Chasing Elusive Society
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Now, as in C. Wright Mills’ times, the job of sociological imagination is a simultaneous, reciprocal translation between private and public stories: a translation of the individually faced and privately tackled problems into public, collectively confronted issues and of public interests into the individually pursued life strategies. Since its inception, the place of sociology has been in the ‘agora,’ that private–public meeting place, where, (as Cornelius Castoriadis kept reminding us) the olkos and the ecclesia come face to face, hoping to make themselves understood to each other through a principal yet benevolent, and above all attentive dialogue.
The raw stuff processed by sociological imagination is human experience. The end-product of sociological imagination (called ‘social reality’) is cast of the metal smelted from the ore of experience. Though its chemical substance cannot but reflect the composition of the ore, the contents of the product also bear the mark of the smelting...