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According to C. Wright Mills, the concept of sociological imagination highlights the view that one’s situation is directly connected to the history and characteristics of one’s society. The concept of sociological imagination requires individuals to think outside their immediate personalities and link their problems to the happenings in the society. Therefore, the concept of sociological imagination reveals the view that the problems we face in our lives do not necessary emanate from our own failures, but from the society. Many problems that individuals are likely to face in their lives should be categorized as public issues because they are rooted in the fabric of our society.
In this essay, I will apply the concept of sociological imagination to highlight the view that the social problems I have faced since I came to America emanate from my Nigerian society where I come from.
My problem began when I landed in America to study and look for a job. I faced many instances of abandonment and sort of rejection as I tried to adapt to my school life and look for a job. The key cause of my problem was my race and ethnicity. As noted earlier, I come from Nigeria and it would have been automatically difficult for me to penetrate the American society and find a breakthrough in my career. My race and ethnicity made it difficult for me to adopt to my school life and look for a job as many people could not understand my British English accent. I believe my race and ethnicity contributed massively to my abandonment and neglect in the American society that puts the interests of its people first.
The resolution to this problem would be to have a society that does not necessarily discriminate individuals based on their family background, race and ethnicity, religion, and social class. Everyone should be given an opportunity to freely work anywhere in the world. Globalization has given us an opportunity to move around the world and work without abandonment and neglect from other members.
I kept asking myself why I could not find a well-paying job in my own country instead of suffering here. My husband is also involved because he encouraged me to move to America with the hope of a better career development. I must admit that I felt extremely sad and abandoned because of the outright discrimination I faced in America, which was based on my race, accent, and my country of origin.
I think such situations as mine are prevalent because of the high level of social stratification and class differentiation among individuals. When you come from a country like mine, you would be overlooked. The only choice I made was to remain persistent because I knew that I would find favor at some point. On the other hand, I did not make choices of going back to my country immediately because of the inadequate job opportunities.
In this section, I utilize the social conflict theory to give a broader overview of the forces within the society that have been responsible for contributing to my problem. According to Marger (2014, p. 56), the social conflict theory affirms that there is a high competition for scarce resources within the society, and the rich would always do anything to exploit the poor within the society.
Admittedly, my problems emanate mainly from the self-centered nature of the Nigerian Government and the dominance of elite politicians within the society. I faced this situation because our country does not have a good government in Nigeria. Many elite politicians are not interested in the development of country. The Government tends to embrace the approach of dividing people into classes. Its officials continue living a luxury life without thinking about the creation of work places for people. The inefficiency and the high levels of corruption in the Nigerian Government have led to the increased levels of poverty and inequality in the society. For instance, many graduates have not been able to access job opportunities as elite politicians make way for members of their families once they retire from their positions. The level of exploitation is extremely high and intolerable because it hurts many people who have spent their time and money investing in academics. It is in tandem with Colney’s (2013, p. 311) assertion that educated individuals in developing countries are likely to be in the 30% category of unemployed individuals. I believe that it contributed to my situation because it made me move to another country to look for a job. I would have not suffered in cases where we had job opportunities for all graduates in Nigeria.
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Additionally, my problem is directly connected with the lack of efficient infrastructure and social amenities in Nigeria. The Government has not taken the globalization advantage to develop infrastructure and social amenities that would make it easier for graduates to access job opportunities. The lack of other social amenities, such as well-equipped universities, also makes individuals seek educational opportunities in other countries. There is no doubt that I would have opted to remain and pursue my education in Nigeria if social amenities and infrastructure would have been effectively developed. There continues to be gender imbalance in the society and the class system, which does not favor individuals who are not connected with the influential leaders in the country. The lack of sound infrastructure and social amenities in Nigeria is a key contributor to my situation because it locks me out of quality education and employment.
Lastly, my problem came in place because the Nigerian Government has not taken the initiative to ensure security for its citizens. There is extensive hopelessness among graduates in the country because most of them cannot access job opportunities. It is connected with the continued exploitation of greedy government officials who continue to provide opportunities for their children in the country. Insecurity has emerged as many graduates try to make their ends meet in the society.