Society as a Whole


A review of “The Sociological Imagination” by C. Wright Mills

Within the United States I personally believe, especially after reading this article, that Americans view social problems more personally because the truth is, most (and I will say most because I do truly believe that there are people out there who do possess a more open understanding of their personal problems) are stuck in their own worlds and are afraid to venture out to discover their problems. Americans, especially, are too proud and too greedy to admit that it is not just them that has the problem but in fact that others also suffer from the same.

I can honestly say that I am deeply moved and relieved as well that I have found that my thoughts on society as a whole do fit somewhere and my theories have been clearly written about. It scares me as well as relieves me however. Since most of us are afraid to see the sources of our own problems we want so badly to understand ourselves that we are indeed missing the bigger picture. Many Americans are stuck in the thought of trying to understand themselves more fully that they do not heed warning to all of the signs that society as a whole is influencing them. Either that, or they just complain about their everyday life and say “Why me?” Now, I see, that it is not in fact “Why me?” they should be asking but “Why us?” Why is it that we are falling into a recession? Why is it that now we are losing more and more of our independence as people? Ultimately, if we lose independence as individuals we will go on to lose independence as a whole as well.

Society does function as a whole as Comte and Spencer have stated in their various works. If we as Americans fail to realize this, we are allowing ourselves to put our lives into the hands of greedy and corrupt upperclassmen who have the materialistic power of money. Losing a sense of ourselves is also making us lose a sense of society. It’s easy, just as we have seen in history during Hitlers reign that when a group of people is in a state of demise due to recession, depression and the like that we, as a society, will believe and go towards anyone that will “Give us hope”

It may in fact be history that has allowed for this way of life to develop. Think of when we first came to America. Us, as citizens, were still controlled by the English government and we desperately wanted to be freed. We gained our independence and I believe that it has now evolved into something so selfish and so crude that we take it for granted every single day of our lives.

We constantly want more, more, more that we spiral down into depressions because we cannot afford to live due to the fact that we bought a $100,000 car. It is indeed a personal fault for buying the car but what makes you want the car in the first place? Society. Now, a person will blame themselves for buying the car over and over and over again and will probably spend their money like that in the future and be in the same situation without looking at why they are doing it. If they realize the bigger picture I would hope that they wouldn’t want to become a part of a capitalist society. If we lose the ability to be able to control our spending, aren’t we losing independence?

The bottom line is, most Americans are selfish people and 9 times out of 10 are only out for the best interests of themselves. Personally, I do not understand this type of society and I do not agree with it at all. I do firmly believe as of right now that I may be among the few that do think this way, although I could be wrong with further research into this topic.

I can say that I have been, for a while now, one of those people who have tried to use psychology to completely analyze my situation. Now, I realize that certain things that go on in my life are not just me and there is in fact nothing wrong with me. Knowing this, lifts a huge burden off of me and prepares me to move forward into the future.

Thoughts © Maria Campagna

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