Dave Bradley Sociology 1A Jason Defay 12-6-99 My Sociological Imagination In my words, Sociological imagination is a way for a person to look at their life as a result of their interaction with society. It can explain why a life is lived with way it is lived and all events, decisions, successes, and failures that have occurred. In my life I have encountered many situations, problems, opportunities and events. I can use my sociological imagination to examine these and figure out why I am the way I am and also why I have chosen to do certain things When I was born, my father was in medical school. He was a practicing doctor by the time I was four and was the first person in southern California to get an MRI machine for his office. Being one of the pioneers of Magnetic Resonance Imagining has made him very successful and allowed for my family to be very well off. From this I have always considered being a doctor. My father’s job has always be so exciting, new, and progressive, that I have also wanted to go into medicine If the invention of MRI had not occurred in history I never would have grown up the way I did. My father’s success however has also significantly shaped another part of my life. He must have considered himself to good for my mom because he divorced her when I was seven. This has definitely shaped the way I go about making certain decisions. First of all I am the most faithful boyfriend in the entire world and also am quite clingy to my girlfriend. I suppose that she has filled the gap that my father left. I also plan to be faithful to the woman I choose to be my wife. Without the invention of MRI and even without living in the technologically advancing society we live in, I wouldn’t be this way because my father wouldn’t have left. Other historical events that have shaped both me and society are the Cold War and the economy of recent years. When I was a boy I began to learn about the Cold War and communism. I was taught that the reason for the Cold War was to make sure that we as a country stayed strong in order to keep communism from spreading to American and destroying our free way of life. I was also taught that freedom and capitalism are great because there is always incentive for hard work in our society. I remember watching Rocky IV and thinking how horrible it must be to live in a communist society. Because of these events I can easily say that I am a capitalist and am happy to live in a capitalist society. This feeling has only grown stronger in recent years. The success of the economy has given me such and interest in economics and business that I have taken it upon myself to do market research and basically figure out how to make money in the stock market. I don’t believe I would be such a strong capitalist if it had not been either for the national feelings of hatred for communism that soaked into me during the Cold War or the current state of the stock market that I have found incredibly interesting. I also have made certain choices about what activities to partake in that I feel are a result of society. Society puts such a crown on the athlete that it has transpired into the popularity hierarchy of high school and below. In these institutions the guys with the most friends are the athletes. This also affected and me and gave me ambition to play sports in high school. I wanted to be cool. Where I may never have taken up basketball; it became a huge part of my junior high and high school experience. In addition to this, I have been affected by the governments anti- drug campaigns. Because of the ads on TV I don’t want my brain to be like that on drugs. Also, I don’t want to smoke or drink heavily. I don’t know if this would have been the case had I grown up I another country where at least smoking is not so heavily advertised against. In these examples, I feel society has shaped my mentality towards what I should do. This is my idea of why I am the way I am through the use of my sociological imagination. I feel that I have grown up a certain way due to factors that society and historical events are responsible for. My sociological imagination has told me much about who I am and I plan to continue to use it to continue to find myself and define myself. I see that it is a powerful tool and I feel stronger and better than before I had explored myself in this way. Word Count: 819
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