Can you imagine society?

Can you imagine society? Some people can’t. The British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher once famously said: “There is no such thing as society.” Do you think this is true? I suspect not, or you wouldn’t be studying sociology. However, it’s not enough just to take the counter position that ‘of course there is a society,’ but then leave this thing ‘society’ unexamined. There is more to understanding society than simply recognising that it exists.

C Wright Mills said in the Sociological Imagination that: “Neither the life of an individual nor the history of a society can be understood without understanding both.” What did he mean by this? The idea of an individual makes sense. You are one. The idea of a society usually makes sense as well. It’s out there, all around you. But the understanding the interaction between the two can be tricky. It takes observation, and consideration – and imagination.

Can you imagine society all around you? The many forms it takes, and the various influences that it has on you? Can you see it operating in the way you interact with your friends and family, the way you study, the way you work, the way you love and care for others, in the very way you see yourself as a particular sex, race, class, nationality, or religion? Are social influences intuitive to you? Are they intuitive to others? If not, why not? And is society different from the other ‘big things’ in life that shape you and so much of what you do with your life – the economy, the political system, our culture. Is it just an amalgam of these things? Or is it more – or something else entirely?

#S103UOW16 #Tut1

Posted in SOC103 - Introduction to Sociology, Tutorial 1, UOW.

76 Comments

  1. Everyone has different thoughts on what society is and if it actually exist, I believe society definitely exist, my knowledge on what society is, is pretty vague and that’s why I’m learning this subject, if someone asked me what society is, I would say “society is all the individual groups that sorround us, our behaviours and what influence them, and everyone as an individual” am I right? Who knows although society is so broad maybe there is no wrong, everyone has their own opinions,

    In the quote C Wright Mills said “neither life of an individual nor the history of a society can be understood without understanding both” meaning all aspects of society rely on different areas and overlap having a relationship that one thing cannot be without another.

    Everyone believes that the decisions they make are purely because that’s what they want, there was no influences ? Is that true ? No
    There is always a influence (something within the society) that makes you do what you do, it’s just the matter of being able to distinguish what that is, and that’s what sociology is all about, it’s all more than what the naked eye sees.

  2. Society is a wonderful thing – it can create a powerful bond between people. However, it can also be incredibly toxic. So much so that it can dictate what one eats, drinks, wears, even thinks. In some cases, I believe people will turn a blind eye to the negative aspects of society as it is easier to conform than to go against the social norm. Nonetheless, it would take a strong individual, one with social awareness and an understanding of society as a whole, to swim against the mainstream and conquer these constraints.

    I also think individuals adapt to different situations or people their speaking with subconsciously, however, people with social and emotional awareness (as well as people studying sociology) are extremely intuitive of how social conventions and constraints shape who you are and the way you act in different circumstances. For example, if I were a teacher at a parent-teacher interview, I would adapt my language based on what I could gather of the person’s intelligence and social economic status so as to have a more engaging and positive conversation.

    Thus, having a social understanding is like removing the 4th wall in a theatre production — we are able to see, as Abby explained above, beyond the naked eye and can somewhat control how we, as people apart of society, can contribute actively and positively.

  3. It is expected, that in a society which is structured on political leadership, we listen and often respect any rubbish that come out of our leaders mouths. Margaret Thatcher was obviously not an academic in the area of sociology, yet our society was willing to accept her words, at the time, without question.
    We are all trying to conform with society and no one likes to be excluded from the whole. However, our society places expectations on all angles of our life’s, including segregating groups of people. Women, ethic and cultural people, low income earners, and those with varied sexual preferences, often feel these pressures that are commonly represented through laws, advertising, communities etc. A common issue for today’s elderly people is the pressure of adjusting to technology. Only a decade ago computers were not compulsory, but an optional part of life. As history progresses, so does society as well as conforming issues.

  4. Imagining being influenced and imagining the existance of society is relatively simple, yes. Societies are the substantial factor that influence the way we do so many things- the way we talk, dress and present ourselves-, yet it’s more difficult in trying to picture an individual that isn’t influenced by at least one society. It is part of the human condition to want to feel apart of something , whether that involves wanting to stand alone, there is still others that want to do the same. Being connected is a part of being human.

  5. To think sociologically, if there is no society, than what are we as individuals part of? We can’t deny the existence of external influences from family, friends, the community which can influence our own outlook and what we personally believe. When C.Wright Mills developed the ‘sociological imagination’ wasn’t his aim to make individuals become more active citizens? Realise that we are all part of the bigger picture? If individuals were not part of society, but all agreed to the same view or standpoint what would that be called? A thousand individuals having a coincidence or creating a societal norm therefore accepting the idea that there is a society.

  6. The complexity of the word society has made it very difficult for me imagine it. However, after much thought I would conclude that my definition of society would be this: the social action between two or more individuals. The idea of society in my head seems simple when I imagine the world of consisting of just two people who interact with each other. My confusion exists due to the vast number and worldviews of the individuals that inhabit this world.

    C. Wright Mills quote aids me to deal with my confusion by thinking sociologically. Paraphrasing his profound words into my own: in order to understand an individual and the history of a society, one must understand both. Mills view helps me to take a step back from myself and to view the bigger picture. By seeing the relationship between individual and history allows us to step into the lives of others.

    In my previous illustration of two people existing alone within the world, the sociological imagination would help me to see that these two individuals would not be the same. They would have different perceptions of the world around them. If I were to put these people in a different point of history I would see differences as well. History and the individual must be understood together in order to be explained clearly.

    I do notice elements of the society that have their invisible influence of me, but I don’t think I’ll be able to comprehend its full effect on myself. By imagining how the lives of others around me, I’m able to understand the issues I face come not merely from myself, but also from influences outside myself. I’m looking forward to discover what these influences are and how I may be able to respond to them!

  7. I guess everyone has their own perceptions on what society is. But to be able to imagine society and put a single definition on it to me is quite difficult to comprehend. It is such an abstract concept but if I had to put it plainly I would say that society is the environment in which an individual lives in.

    In the quote C Write Mills said “neither life of an individual nor the history of a society can be understood without understanding both” can suggest to us that without one or the other neither of them can be fully understood without the true knowledge and understanding of them both. 

    I believe that to an extent society does have an influence on us as individuals. Where this may not affect the way you interact with family and friends and the particular values an individual may have, but to a degree a society can affect the social aspects of an individual simply because in this day and age there is a level of pressure to conform into the “norms” of society and it does somewhat subconsciously shape you and what you choose to do with your life. 

  8. Society is a hard concept to define due to that the people trying to define it are also actually a integral part of it, this causes any definition a person can develop to have some form of bias woven into it. This bias can come from influences from within the world around you like culture, relationships, values etc; but all these biases or influences are what are considered to create society…
    Does this mean that society defines, criticises and influences itself? I believe it does but for others their idea of ‘society’ may not and that is due to their biases or influences being different to my own.

  9. Society differs from individual contributing factors in the world such as economics, politics, psychology, history and social norms etc. all these topics are single things in one big picture, for example history is information gathered or known about from the past, history has changed our future, but history isn’t everything about our modern society. All aspects in a forever changing social world is what makes up our society. Though this is my point of view and everyone would be different.

    Sociology studies what and why things happen in our changing world. people are so called ‘individuals’ but depending on what area you come from in the world, your society around you plays a big part in your decisions.
    As stated in the blog “There is no such thing as society.” I believe society does exist, my morals and values have been formed based on how my family/community in this current period has shaped who i am today, sometimes without me even knowing it.

    As C Wright Mills said in the Sociological Imagination that “Neither the life of an individual nor the history of a society can be understood without understanding both.” What i gather form this comment is people can not form an understand about our social world without being apart of it, as well as forming knowledge of whats happened in the past. Both aspects create a better understanding of what’s happening around us.

  10. Society is the foundation on which we live our lives. It involves the social interactions of individuals within specific groups, therefore I disagree with Margaret Thatcher’s famous quote “There is no such thing as society”, as society is made up of individuals who identify with one another, and therefore society is all around us in politics, culture, law and the economy.

    Sociology may be defined as a way of interacting, understanding and explaining collective human behaviour. The sociological imagination established by C. Wright Mills focuses on the relationship between the individual and society. Mills tries to integrate two different theoretical concepts of social reality – the “individual” and “society”.

    Social influences are intuitive to me, as I accept recommendations from friends and family. For example if a friend saw a new movie and enthusiastically told me about it, I would be influenced to see the movie myself. Social influences strongly affect an individual’s decisions and influence their choice of direction. Internet sites such as TripAdvisor, where people can write their own review of an experience have a significant influence on an individual’s decision making regarding the service. A bad review of a hotel will cause an individual to look at other hotels with positive reviews.

    Society plays a major role in shaping an individual’s life. Family, friends and relationships along with the economy, political system and culture are all groups that make up society, and therefore it is inevitable that society impacts significantly on someone’s life and influences their actions, thoughts and feelings.

    #S103UOW16 #Tut1 #Fri1030

  11. I can imagine society, its all around us. Its every day life. Its a bond between individuals and the ‘norms’ involved. The society is the same as the big things in your life are evolved around, I believe they all related and lead to a bigger picture of society, we may not figure it as ‘society’ but every day life. My morals and self are based on my culture, everyday life, beliefs and other norms I have grown up with.

    • I can imagine society, its all around us. Its every day life. Its a bond between individuals and the ‘norms’ involved. The society is the same as the big things in your life are evolved around, I believe they all related and lead to a bigger picture of society, we may not figure it as ‘society’ but every day life. My morals and self are based on my culture, everyday life, beliefs and other norms I have grown up with.

  12. I can imagine society, its all around us. Its every day life. Its a bond between individuals and the ‘norms’ involved. The society is the same as the big things in your life are evolved around, I believe they all related and lead to a bigger picture of society, we may not figure it as ‘society’ but every day life. My morals and self are based on my culture, everyday life, beliefs and other norms I have grown up with.

    #S103UOW16 #Tut1 #WED1730

  13. Society constructs our way of living, thinking, and seeing. Despite this, to be able to give a single definition of society is quite challenging. This is due to the fact that we ourselves are a part of society, therefore contributing bias. Society is many things from many perspectives. Each part of society contains factors that influence things such as what we wear, listen to, eat, and even say. I believe society is all around us and as long as we are a part of something whether it be a community, a team, a school, or a workplace society is unescapable.

  14. Society is hard to observe, define and examine because it is composed of many things and from many different perspectives. Without adequate sociological imagination it is impossible to view how these social structures and social agents exist in the ever-changing world. Since society influences us in many ways it’s study is inherently self-critical. Imaging the world around us and the various influences it has on us will allow us to see how it determines our interactions with others. There are many categories of society but the distinct social structures we adhere to and see ourselves as part of are part of what makes us individuals. Therefore, our own individualism comes from which aspects of society we apply to ourselves, which is why one cannot be examined without the other. When you can identify these social influences it becomes clear how they contribute to how you interact with others. When someone, like Margaret Thatcher, does not believe in Society they cannot use sociological imagination to see how it influences us every day and contributes to every element of life within a peoples group, which only reinforces the belief society does not exist to them.

    #tut1 #Tue1230a

  15. I believe there is such thing as society as we can see it around us and how it varies in different places we visit. We can see the differences in societies, from religious beliefs all the way to political. There are many different components that make up a society and every society is unique. When Margaret Thatcher said: “There is no such thing as society” I think it was to make a point about our dependence on others and that we are all responsible for ourselves. Mrs Thatcher had individualistic views and stated: “It’s our duty to look after ourselves and then, also to look after our neighbour.”

    C Wright Mills said in the Sociological Imagination that: “Neither the life of an individual nor the history of a society can be understood without understanding both.” As an individual there are many factors that contribute to who we are, society being one of the biggest. Although society is a part of what influences us as individuals, society could not exist without our influence. It is the experiences of individuals in a specific place and the perceptions gained from those experiences, that make up a society. Therefore to understand a society we must understand it’s history and to understand an individual we must understand their society.

    As an individual I see the effects society has on myself and others around me. Society practically forces us to believe things through influence because ‘if everyone else does it, it must be okay’. Personally, social influences are not intuitive to me as I see the destructive effects they can have. For example, people influenced by social trends regarding merchandise such as phones, clothing, etc, can become very greedy and begin to feel bad if they don’t have the latest ‘thing’. Personally I don’t see society as any different from the economy, political system, and culture as they are all ways of doing things created through the influence of individuals and their experiences. Although at the same time all of these things are what make society.

    #Tut1 #Thu1730 #S103UOW16

  16. I definitely think that society exists. I believe that the definition of society means something different to everyone and so I believe that is where Margaret Thatcher’s question comes from.
    Some people believe a society to be a place of friendship and welcoming happiness although others see it to be a place of isolation and sadness.

    In my opinion I believe that the way each person acts and presents themselves is representative of their society or of their beliefs in society. I believe everyone is shaped by the societies around them and that we all aspire to succeed in a particular area within a society

  17. Society is likely to be the single most defining factor in an individual’s life. C Wright Mill’s quote displays the interconnected course of individuals in societies and how they interact. It is clear that ‘society’ is a blanket term, and may be applied expansively or critically, depending on the subject matter.

    Therefore, societies are made up of individuals and individuals may become a part of many societies on different levels. By examining an individual and their influences, like relationships, pop culture and political situation, it becomes easier to determine the current and historical societies.

    As Tilly and Abbey have expressed, by having a clear and unbiased opinion, it opens a new channel of thinking and allows a clear view of our own social interactions and thoughts.

  18. Society most definitely exists, and varies and alters around the world dictated by different social structures. C Wright Mill’s quote examines how the macro world and the individuals themselves need to be examined hand in hand to understand the overall context. Hence not all societies are the same and can not always be correlated. Society constructs our everyday lives, our ways of thinking, and how we interact with the world around us.

  19. Society definitely exits and is different throughout the world, to better suit a specific culture. C Wright Mill’s quote suggests that to understand an individual or a society, you have to be able to make a connection/understand the environment of that individual or society. The environment around individuals shape the way they think, act, feel and overall influences the way they may contribute to society.
    Society has the ability to shape and influence how someone interacts with their family, friends, strangers etc. on different levels and to different extents, which also allow for societies to vary and differentiate amongst each other.

    #S103UOW16 #Tut1

  20. Society can be imagined as different things to different people. I believe there is a society and over the years it has dramatically fallen downhill. Society is the collection of people living together in a more or less ordered community. Society can be such a good thing, and also be very poisonous. It can determine how people act, what they wear, what they eat, and even change ones personal self just to fit in. I do strongly believe that todays society is terrible and it is heavily impacting on the lives you our youth.
    If I am being completely honest C Wright Mill’s quote “Neither the life of an individual nor the history of a society can be understood without understanding both.” Did have me stumped and I felt like I hit a wall. I stared at this quote for quite some time and still don’t really understand what Mill’s was trying to say?

    #S103UOW16 #Tut1 #tues0830

  21. Society is all around us, everywhere you look and society most definitely influences the way individuals act. Society can influence the way people dress, eat, act, talk etc, it is a very powerful influence. Society is an amalgam of economy, culture, politics, religion etc.

  22. The possibilities of society around us are very existent and endless. On a small scale individuals can influence small aspects of their own lives which may not be seen. Within large scales between groups, ideas and objectives are placed forward to adapt laws, norms, societal expectations etc. This can ultimately change a society as a whole through conformity. Aspects of society including culture, law, politics and the economy can differentiate how individuals connect and react to society as a whole.

  23. There is such thing as society. I believe that it influences every individual, in such a way that it dictates the way we live our lives. Society consists of people living in a somewhat orderly fashion. Groups of people have been created to accompany this order. Hence, why we categorise ourselves to different religions, classes, nationalities and races. C Wright Mills’ quote, “neither the life of an individual nor the history of a society can be understood without understanding both”, indicates that our individual lives are dictated by the history of our society and, similarly, the history of society is dictated by each individual life. Therefore, our lives and our actions are what creates society, and society is what influences our lives and our actions.
    #S103UOW16 #tut1 #Thu1630

  24. The way in which I interpreted the quote by C Wright Mills was that no one person is entirely themselves based on only their own personal thoughts and impacts. That one person is themselves due to their own personal thoughts and impacts, but those personal thoughts and impacts stem from the society in which they are surrounded by, and with that, one needs to take into consideration of the history that corresponds with how the society was formed in the first place within that specific area. With this, one can then link together more clearly how this one person is actually who they are. In order to understand one person, or in order to understand the history of a society, you would need to look at both factors, look at the cause and effects, and see the correlation between the two.

    I can see various forms of society around me. Being an international student and experiencing the different society that is here at UOW compared to my uni at home, it is clear to see that there are differences in the way people portray themselves in terms of how they act, words they use, clothing they dress in, music they appreciate, etc. I have noticed the way in which my society at home has brought me to be, and am beginning to change my ways since being in a new society. I am personally be affected by the societal differences, but that is because I am aware of the differences, and I am allowing myself to be open to the experiences and change. Not all people may change as much as myself within a new society since some people may be more close minded. However, it is definitely apparent that there is a societal difference in both areas.

    I believe social influences are intuitive to me since I enjoy diving into a new culture when I am placed there. With an open mindset, I am capable of picking up on certain things that may be different in Australian society whether it is in reference to speech, action, attire, etc. As stated earlier, I am not sure everyone would be able to accept this difference because there are some people in the world who are very invested in their home society and do not enjoy the idea of venturing far out of it.

    I believe physical society has a large impact on how people view things like religion and politics. However, while having the ability to access the internet, there are a million virtual societies that one could be influenced greatly by. So, I do not believe a physical society is the overall only way in which a human is shaped. Most people in well developed countries have internet access and utilize frequently. This is constantly giving them opportunity to think of different views and see different ways of life. Virtual societies have a large impact on a person’s self. Different societies do have a large impact on the “big things in life”.

  25. In the current world there are many different societies that contribute to how the world operates. Society is in every aspect of our lives such as where we go to university, school, or work and even within our own home. Societies are not made up simply of race, gender, or culture, but rather a combination along with beliefs and individual values. However everyday, society questions society and challenges it, claiming to get a better understanding of how society works. Through society constantly questioning it makes me wonder why society is so difficult to understand and what answer are we looking for, can it not just be simple?
    #S103UOW16 #Tut1 #Thu1530

  26. Imagine a world where it was every man for themselves, a world where no one shared the same aspirations and where everyone lived only to fulfil their own desires, desires that were wanted to be fulfilled purely for the reason of satisfy their own needs and wants instead of for the greater good of those who live around them?. If former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s famous quote “There is no such thing as a society” was correct, this would be an accurate description of the world now. What I think British Prime minister Margaret Thatcher was trying to get at was that everyone was an individual with different beliefs and thus, we all had different purposes and goals in life that we wanted to fulfil, causing us to neglect the purpose and goals of others. However, she is wrong because humans are by definition, relations, meaning that we are communicative beings and are able to relate to one another as we all innately possess high levels of empathy compared to animals. Thus, it wouldn’t be too difficult to find a magnitude of people that you can relate with as they share the same goals and purpose and join forces. This would be forming a society. Dictionary.com defines society to be “an organisation or club formed for a particular purpose or activity”.

    Society is one of the most influential forces, if not already the most influential not only the conscious level but also the subconscious and unconscious level. Our society plays a major role in shaping who we are by which I mean influence our individual outlook on life and what we personally believe. What C Wright Mills meant by his statement “Neither the life of an individual nor the history of a society can be understood without understanding both” was that a society cannot exist without individuals and that the beliefs of an individual cannot be shaped without the history of a society. Many people believe that social influences are not intuitive to them because they are more socially aware of it. However, this belief is fallacious because we are all influenced by social influences as it affects us on a deep and unconscious level. Sociology involves an amalgam of the economy, the political system and our culture and how they are interrelated to each other and also to human hebaviour.

    #S103UOW16 #Tut1 #wed0830

  27. Imagine a world where it was every man for themselves, a world where no one shared the same aspirations and where everyone lived only to fulfil their own desires, desires that were wanted to be fulfilled purely for the reason of satisfy their own needs and wants instead of for the greater good of those who live around them?. If former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s famous quote “There is no such thing as a society” was correct, this would be an accurate description of the world now. What I think British Prime minister Margaret Thatcher was trying to get at was that everyone was an individual with different beliefs and thus, we all had different purposes and goals in life that we wanted to fulfil, causing us to neglect the purpose and goals of others. However, she is wrong because humans are by definition, relations, meaning that we are communicative beings and are able to relate to one another as we all innately possess high levels of empathy compared to animals. Thus, it wouldn’t be too difficult to find a magnitude of people that you can relate with as they share the same goals and purpose and join forces. This would be forming a society. Dictionary.com defines society to be “an organisation or club formed for a particular purpose or activity”.

    Society is one of the most influential forces, if not already the most influential not only the conscious level but also the subconscious and unconscious level. Our society plays a major role in shaping who we are by which I mean influence our individual outlook on life and what we personally believe. What C Wright Mills meant by his statement “Neither the life of an individual nor the history of a society can be understood without understanding both” was that a society cannot exist without individuals and that the beliefs of an individual cannot be shaped without the history of a society. Many people believe that social influences are not intuitive to them because they are more socially aware of it. However, this belief is fallacious because we are all influenced by social influences as it affects us on a deep and unconscious level. Sociology involves an amalgam of the economy, the political system and our culture and how they are interrelated to each other and also to human hebaviour.

    #S103UOW16 #Tut1 #wed0830

  28. How can we imagine society if we don’t have a clear understanding of what society is? To me a society is made up of individuals who interact with each other and form relationships- thus leading to a society. Society influences every aspect of our lives whether we know it or not. The particular way we eat, walk or talk is dependent on others e.g. different accents. Society exists, is there to be seen however, requires an imagination that goes beyond the everyday. It is interpreted differently and holds a different value to everyone. “A quality of mind that with the help to use information and to develop reason in order to achieve lucid summations of what is going on around an individual and within themselves”. Individuals therefore require an imagination that questions the simplest of ideas in order to process and make sense of feelings and events in time.
    #S103UOW #Tut1 #Thur1630

  29. Society can be many things, some of which we do not understand. Society can be everyone that exists, meaning that everyone should be equal. But we are not. There are many different classes of society with minority groups being left out. Society can mean a completely different thing when asking each individual making it hard for us to gain a clear understanding. Politics is a large part of today’s society, with the community having to (even though we may not want to) listen to what politicians have to say. Margaret Thatcher is a good example of a politician who MADE the society listen, even though some do not agree with her. Everyone’s idea of society is different making it extremely hard for anyone to imagine a society

  30. Society is something that cannot be imagined, it is something that encompasses every single individual no matter their opinions. Societies are present in everything we do, from sport to work, and social reforms are equally present in our society. Society is a device that controls our words and actions and shapes us into the way we operate both by ourselves and in the company of others. Society controls the way we speak or act, whether the action be rude or insightful.

    Social influences are a key factor in today’s society. The trends and influences that are apparent on social media have major impacts on our social identity. An example of this influence would be the Kylie Jenner lip challenge that appeared on social media in 2015. This social influence led to a widespread of people undertaking the challenge to partake in the social norms and influences.

    Society is majorly different to economics, politics and culture. Social media has created this ever present difference as it controls the ideas about issues such as economics, politics and culture. Social media has a power that the other three do not, which can be seen with the political memes about Donald Trump, the economic disputes about war and famine and the disputes of culture and identity.

    Society is something that encompasses a vast range of influences and ideas and is something that cannot be imagined or removed as it creates the people we are today.

  31. It is hard to imagine society as we are involved in it. Society is groups of people interacting with each other. There are many societies in the world and not all are equal, so therefore it is hard to tell whether societies exist, as we are all within a society of some sort. I believe that C. Write Mills means that as an individual is part of society, to understand that society, they must first understand what makes the individual part of that society #S103UOW16 #Tut1 #Thu1630

  32. Society is real. Although it is not always easy to see. Understanding the term ‘society’ is a difficult task, part of the reason I am studying this subject. Society takes many different forms, and has many different sub-divisions within itself. I find it hard to discern which ways it affects me on a day to day basis, but I cannot deny that it has shaped me and the world around me. Society is another contributing factor in the many that have shaped me during my life, and will continue to shape me in different was as it itself evolves.

  33. Society is as big as you want it to be. It is composed of people and can be anything from a family to an entire planet. What makes it a society is that the people in it are linked somehow eg, occupying the same place, similar interests, demography. The individual belongs to many separate societies but we often think of “society” as the collective version of all of these. Likewise, culture, politics and the economy are really just composed of people but represent particular ways of understanding their relationships and interactions.

    #S103UOW16 #TUT1 #Thu1530

  34. Society is subjective, people have an individual perception of what it is. It is imagined by each person in relation to their own context and situation. An example of a specific context influencing society and personal development would be the Industrial Revolution and its impact. Society is responsible for linking people not only to other people but also to the economy, the political system, culture, context and history. These relationships are responsible for shaping an individual’s character as well as their beliefs and opinions. This is something ‘Mills’ refers to in his quote, suggesting that the various aspects of society can not be investigated accurately individually, and need to be examined in correlation with one another.
    #S103UOW16 #Tut1 #Thu1630

  35. When Margaret Thatcher made the statement “There’s no such thing as society”, I feel that she is referring to the fact that there is no actually object that is referred to as society. Society is apart of our imagination something that is there but isn’t physically present, when Margaret Thatcher makes that statement she is referring to the fact that individuals may live in a community but everyone was for themselves and at the time that Thatcher was elected as prime minister the United Kingdom was in a economic crisis and many were being put off from their jobs. The point that Margaret Thatcher was trying to make that when circumstances occur a family can’t rely upon society in these difficult times, they can only rely upon themselves. I believe that Margaret Thatcher’s claims are false, society is real. It doesn’t need to be a physical object to know that it is there. When C Wright Mills states in the Sociological Imagination “Neither the life of an individual nor the history of a society can be understood without understanding both.”, he is trying covney that in society there is no individual in society. C Wright Mills is saying that you can’t understand society on its own without understanding an individual, this contradicts the statement that Margaret thatcher makes that about society not existing which thus makes the world individual. Society is similarities and common interest that connect every individual, whether it be similar beliefs, trends, traditions, economy, location, political and/or cultural influences in communities.
    #S103UOW #Tut1 #Thu1530

  36. Society is a combination of numerous components and interactions. Society is a hard concept to define as there are so many contributing factors.

    The quote by C Wright Mills, “Neither the life of an individual nor the history of a society can be understood without understanding both.” reinforces my personal opinion and beliefs of society, I believe that no individual is able to live without interacting with and contributing to others and essentially to “society”. We live by what was created before our existence, the way we interact and shape our world today, and through generativity of our future and the future of society.

  37. I believe society can be easily imagined as we as individuals each are involved within certain societies in one way or another. Society is present throughout everyday life with the interactions we as individuals share. These interactions are highly influential on individuals. This can be recognised through one’s beliefs, culture, and ethics. To my understanding, C Wright Mill’s quote aims to explain that individuals and society are integral to one another’s existence. It also explains that in order to study society one must have an obtained knowledge about individuals and their lifestyle.

  38. One can imagine and ‘see’ society operating around oneself each and every day when the car in front of you refuses to budge 2 kilometers above the speed limit for fear of the consequences, or when you wake up hungover on a Monday morning but get out of bed and go to work anyway so that you can afford to keep the roof over your head. Everybody is unknowingly and automatically being dragged around by society with everything they do.

  39. I think that the definition of society is determined by an individual’s own upbringing and their experiences. For example, a child born and raised in a developed nation is going to have different perceptions on what it means to be part of a ‘society’. Social influences act as norms or conformities that dictate how individuals should live, behave, socialise with others and who they should interact with.

  40. Of course society can be imagined to some and i would guess by most people, i am we aren’t all the same, we don’t all think the same, make decisions the same, we all do things in our own way. I guess Margaret Thatcher the British Prime Minister what she was trying to say was that we each as individuals should be classified the same, for example gay or straight people, people with disabilities, no should all be classified the same and be one, but i believe society is a big and influential deal.

    As C Wright Milll said ‘Neither life of an individual nor the history of a society can be understood without understanding both’. What does his meaning mean? i guess he was trying to say that people are all different, we don’t all think the same, make designs the same and have different opinions and that people cannot base it on the one thing they have opinions about, as we all have our own stories,that many people also within society are faced with problems and these problems have social roots which are shared by others. These roots can be related to the structure of society and the changes that come along with it.

    I believe that yes social influences are intuitive to me and to others. I guess we base our lives on how we decide to live it but the things around our living society are influential also with society having a much bigger impact on who we are, as we pick up so much from the people around us and our environment. We learn from our parents, our friends in schools/Unis, what’s “normal” in our society, etc. But then again i think that we ourselves also affect our society, not having society affect us. We live in a prejudiced society, someone sees a man from the middle east on an aeroplane and they think he’s a terrorist, they begin to panic. Someone sees an old man going for a walk in the park and they think he’s a Paedophile. If someone is of a particular nationality, look a certain way, speak a different language they are more than likely going to be judged on that. And i guess the way we see, do and think things not only affects and influences us but others in society also.We learn from society, we are influenced by society, we get easily mislead by society, but we are also part of a society so in a way our actions are sometimes acknowledged by others around us and vice versa.

  41. Throughout the Sociological Imagination (1959), C Wright Mills states that the life of an individual and the history of society are essentially connected. Mills thinks that as individuals, we often forget to identify ourselves as being a part of a broader society and the influence this may have on us. I’m aware that social influences have become extremely common, for example, in the early stages of a teenager we express our appearance to fit in with the societal ‘norms’, similarly to culture, politics and the economy when transformed through development and change over time. Therefore, these fundamental aspects are what connect society through communication between persons. These factors mould and regulate the system in accordance to the time. Margaret Thatcher’s notorious statement that “there is no such thing as society” was likely to have been motivated by her political position as a way of establishing individuality than a summary of the idea all together. It is obvious in the way in which an individual transitions overtime whether that be falling into the expectations of society or creating their own.

    #S103UOW16 #Tut1 #Thur1530

  42. We all can imagine society. Everyday, we are exposed to what goes on and how these things happen in our modern world. This evokes imagination, and forces us to think of the good and the bad, ultimately making us dream up our own society of how it should be in our eyes. Of course this will vary greatly from person to person as everyone has, and is entitled to their own views and opinions, it just shows that everyone has shaped in some sort of way, our current society. Modern culture is heavily influenced by the media, as it is evident that the general population in society tries to live up to the current norm of what is accepted and what is not. Things such as Law, Politics an the Economy are also great influences, but there is almost an infinite number of factors that make up our society, leaving one plenty to imagine about it. #S103UOW16 #Tut1 #Thu1630

    • I believe many things an individual does can are shaped by the society they live in. Margaret thatcher perhaps said “There is no such thing as a society” because she was attempting to break down barriers between various groups. Society has the ability to affect your thinking and how others think, economically people living in a first world nations are more prone to consumerism such as individuals always buying the newest iPhone or new smartphone that everyone wants is one example of how society is able to affect your individual thinking. I believe Margaret thatcher was a person that believed that society was a essentially imagined rather she believed the world was made up of individuals and not societies.

  43. Society can shape one’s identity completely. Perhaps Margaret Thatcher’s thoughts when she said “There is no such thing as society” was that people have become increasingly individualistic, and fail to look upon the world from a broader perspective. It is easy to get caught up in your own life, and avoid looking at the bigger picture; but when you do it is evident the different social groups and classes that have structured society. Those who are more privileged may have warped views on different societies, and might prefer not to look at the bigger picture, which is possibly why Margaret Thatcher expressed this. #S103UOW16 #Tut1 #Thu1130

  44. Society is hard to imagine because it has no real form. We are surrounded by it yet can’t see it. Therefore Margaret Thatcher’s famous quote of ‘there is no such thing as society’ has some value, I disagree with this statement. Society is engrained within our community and within the individual and presents itself on a day to day basis whether that is consciously or subconciously. Social influences are intuitive to us whether that be influenced from the law, politics, culture or the economy. This is because they shape our beliefs and opinions, thus giving us our identity by creating social structures and norms by which we live by.
    #SOC103UOW16 #Tut1 #Fri1230

  45. It is clear these days that we do in fact have a society, and a social structure. People are divided by groups, however these groups don’t entirely split up society into individual groups of people. Instead, I believe society is intertwined between each group, connecting each one which creates what we see as our society. The reason behind this is the fact that everyone is different, not one person in society is the same, therefor one person may be attached to multiple groups in society, and when we put this on a mass scale that is our population, we see that everyone is connected.

    I don’t believe we have always had a society, i believe it has been a modern occurrence where people are able to connect socially, because life these days is not just about survival, it is also about living. For example, before the Industrial Revolution, people were very independent, they made things themselves and there wasn’t much of a currency. Goods and Services were traded for other Goods and Services if one needed it. Life was all about survival and doing enough to survive. These days however, we have a currency and economy, and this is what ultimately allows us to live the way we do, further pushing the limits past surviving, and being able to have things that define us as the people we are, and the things that place us into these groups in society. #S103UOW16 #Tut1 #Tue1230

  46. Society is a constantly changing world and therefore it is hard to define society and study sociology. The key to understand society we need to appreciate that society exits. I disagree with Margaret Thatcher’s statement “There is no such thing as society” as society exists. To become aware of the existence of society and its factors, we need a deeper understanding of it which can be achieved by imagining beyond everyday life, defamiliarising the familiar & questioning the taken for granted concepts. C wright Mills through his quote is trying to convey that understanding society is equally important to understanding individual as both are interrelated and have a major impact on an individual (micro) and societal (macro) level.

  47. In my understanding, a society is a highly complex and intriguing mix of individuals who somehow find their way to one another. An individual can desire to make a change, succeed, and proceed to influence those around them. Take for example equal rights among LGTBQ societies, which until recently were rarely discussed. It only takes one person to inspire a community to rally together and change society.
    I see societies everywhere. I see uni students rallying together to help find a building, or confirm where the free food is. I see on campus societies, extending their hands with information, their eyes filled with passion. I see lecturers inspiring the minds of eager students, making them question the world around them. I see change slowly unfolding as the people in the world become more aware. But as much as I see change, I see consistency; people from a similar class, gender or ethnicity banding together as a kind of safety net. A comfort zone some are not even aware they have restricted themselves into. Some recognise this, and choose to stay safe and warm, others break free. They ignite the fiery ideas of change into society. They are the ones who challenge issues such as the economy, the political system or culture and who aid us in opening our eyes, helping us see the fluidity of society.

  48. Society exists. It can be seen in various ways by various groups of people. Society and its many forms, for example a person who lives in particular third world country as opposed to someone living in a developed and industrialised country, will have vastly differing outlooks on the society that surrounds them.
    For an individual to have their own viewpoint of what society is allows them to develop relationships and discover themselves personally because it is what they imagine that drives who they become.
    Because the world has such a diverse selection of individuals, no two outlooks on society will be the same, although the things that make society (the economy, politics, cultures) is what segregates different groups in society, where a similarity in the way one imaginations what is around them is the same as another persons imagination, putting them into the same class of thinking and influencing the way we interact with friends, family, workmates and the wider community around us.
    C. Wright Mills quote is a classic example of there being balance in the way society shapes us and the way we shape society, thus we need to discover ourselves to place ourselves in society, while using the society to help us do so, even if its not clear that we are already involved in a so called ’society’.

    #S103UOW16 #Tut4 #Fri1030

  49. Society is the foundations of which individuals are built on. The ever changing dynamics of society allow for continual influence on individual behaviour. This may not be apparent to each individual, though their expectations, feelings, and behaviours are shaped by society. Not all individuals are intuitive to the effects that society has on their lives. Those that are intuitive can see the behavioural changes and modify their own behaviour regardless of societies influences.
    Society and the ‘other big things’ in life are all connected and shape and influence all aspects of an individuals life to some extent.

  50. Society definently does exist in every part of our lives. It depicts the way we think, act and feel within ourselves and the way we interact with others. Without society individuals cannot exist and vice versa. It influences you from what clothes to wear to who you should be friends with. It is a way for every human being in this world to be connected in some way. Everyone fits into certain groups and conforms to the norms of that particular group. Those choosing not to conform even form their own group. There is no way to escape society.

  51. Society is the general public. It does exist as we are a part of it thus without it means we don’t exist. How come is it that we have different views around the world? Why are we not on the same page as everyone else? Society’s shapes our lives, the way we see things, the way we should dress, think and also work. However, it is hard to properly identify society since we are a part of it and it is changing day by day. Thing such as politics, cultures and economics is responsible for the dividing groups in society. People view society differently compared to others for instance people from 3rd world countries will have different views compared to people in 1st world countries. Once again, we are all a part of society.

  52. The existence of society is evident within our day-to-day activities. Society is some what the building blocks of who we are and whom we have become. i feel that groups of individuals that agree on certain aspects create what it is to have a society and influence what society is and vice-versa. C Wright Mills said in the Sociological Imagination that: “Neither the life of an individual nor the history of a society can be understood without understanding both.” referring to one not working without the other. It is hard to pin point exactly what “society” is as it is forever changing and moves in various directions, based on choices we make.
    #S103UOW16#Tut1#wed830

  53. There is society because it is the fundamental subconsciousness of the human race. It is necessary to keep order and harmony amongst people. Society sets the benchmarks and expectations required to uphold customary practices, to guide, lead and penalise its members according to what that society deems appropriate. External patterns exist which effect individuals in turn each individual responds differently depending upon their experience and situation within that society.

  54. Societies existence can be seen in everyday life, simply by studying social trends in different areas of the world and identifying general patterns which are created by the societies we live in. I believe Thatcher was wrong in saying “there is no such thing as society” as the impact of our societies is evident, however it can be hard to imagine society and the many forms it takes, as we are often only able to recognise the familiar, and often don’t like to accept that our actions are directly influenced by our social environment and not necessarily by our own decision making

  55. Society definitely exists but it can be very difficult to define. I believe that most of us can imagine society but all have very different ideas of what this means. These ideas are impacted upon by everything around us and will always have some affect on our lives. Society influences the way we interact with friends and family, how we define our religion, race etc
    #SOC103UOW16 #TUT1 #WED1030

  56. This question has a definite correlation to the sociological imagination as mentioned by Macinis & Plummer (2012) who believe society exists, it’s there to be seen, but it requires imaginations. Therefore can be suggested that society does exist but it is dependent on the limitations of an individual’s or group imaginations. Comparatively the idea of Social Structures by Macinis & Plummer (2012) identify that society is real and suggest we are individuals, but we belong to categories which shape our behaviour. It is these real categories that support the existence of society.
    Personally, I believe society does exist and I don’t think its existence should be interpreted as a negative ideology. Society exist to assist individuals to belong and assimilate. This is evident from the groups we naturally surround ourselves with (the groups we can’t help but gravitate towards) whether it’s due to their language, beliefs, physical appearance- both internal and external factors. It is evident society is progressive and is able to adapt to new environments and advancements eg. The Industrial Revolution, Technology and Globalisation etc. and I think transformations like these add to the argument of society being a positive ideology as they give opportunity for both individuals and groups to develop and reinvent themselves.

  57. The concept of society varies between the individual, its ability to take many forms means in someway or another every individual is exposed to being apart of a society.
    In regards to C Wright Mills said in the Sociological Imagination that: “Neither the life of an individual nor the history of a society can be understood without understanding both.” Highlights the complexities with society, I think this means that difference in society differs between individuals with thoughts of race, gender, social ties and its important for individuals looking in at another persons society to empathetic towards what other people define their societies as. Do I believe society can be imagined yes I believe I can imagine all the societies I am apart of or once was apart of and the effects its had on me and moulded my ability to part take in future societies whether that be my own family social ties or even sporting teams.

  58. The concept of society varies between the individual, its ability to take many forms means in someway or another every individual is exposed to being apart of a society.
    In regards to C Wright Mills said in the Sociological Imagination that: “Neither the life of an individual nor the history of a society can be understood without understanding both.” Highlights the complexities with society, I think this means that difference in society differs between individuals with thoughts of race, gender, social ties and its important for individuals looking in at another persons society to empathetic towards what other people define their societies as. Do I believe society can be imagined yes I believe I can imagine all the societies I am apart of or once was apart of and the effects its had on me and moulded my ability to part take in future societies whether that be my own family social ties or even sporting teams.
    #SOC103UOW16 #tut1 #tue930

  59. I carry on listening to the news bulletin lecture about receiving free online grant applications so I have been looking around for the top site to get one. Could you tell me please, where could i find some?

Comments are closed.