American Sociologist C. Wright Mills implored us to use our Sociological Imaginations when considering the difference between private troubles and public issues. We can use this thought to better understand our studies and also consider a problem at the heart of sociology – the structure v agency debate.

Sociology helps us look at things from different sides, which in turn should help develop critical thinking. Some consider Sociology to be the study of inequality within society, which in turn helps develop social policy and politics. The list of what you may be studying is a long one whether it includes staples such as the family, education, stratification or beliefs we can help point you in the right direction.

Go and talk with your lecturer, consider how the knowledge and role difference between you both influences your behaviour and conversation. The chances are there is a difference in power between you, consider why?

Shibuya crossing in Japan is one of the busiest road crossings in the World. It is a very graphic representation of some of the issues in Sociology.

Social control is important because it comes in different forms. This example of formal control reveals that our individual capacity to make decisions or agency, is affected by the structures in society. In this case it is the lights and road markings. People could cross but run the risk of being hurt. People may also just be doing what the person next to them is doing (informal control).

What do you think?