Coined by C. Write Mills in 1959, a sociological imagination describes an awareness between one’s behaviours and personal experience, to the wider culture, structure and history that shapes perception. To understand sociological imagination is to “grasp the interplay between man and society, biography and history, of self and world” and to “think ourselves away from the routine of one’s everyday life so as to look at them anew”. It is essentially the ability to zoom out from the perspective focused on yourself onto a perspective focused on the group as a whole.
As the video below discusses, the issue of obesity in America should be looked at by using ones sociological imagination. The issue is both a personal issue (individuals are affected) and also a societal issue because factors such as income status, location (food deserts) and culture may play a bigger role in the issue than an individuals personal choices.