culture all contribute to this problem. By understanding your personal problem as a social issue, consider the following questions: What is the historical evolution of this problem? Do other people suffer from it? At what rate? What is the rate among different populations in the US? In other countries? In other times in history? Do race, class, gender, age, and ability play a role in shaping this social phenomenon? Is it embedded in relations of power? Are there people who benefit from it? People who particularly suffer from it? How do social forces shape this problem? How does this problem shape society? What kind of social trends has it created? What types of social relations does it encourage? How do biography, society and history interact in shaping this phenomenon? How does your analysis demonstrate the sociological imagination? Finally, and very importantly, how would you propose to solve this problem? How does your sociological analysis inform your proposed solution? How does your solution differ from a solution informed by an individualist analysis?
Grading Rubric (This is how the professor is going to grade this essay):
( Excellent|Good |Satisfactory|Incomplete or Unsatisfactory)
*Definition of the Sociological Imagination:
o “Making Familiar Strange” and/or “Social Facts” _____
o The connection between Society, History, and Biography _____
o Personal troubles as social issues ____
*Question Yes/No Performance
Choose a personal problem?
Explain why he/she/they chose it
Do other people suffer it? Rate? Different Populations?
Different Countries? Different Time?
Race, Class, Gender, Age, and Ability in the analysis?
Relations of power? Who benefits and lose/suffer?
How it has shaped societies (positive/negative and/or
trends, social relations
Use of biography/society/history in paper
Use of Sociological Imagination
Proposal to solve the problem? Sociological Imagination
vs. Individualist analysis.