Alcoholism is an individual affliction or a social problem
“Herb is the healing of the nation, alcohol is the destruction.” Lines well said by Bob Marley depicts the social harm that alcoholism has been doing to the mankind for quite a long time now. Noted sociologist C. Wright Mills through his theory of sociological imagination has tried to explain what effects alcoholism has on an individual’s mental and social state and at the broader perspective its’s effect on society.
(Lahiri, 2017)Charles Wright Mills stated Sociological Imagination is the vivid awareness of relationship between private experience and wider society, he further said the sociological imagination helps us to grasp the connection between history and biography. This multidimensional attribute of sociology can be explained as stated in given journal social reality is simultaneously microscopic, based around individual’s private world’s and macroscopic, where the social structure effects the people’s personal mileux. Secondly he stated social reality to be concurrent to history and contemporary as in the present circumstances, events, processes and issues have a history that may effect on their current form and future development. And thirdly reality is political as society is deeply impacted by the operation of power in the nation state and beyond. (Brewer, 2004)
Now coming on our topic of discussion, Alcoholism. We all have heared, read or seen the various depictions portraying alcoholism as a social harm but why is it so? To facilitate the better understanding of this question we need to have a look on the reports from WHO, data show that 96.1%patients of liver cirrhosis constituting of 62.9% males and 32.2% females died due to excessive consumption of alcohol. 35.3% road accidents were caused when the victim/culprit was under the influence of alcohol. The social conditions involved is obviously the peer pressure, no one starts drinking alone it’s either due to movies or advertisement that glorify alcoholism or in majority of cases under the influence of friend circle. Political grounds are also to be held responsible for promotion of alcoholism as it is during the tide of elections that politicians distribute alcoholic drinks for free to the poor people to influence their votes.
The theory of sociological imagination gives the idea that people tend to connect their personal problems with the problems occurring in the working of society. Sociological imagination helps people out to find the difference between individual troubles and public issues. Individuals have discovered the cause of their problem is the lack of change and governance. However, I would question whether the sociological imagination has overcome gender equality and cyclical poverty in our nation because simply giving someone equal rights does not mean that they have equality of life there are still social structures in place that continue to cause inequality to the opportunities available to women. Similarly while we do have different campaigns on making people aware about problems occurring from alcoholism like Alcoholics Anonymous but that doesn’t prevent student’s from consuming liquor as was evident in the multiple cases of consumption of liquor during the recent college fest Biswamil. Thus on one hand where sociological imagination facilitates our understanding of our personal problems by the means of public issues we still need the means to figure out how that problem can be eradicated on public scale.
In conclusion I would say that sociological imagination helps me look at my society from the perspective of what an outsider would see, as humans we should explore what we are given and what we are told is right we must vanquish over our tendency to lead an ordinary life by not settling ourselves to the limited expectations of the society and try to ameliorate expectations of us and everyone from ourselves.