The sociological imagination is the ability to see how social factors and structures influence our lives socially and individually when we live in a society. It is basically the connection between an individual and society on a whole. Our social relationships are divided between micro and macro level, and sociological imagination helps us to understand the dilemma and connection between the two divisions has between each other. As a social being we are bound to take part in the social positions we hold in a society and fulfil those duties accordingly. Social imagination has played an important role in making individuals participate in their roles and duty in a society.
When we live in a society, we have to mold ourselves with the norms and ideologies of the society we are born and brought up to. Socialization is what connects us with the people and it’s norms of the society. There are many key agents in effective socialization. Such as - family, school, peer groups, mass media, ethnicity and religion. These social elements influence our lives on a border scale if we look closely. For instance, ethnicity and religion of a person can impact their micro and macro level social relations on a larger scale. I myself have faced many stereotypes of the society in the past to till now because of certain sociological standard. When I was on a connecting flight to USA in 2019, I was looked down, humiliated, interrogated and treated differently than other on boarders in the airport only because I was a brown Muslim girl. My ethnicity and religion were considered a threat to the airport security. Therefore, the higher authorities from the airport judged me based on a wrong categorization of the society of today. If we go through many news articles on colorism and islamophobia, we can see that thousands of people are being mistreated in airports every other day or in any social gatherings because of their ethnicity and religion like me. For example, I read in a news article that a young girl and her mother were being treated differently and shouted at than the other fairer skin people in the airport. As a result, the little girl developed a fear of airport security in general. Would a white person be treated the same way as the rest of the minority at a foreign airport? No, they would not, instead they would be treated like royalties and more specifically like humans. However, was it right to do the racist profiling? No, it was not. Nonetheless, the security checking was not the issue, it is the government policies and institutions based on fear and misconception, as well as the history has made the social relations between humans so complicated in present-day. Racial profiling and certain typecast has always been there in terms of various social concepts. Our history of socialization has made social relations and constructions biased based on gender, race, ethnicity, class and religion over the years. Furthermore, the burden of our history has to be carried throughout all generations.
However, we have to clear our minds from every type of stereotypes, expectations, opinions and claims to have a better understanding of what needs to be done for a clean society. We have to put ourselves in other shoes and experience a different life to be more receptive of our decisions and concepts as a member of a society. Basically, we have to think in an alternative point of view to change the social phenomenon. This is when mass media comes into the view, mass media creates a bridge between reality and perceptions of the society. It is because of the media we get to see the reality of sociological relations amid the society we live in currently. If not for the media, the world would not have been able to see the social injustice people face in every other sector around the world.
Social imagination has helped us to make sense of our own lives and responsibilities as a social being. Nevertheless, it is the 21st century now and instead of going backwards, people should adapt to the new changes of society and accept every human as equal. If the society does not evolve through time, unfortunately there would not be any escape from the stereotypes as well.