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The MarkFoster.ORGanon
A Brief Description of Critical Sociology
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The term sociological imagination was coined by the late Columbia University sociologist, C. Wright Mills (1916-1962), in his book which bears that name. It refers to an ability to perceive the meeting places between histories (vital to any mature sociological understanding) and personal biographies. To phrase it another way, it allows the researcher to view individual human lives as they are shaped by social structures, cultures, and histories.

That being the case, sociology promotes a better understanding of the human condition through the study of social constructions beyond the individual level. Unfortunately, it appears as though Americans, in particular, with our enduring psychologism (explanation of human social behavior in terms of psychological categories), have difficulty in developing a sociological imagination.

Confronting an anti-intellectual age of reality TV and talk show zoos, which cuts across social class boundaries while exploiting the poor and their problems for economic profit, Marxist sociology advocates the social scientific study of domination (oppression) and emancipation (liberation from oppression).