Intuition & the Sociological Imagination (1)

A few weeks ago I discussed the idea of the  sociological imagination in one of my posts (see below). While thinking about that again, it reminded me of a line from one of Morgan Freeman’s possibly lesser-known movies, where his character says: “You do what you are Jezzie… You’re born with a gift. If not that, then you get good at something along the way. And what you’re good at, you don’t take for granted. You don’t betray it.” (

What does this have to do with my post about the sociological imagination? 

I’ve always been an intuitive observer of people, especially the ways that people interact in social and/or institutional settings. I was particularly intrigued by subtle hierarchies in interactions at in friendship circles and/or at school (e.g. whose opinions/voices were elevated/ignored) and don’t get me started with the church and/or Christian NGO context, where power grabs and politicking was framed in “Christian-ese” (i.e. that kind of spiritual sounding talking that justifies behaviour).

It wasn’t until I was 22 that I learn about the field of study called sociology (I might have heard the word before but didn’t know what it was). I was 23 when I sat in my first sociology class, and 30 when I got my first qualification where I majored in sociology (I spent some living in England and moving around South America between qualifications). 

I eventually received my PhD in sociology at 39, so you could say I had a ‘gift’ AND I got very good at it, by studying it in-depth. 

Unfortunately, and somewhat ironically, some of my experiences in academia and research felt like a betrayal of that gift, the knowledge, the skills. Those spaces demanded a rathe cynical commodification that often felt like a betrayal of everything I’d studied.

Maybe this perspective is far too idealistic. Then again, I have often said that my cynical tendencies are the product of a romantic or idealistic outlook encountering too many reality checks.

So, where to from here…? Watch this space.

Post about the #sociologicalimagination

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