Biography Of A Friend Essay

Length: 3 pages Sources: 2 Subject: Race Type: Essay Paper: #88643968 Related Topics: Sociological Imagination, Affirmative Action, Racism, Racism In America
Excerpt from Essay :

¶ … Sociological Imagination:

An analysis of the biography of a friend

According to the sociologist C. Wright Mills, the sociological imagination is a deep and visceral understanding of how our personal experiences relate to factors present in larger society. "The sociological imagination enables its possessor to understand the larger historical scene in terms of its meaning for the inner life and the external career of a variety of individuals" (Mills 3). The sociological imagination is meant to be a liberating concept, a way of connecting the dots between atomized anecdotes in one's personal life and the larger sweep of society and history. Sometimes it can be very frustrating and lonely to feel as though our personal experiences exist in isolation and have no greater meaning outside of our own sphere. The sociological imagination helps us make connections between 'the self' and experiences of others beyond those of our immediate family. I can see this reflected in the personal experiences of my friend Nina.

Nina fulfills many roles: she is a daughter, a sister, and a dancer as well was a friend of mine in high school. She is also an African-American. In many ways, her life reflects the changes that have occurred in modern American society since the

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Both of her parents were able to become professionals and send their children to good schools and support their children's hobbies. Nina did not face racial barriers that directly inhibited her schooling or her ability to excel. This was very different from her parents, who had far fewer role models than did Nina in terms of their advancement in the workforce.

However, I know at times Nina still felt frustrated. For example, because of her race she often felt that she did not embody the 'typical ballerina' and was passed over for better roles at her dance school because she did not fit the image of what a dancer should look like. This gave her a great deal of insecurity about her body at a young age. Of course, she knew that she 'should' feel beautiful regardless of what other people said about her. But at times that only compounded her guilt. Nina also felt that when she was asked to dance leading roles, they tended to be roles that confirmed stereotypes of who she was supposed to be as a black female dancer rather than as just a dancer: more sexual and athletic than graceful.

Because the school she attended was mainly made up of whites, Nina also said she often felt pressure to live up to a particular ideal because of her minority status. Any slacking off would be seen not simply as reflective of herself but of all individuals of her group. Her parents, however unwittingly, also tended to reinforce this because they were highly driven for their daughter to succeed and had overcome…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Mills, C. Wright. "The Promise. " 1959. 2 Nov 2014.

http://www.sjsu.edu/people/guadalupe.salazar/courses/anth233/s1/Mills,%20the%20Promise.pdf


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