Difference Between Sociological Imagination and Common Sense

By: | Updated: Nov-1, 2022
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Many people think that sociological imagination and common sense are the same things. Allegedly, sociology is common sense. The concepts do not refer to the same thing. The idea that people didn’t study sociology and didn’t look into the heart of the concept is wrong. Below, we’ll understand how sociology and common sense differ.

Concepts of Sociology and Common Sense

Difference Between Sociological Imagination and Common Sense

Before comparing sociology and common sense, knowing what they mean is essential. Sociology is studied in almost every college, school, university, or educational institution. This basic subject often not be practical for employees of certain professions. If you’re having trouble writing an essay on Sociological Imagination, you can always look at the examples of essays. Here you can find inspiration to help you write. A sample essay will help you save time when doing homework. Writers frequent the site with education or qualifications in the field of sociology.

What Are Sociology and The Sociological Imagination

Sociology is a sociological science that studies the structure and dynamics of society.

The training of sociologists has four goals:

  • Learning the language of the subject, getting to know a set of concepts through which social reality is known;
  • Instilling a particular view on a specific subject, developing a perspective approach to social reality;
  • Training in the application of methods, procedures, and techniques of empirical research;
  • Application of information about modern social life’s main facts and information.

Science combines the first two points under the concept of “Sociological Imagination.” Charles Mills first used the idea. According to him, the sociological imagination helps to understand history and biography and the close relationship of these concepts within society.

Sociological imagination is the ability to view society from a certain angle.

5 components can be included in this skill:

  1. The ability to consider all occurring social phenomena as a result of the activities of social agents.
  2. Understanding the hidden phenomena, cultural, structural resources, and constraints that affect social life.
  3. Studying the traditions and heritage of the past, understanding their influence on the present.
  4. Perception of social life as a dynamic and constantly changing process.
  5. Recognition that there is a wide variety and variability in the forms of manifestation of social life.

What Is Common Sense Means?

Common sense is a phenomenon based on individual and natural hypotheses. Common sense is inherent only to a particular person. It is personal and varies from person to person. Finding identical common sense among hundreds of people belonging to different social groups is challenging.

Common sense is a set of generally accepted ways of explaining and evaluating events that occur in the external and internal world. The term “common sense” was first used by Aristotle.

Differences Between Sociology and Common Sense

There is a close relationship between sociology and common sense. But both concepts have a huge gap between each other. Sociologists are concerned with checking whether an event is a fact or fiction. In this case, not only personal beliefs are used, but also evidence. In Common Sense, there are no strict restrictions and specific rules. A certain theory cannot be equally applied to a particular person. People often have extremely conflicting opinions about a specific event.


Common sense can be helpful in certain situations. But not everything that happens can be accurately predicted.

  • Common sense is different for each person. Here, much depends on the foundations, customs, and beliefs of the family in which the individual was born and raised. Common sense does not call for any change. He seeks to maintain the status quo. Sociology, by contrast, is built on evidence and belief. Science decides what applies to life and what is not. Sociology is the engine of change in society. It leads to a change in the current situation if existing opinions and evidence disagree with each other.
  • Common sense in a person exists only against the background of assumptions. The individual has no visible evidence of what he believes. The sociological imagination is not mere speculation. In sociology, conclusions are made only after the sociologist has collected all the necessary evidence and studied it. As a result, all sociology theories can directly apply in real life.
  • Common sense is based only on personal experience. Sociology does not consider each individual separately; it studies the whole society. Common sense is formed in a person as he encounters various situations in his life. Sociology is based on evidence and does not refer to individual experience.
  • Sociology is a scientific discipline that deals with the study of society. Common sense does not study anything and is not a science.
  • Sociologists, when studying the surrounding world and society, are faced with constant patterns characteristic of certain events. Common sense is a subjective concept. For each person, common sense is different; it depends on the family, society, and other external factors.
  • Common sense is extremely limited. They are used by man only within his environment. At the same time, sociological conclusions can be applied to the whole society.


Sociological science includes many studies. They are aimed at disproving or proving specific theories. As a result, all knowledge from sociology can be easily applied in practice. Against the background of all of the above, you should not think that there is absolutely no point in the ordinary sense. Common sense often becomes the engine of the process in sociology. It leads to the fact that sociologists begin to think about certain things and research to collect evidence.

Sociological imagination and common sense are different concepts. But all of the above allows us to conclude that they are closely related. Sociology cannot exist without common sense, and common sense does not appear without sociology.

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