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Sociological Imagination and Family

             Wright Mills described sociological imagination as the ability to view the society as a whole instead of focusing on the problems of each individual; it is the ability to see the existing societal patterns that influence both the individuals and the group of individuals. He pertained to this as the potential of a person to link private troubles with public issues. He believed that in order for a person to be able to categorize the wants, desires, and personalities, he must look at the social context at a particular historical moment where a given individual or group of people lived in.
             This perspective per se, can be used to explain and understand how individuals in a society may act commonly or differently depending on the crowd that influence him/her the most. We can safely say that this group of people who would have influences a person first, or maybe the most, is the family, given the fact that it constitutes the basic structure in every society. But how do we define a family? There is not a single definition of family – different individuals define it differently. Moreover, this definition one gives often changes in a certain period and time. For instance, I remember defining family "mommy and daddy and we're happy" when I was young. It's plain and simple, mainly because that was the space I was moving in and the parents were the only influences. But as I grew older, the experiences, religion, and probably external influences have greatly altered that simple definition of family that even I don't even know how to define it properly now. .
             The point here is, the definition we associate to the word 'family' is socially constructed – the meaning we attach to it is greatly affected by what we experience in various and specific situations as often caused by structural changes in society (Mills, 1959). This means that the definition of a family greatly depends on how an individual says it so.

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