What is Sociological Imagination? Well, Sociological Imagination is a phrase that came from C. Wright Mills. He described the sociological imagination as a way of thinking outside the box. It allows us to “think ourselves away” (Mills) from what you or others may think is normal because that's how society sees it. It’s a way of thinking beyond just yourself and society’s norms, its a way of learning about a concept or routine by making connections from past and present and developing a more greater perspective on life.
Say for example television and entertainment. Television has completely taken over most of our lives. Whether it's only for a short period, or all day long, some of us like to watch the news, sports, or favorite movie or tv show. You probably watch it on your tv at home, a cafe, on your phone, a tablet or even a laptop. We also have our reasons as to why we watch tv. Some of us watch because we want to escape from reality, or to be informed on whats going on in the world, or your neighborhood, sometimes we watch tv because we want a good laugh out of something, or we want something action-packed, dramatic, sad, or romantic or maybe you want to learn how to cook. I love watching tv because I like to escape from reality or any stress. I also love the drama, mystery, romance, and suspense; The characters and the storylines. Sometimes I find myself rooting for the good characters and even the bad ones. We all have different reasons as to why we watch tv. Also, television and entertainment have evolved and impacted our lives in many different ways. Anthony Giddens says that “In a media-dominated age, Baudrillard says, the meaning is created by the flow of images, as in TV programs. Much of our world has become a sort of make-believe universe in which we are responding to media images rather than to real persons or places”(Giddens 18). In a social perspective, Giddens statement by Baudrillard could also be another reason as to why we watch tv. Some of us tend to become so attached to tv and media, sometimes we forget to communicate with real people who aren’t on tv. I can personally say for myself that I have found myself in this kind of situation. Sometimes I find myself getting caught up with tv for hours and forget to go outside or text my friends back. This behavior can either reflect the society in a good or bad way.
Now from a sociological imaginative historic perspective, television and entertainment have evolved in so many ways throughout history. Back then people had to go out to watch some kind of show such as opera, or boxing, or any source of entertainment, then there was the early 1800’s, where we had the invention of the first black and white motion picture film that was displayed in public places such as theaters or outdoor places for everyone to see. Then among the next upcoming years, there were projectors, then the television was invented, and color, and high definition flat screen tv's, and now electronic devices where we can watch anything, at any places at any time. Isn’t it crazy how much things have changed!? “In what period have so many people been so totally exposed at so fast a pace to such earthquakes of change? Americans have not known such catastrophic changes as have the men and women of other societies is due to historical facts that are now quickly becoming 'merely history.' The history that now affects every individual in world history” (The Promise 1). Mills describes how drastic things can change so fast along time and how much of an impact it has on society. This perfectly incorporates the idea of how fast and crazy television and entertainment has changed over time.
Television, entertainment, and the media have become such a huge part of society. It has consumed peoples lives, made peoples careers, and has also shaped our minds and imaginations as we grew up. If it weren’t for history’s invention, what would we be doing right now? Reading books or the local newspaper, or listen to the radio? Who knows?. If it weren’t for the creation of television and entertainment, society would not be where it is today. Kids can look up to their favorite hero and aspire to one day be like them, people can see themselves being represented on tv because they have something in common, whether its the color of your skin, your culture, gender or sexual orientation. Because of this creation, people all over the world can come together and watch something. Whether you're with your parents and siblings or your significant other. You can either go to movies, or go see a live show, or just sit back and watch something on your tv or phone. There are just so many ways we can connect to this kind of technology. And there are many reasons as to why we watch what we watch. When we think from a sociological imagination, we can come to a more greater understanding of why certain things impact society in such a huge way. When we start to think about something by incorporating the past and present, we start to develop a greater understanding and how it has impacted peoples lives and how it has shaped society all over the world.