The Sociological Imagination

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The sociological imagination is the notion that allows a person to understand the greater picture of oneself and one's role in society. C. Wright Mills writes, "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.  (Mills 1959, p. 3) In this essay, I will examine my own life from a sociologist perspective. I will look at my position as an individual in society and take a sociological glance at my future based on Mills' concept of the sociological imagination. In order to effectively due this, I must first give you my class background. From there, I will give an in depth look into the sociological imagination and conclude with a critical analysis of how these both relate to one another.

I grew up in a relatively small suburb just outside of Los Angeles in Southern California. The city, Manhattan Beach, is home to just over 30,000 persons with a median household income of about $70,000 dollars. The town is 89% white which, coupled with the relatively high median household income, is indicative of an upper-class neighborhood. Per square foot, it has some of the most expensive housing per square foot in all of California. Being a mere 3.88 square mile beach city and having a $3.8 billion assessed city valuation, the city is densely rich. Manhattan beach is also home to several expensive shopping boutiques and trendy coffee shops that attract a young, professional population. Many predict that Manhattan Beach will soon be the next Hollywood due to the newly constructed movie studios and the extravagant lifestyles of many residents. With its ever-growing upper class population, the city offers numerous opportunities to those who can afford living there.

My family clearly represents the quintessential, rich Manhattan Beach household. With a mother, a father, a brother, a sister,

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