For Us to Think Outside the Box, We Have to Use Our Sociological Imagination

What is sociology? What is being a sociologist? Sociologists think a lot, but what about? Thinking like a sociologist means applying analytical ideas to something you have always done without much thought. For us to think outside the box, we have to use our sociological imagination, or the ability to see the connections between our personal experience and the past. Thinking in a sociological state of mind is giving us a different outlook on our ordinary day to a more understanding of the day itself. The imagination takes the unordinary and questions why it is unordinary, because what is ordinary anyway? Or even the opposite, why is something ordinary considered to be ordinary? Thinking like a sociologist can be summed up as questioning what is usually not questioned.

Questioning these simple things could give you a better understanding on why you or other people do certain things for specific reasons. Over time, these can develop a social institution for yourself, or a complex group of interdependent positions that, together, perform a social role and reproduce themselves over time. This could also be classified as a label. For example, the kids who wear black have the name of an “Emo”. Your social institutions, or the stories of how people generally see you as a person develops your social identity. To ruin somesone’s social identity is difficult, considering other people already know them as that person and what they do.

Many of these findings were due to different sociologists and their studies that go back two centuries. Some of these founders included Auguste Comet who invented the “social physics”. He states that society has gone through three stages. First being the theological stage which people turned to religion to get answers. The second stage was the metaphysical stage, explaining that striping away the layers of society will only bring out the natural instincts and basic drives that was once there. The third stage, or the scientific stage. In this stage, we would develop a social physics to identify the scientific laws that govern human behavior. Though Comet came up with this theory, other sociologists though have a lot more credit of their finding with the help of Coments understanding. For example, Karl Marx and Max Weber. Marx looked a lot into culture, social class and religion while Weber looked at others actions.

America is now characterized by the concept of functionalism, or the theory that many social institutions and processes in society has an important function to keep society running. This is true just by looking at our society in America. It seems that people cannot survive without grouping together in different ways. Everyone has a role that keeps society together, which also goes to the theory called organicism. Along with these theories, the conflict theory shows up occasionally, that is when conflicts between competing interests is the basic force of social change and society change in general. There are many other theories out there involving our society that can possibly explain why we are today, but these theories are only theories. They cannot be known for sure since this study is purely thinking.

There is only one society, but this society is made up of many different societies from different groups. Each group is put together to benefit them in some way which forms one society. Sometimes people use the knowledge of what they have to create questions on that topic. For example, comparing Hitler and Mussolini and what they did to get a better understanding as to why they created their society to be that way. Usually a question on a topic can bring more questions. For example, why did Hitler kill so many people? Which can bring up the questions on if he had other knowledge to possess him to do these things?

To conclude, thinking like a sociologist is rather difficult to do. You have to keep your mind open to so many possibilities or how, on why something is done. Getting a better understanding of society is rather difficult as well. Is there true understanding to society? With so many factors and the different theories we may never know, but we can always have a little better understanding if you keep your mind open to different possibilities. Everything is questioned and can be questioned further.

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