The sociological imagination is the quality of the mind that helps to understand the relationship between the individual circumstances and larger social forces (1). It is the way to look at the society from different perspectives. Along with nature, nurture also plays an important role in shaping our behavior and personality. Likewise, the social factors have shaped my personality and behavior in the Australian society and making me in what I am. As Australia is a multicultural country, many migrant communities come and settle in the country and bring their food, culture and lifestyle practices that gets absorbed with the mainstream Australian culture. After settling in Australia, my self-image and personality was shaped by the society.
Many social factors influenced my way of thinking and making me today in what I am in the present Australian society. My self-concept was built through the perspectives of others and it shifted my perspective through the societal lens from the social imagination’s perspective. The sociological imagination helped me to grasp the history, biography and relations that make up the Australian society. The sociological imagination helped me take into account the perspectives of the native people, how they act and my daily experiences while interacting with them (2). My perspective shifted from most impersonal and innate behavior to the way the people and the society accept us. The people and the society as a whole played an important role in shaping my perspective and my individuality after settling down in Australia.
There are various social factors that shaped my personality and behavior in the present Australian society. My interaction with the other people in my college and the relationships I have taken affected my individual social factors of personality. The lifestyle of the Australian people, their religion, belief systems, traditions and culture changed over time and the social group experiences influenced my personality. The Australian culture shaped my personality as I learnt the manner to live, learn and behave in the society which acted as an important social factor in shaping my personality. The group experiences and contact with others affected my personality and I molded my personality according to the daily social life. I became confident, independent-minded and unorthodox in my thinking. Therefore, the sociological imagination helped me to view my own world through the lens of the society in a way an outsider would view me in the present Australian society. It greatly influenced me and shaped my position in the Australian society as I am.
The sociological imagination is defined as the vivid awareness of the relationship between the personal experiences and the wider society. It is the ability of a person to connect their personal experiences to the society on a large extent. The past experiences, personal lived experiences in context to the wide social forces and connect their personal issues to the workings within the society (3). The societal causes enable an individual to understand one’s biography linked to the society. The outlook of the society tries to drive one’s thinking away from the personal day-to-day life to a wider societal context. The personal experiences like what we do have social outcomes and its understanding is the way to define sociological imagination. The actions of a person are shaped by the situation that one is in, personal beliefs and values and the people’s way of behavior that are around us.
This shows that we examine our situations in relation to the social outcomes. This can be better explained in context to the sociological imagination that it is the quality of one’s mind that is understood in terms of the interplay between the individual and its society. The societal outcomes are shaped by actions that include social norms, a person’s motives and gains from the actions and most importantly, the place from where the person is connected with in context to time period, country or the associated people (4).
The sociological imagination provides the power to connect the personal problems to the public issues. Through the lens of the society, sociology explains that people connect their personal experiences and behavior to the societal issues as we believe that our personality is shaped by the social forces and societal structures (5). The cultural, historical, structural and critical factors influence our life experiences and we relate them to the wider societal contexts. The personal experiences of the people are influenced by the social interactions in which people learn the cultural norms and society rules (6). Hence, these social interactions regulate our behavior and the associated life experiences conform our position and belonging in the norms and culture of the society. Therefore, there is an existing relationship between one’s personal experiences and its connectedness with the wider society from a sociological imagination perspective.
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