The Sociological Imagination


The Sociological Imagination Essay, Research Paper

The human attitudes have always been a curiosity that captivated most of the great social theorists like Karl Marx, Engels and Durkheim. One of the most unhumble attitude of the humanity was Racism and stereotyping.

The racial issue even in the 21st century continue to be a subject that still is present and significant even though we tend to say that racism and other forms of discrimination are prohibited by law and illegal still even in the US the country of all freedoms people face everyday racism, discrimination and humiliation

The Sociological imagination, a concept brought by C. Wright Mills basically states that a person lives out a biography and lives it out with some historical sequence. That means that everyone lives his personal life and personal experience but at the same time he contributes to change the history or to affect the society and that creates the historical sequence. From here we are going to try to analyze the race issues thru Mills concept “the Sociological Imagination” that according Lemert from his “Social Theory”: ‘The sociological imagination enables its possessor to understand the larger historical scene in terms of its meaning for the inner life and the external career of a variety of individuals’.

Employing the sociological imagination help us better understand human social behavior. In fact according to Mils’s ideas a man’s behavior in life which is considered his ‘biography’ is conditioned or embodied in a context called ‘History’.

Both of these concepts illustrate how a person can live his life (biography) But “…contributes, however minutely, to the shaping of his society and its history…” (Mills)

Being from Tunisia an Arab, Muslim country in North Africa that had been settled by France, racism had always been a significant matter in my life.

First my country was settled by France and this gave to French an important position in our country: second language thought in schools, and spoken widely second attitudes of the French especially regarding Arab immigrants from Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco that once had been brought to France after world war 2 to rebuild the country because the French would never accept to do the dirty work and now they want them back to their countries. Let me stop a second here and talk about these guys that moved to France, contributed to rebuilt what it is now considered a powerful country. These immigrants had kids in France that are considered by the French government as being French. But now here’s where comes the racist attitudes: the French never considered these kids as being one of them they even gave them a name “ Beure” which exact translation is “ Butter”. These kids had always faced racism and afflicted to humiliation and prejudgment and stereotyping. The most important stereotype about Arabs in France is that their kids are thefts. These kids that were born there and didn’t had the choice (neither their parents) to be there, they never felt home because of people’s attitudes.

“Home” a place that makes you feel comfortable, secure and serene. No this wasn’t these kids reality. In fact when they come back to their home country and they didn’t spoke their family language and that they spoke only French everybody considered them as French and not as a part of the same group or family.

This is the reality of millions and millions of kids, wherever they went they were considered foreigners, minorities, aliens…

My personal experience thought me a lot especially since I came to the US and this wild melting pot that is LA. Since I came here a year and a half ago my favorite song had always been that from a Nescafe’s commercial “Open-up Open-up…”. This means a lot especially if you come from a small country where you lived all your life and that you face all this diversity and jammed societies in the US. People from every other country and continents, different religions, beliefs, backgrounds, everything separates them but they’re living in harmony in the same country under one government and one civil code.

What a beautiful fiction. When I first came here I was as stupid as all those tourists with there stereotyping and profiling. In fact for me all Black were gangsters and selling drugs, Asians were “shoppoholic”, Mexicans were illegal aliens trying to work in the us to feed their poor families. But when it came to define my self there was the hick. A person always thinks bad about others but when it comes to you as a person you’d rather be good and free of prejudgment. Me being an Arab, a Muslim faced stereotyping from most of the people I met. The first question they asked me was: ‘are you Muslim?’ And when I said yes they tended to be less friendly. This predjement as about Muslims being fanatics and even terrorist is in peoples minds not because they are racist of profiling people but because of the events all the bombing and the American embassies world wide training to face eventual terrorist attacks. The actuality made this fear growing in

people’s minds about these crazy terrorists that would do anything just to terrorize Americans. I understand this fear that some crazy extremists and fanatics wanted to grow around the concept of Islam our religion that in word-to-word translation means Peace

and that’s why I’m not following my religion anymore because I’m disgusted that all these extremists are bringing to us as prejudgment and profiling. But it doesn’t depend on my decision to change this ideology, as it is not in anyone’s decision to change stereotyping in a society that is full of difference and that manhood created this fear of the different and the unknown.

All these events are in fact a part of the history. Every man is born in a context were some things affect the course of his life, the way he is seen by other people neither accepted or discriminated and as he lives he contributes to change these profiles or to enhance them. But in both ways he contributed to a shape a history that will be an example for the next generations to come to understand the world and it’s beliefs and the ideology that governed our lives.

This was a form a slavery because the salaries were really low and of course there were no security or


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