Sociological Imagination

Beneath the eye of the mind on the surface, sociology deals with social interaction study at a diversied level (Carl 123). It also deals with human behavior and society study; although when looking at it deeply, it concerns the study of people in clusters and their interactions with one another. Sociologists examine these clusters using the sociological perspective. This entails looking at a particular behavior like it has never been examined before. A deeper level of knowledge regarding behavior can be achieved when studying the behavior of humans is done in an appropriate manner. Use of sociological imagination enables a person to conceptualize how an individual’s macro level, which entails the larger characteristics of life like government and family, and their micro level, dealing with the individual itself, integrated to create the individual they are. Employing my sociological imagination I chose to observe the library via the implementation of symbolic interactionism, which is one of the sociological perspectives.

Based on the thoughts of various sociologists, symbolic interactionism is a perspective of sociology (Henslin 54). The core idea of symbolic interactionism is that the life of the human is lived in the symbolic realm. Symbols are ethnically developed social objects having common meanings that are made and sustained in social interaction (Ferris & Jill 30). Through communication and language, symbols offer the way by which pragmatism is built. Pragmatism is principally a social invention, and all that is humanly significant like mind, self, culture and society, appears from and is reliant on symbolic relations for its existence. Even the substantial environment is significant to human conduct generally as it is understood through symbolic systems.

The theory of symbolic interactionism presents the thought that societies become constructed socially approximately through the communication of people with one another (Henslin 44). As humans, we naturally assign a meaning to individuals and things, and the moment we characterize something as being true, it cannot break from this pattern, and it turns out to be very true in its outcomes. Humans are simply judged by others due to the particular language that they use. Via this language, other people make an assumption regarding an individual and then they unknowingly saddle that person or thing with a symbolic name.


The view that individuals connect subjective implications to their performance is a characteristic of symbolic interactionism. Ferris and Jill highlight that symbolic interactionism is subjected to examine things by keenly giving attention to the micro extent of sociology (38). Rather than concentrating on wider features a person looks at things counting on the individual and how they interact within the society. Through the implementation of symbols, people are able to assign meaning to things and people and finally develop their own analysis of those symbols. The library, similar to other symbols indicates work, thought and silence. A person cannot walk into a library and expect to be offered drinks and see people being entertained. The library suggests a representation of peacefulness, where people are working diligently; yet a closer analysis exposes the not so peaceful value of a visit to the library.

My friend and I walked through the doors of the library, soon after nine. We trek up the stair looking forward to the great pleasures of homework. On the first floor, we select a petite square table. Our left side had a table consisting of four girls, our right side had two boys and besides them were two tiny personal cubicles taken up by a female and a male. My friend and I started to unpack our work; as my friend tries to get the job done I started my observations. Every one of the four girls is attentively working almost as if other people are not present. The two boys give the impression of far from humorless as they peruse through the magazines, smiling and creating jokes on who is going to be victorious on the super bowl. My attention subsequently drifts back to the ladies on my left who seem revived.

As they prepare to leave they have filled with enthusiasm regarding the basketball game that night and the coolest players. Looking further than the girls I notice a number of tables in the distance filled by a cluster of Korean guys who seem to be separated from the library. They are placed into the back of the room nearly hidden. Glimpsing around, I now observe that everyone in the site is Caucasian apart from the Koreans and an African-American girl sitting solely in the cubicles. As I observe her I realize that every time she emphasizes something she will stop, gaze off into the distance as though is nearly facilitating the information to be correctly stored. My friend disrupts my thoughts. She inquires the time. I suggest she buys a watch, anticipating her to return to work. She consequently orders me to listen to her work. Her paper is read and we start to go off on acute digressions of her observations, I notice we are doing the same paper. While laughing uncontrollably we recognize the place we are. I shift back to observation.

The two guys to the left have departed now and a boy and a girl then take up the table. They are both doing a project although they seem to be uneasy. As he speaks about the theory of economy, she looks intently at him and suddenly exclaims that what the boy is talking about is wrong and she even questions if he knows what he is talking about. The guy hesitates to recover, although is pushed down ahead of disproving her comments, telling the girl to sit there and look beautiful while the guy does the project. In annoyance, the girl gets up and storms out of the library. He sat there for some time dazed with disbelief, then glances at me and comments that someone is evidently PMSing, (premenstrual symptoms) and then he collects his stuff and leave. My friend disrupts my mind by asking if we are heading to the game; and I say we are, supposing someone goes back to work.


Using sociological imagination

In the course of my observations I realized that several people of the similar sex were together at the library. Nearly hinting that individuals of similar sex work better while in the same group. Of every person I saw I only noticed one boy and girl operating together. From the whole conversations, I heard that particular day, the one that pleased me that most was the remark made by the boy in relation to the lady’s PMSing. Through this, I feel that several guys make PMS a justification or a means of handling women. They attach PMS to a lady’s emotions and reactions to a certain circumstance. When a lady is displeased, men involuntarily assume that it is due to PMS. Although a lady might be more sensitive in the course of her period, it does not persist in a lifetime and she still has to manage her emotions. Generally, people frequently do a lot of things involuntarily that they use to aid their study.

Goffman et al. (45), provide infiltrating insight into the nature of interpersonal relation and the institutions to which relations more powerfully applies. Venturing through the library, it is effortless to discover how people require different things and need alternate methods of studying. One notices individual’s emotions and how they respond to their surroundings. Various people require silence; a number need music, space, distraction and several others just do it to please others. This brings out the aspect of self identity. When a sociologist examines behavior, the focus is grounded upon the relations of the people and how they relate in their surroundings. Through symbolic interactionalism, a person is able to look at things and what they symbolize, and eventually determine the consequences they have (Huisman 40). There are various hand signs, both bad and good, that individuals exchange, and also facial expressions in connection with an event or declaration that a symbolic interactionalist would consider.

Throughout my period in the library, my observation time facilitated me to glance into the sociologist’s life. I discovered that a person can learn many things regarding someone by simply watching them. Their behavior is greatly the representative of who they are; although one cannot presuppose what particular responses imply. Via the implementation of sociological imagination, one is able to acquire an intense knowledge of conduct and how behavior is controlled by society. Over and over again, when a person does an act, they consider that they are performing it exclusively because that is what they consider doing. When a thought suddenly pops into a particular person’s mind, they frequently think that it is their inventive thought. This is not generally true. There is usually a fundamental social force making the person to think or act in that particular way. A general symbolic interactionism’s criticism is that it principally ignores macro-level aspects of sociology.