SOC 1150 Assignment 9 The Story of You

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Our relationships and societal roles profoundly influence our perception of the world and our sense of self. In the following paper, I will delve into the concepts of sociological imagination, roles, and primary and secondary groups and explore how they have shaped my life and contributed to my identity. Examining these concepts and their relevance to my personal experiences, I aim to understand their impact better.

Sociological Imagination

The sociological imagination enables us to discern societal patterns that affect individuals and groups. According to C. Wright Mills, understanding someone’s experiences and behaviors necessitates considering a given society’s historical and social context (Mills, 1959).

SOC 1150 Assignment 9 The Story of You

My upbringing instilled in me the values of critical thinking, questioning societal norms, and empathizing with those facing adversity. I became aware of the struggles faced by others and felt a strong urge to help. 

However, I also encountered frustration as I realized how deeply ingrained many societal issues were. As I matured, my passion for learning and understanding the world around us intensified. I sought to assist others whenever possible and became driven to effect progressive change by studying organizational dynamics, history, and social injustices.


As Andersen & Taylor (2020) defined, roles are the expected behaviors associated with a given status in society. During my childhood, my family’s active involvement in the church community imposed certain behavioral expectations on me, influencing my demeanor and attire. 

However, as I entered adolescence and experienced personal hardships such as the loss of my grandparents, my brother’s struggle with substance abuse, and my encounter with sexual assault, my belief systems were challenged. 

SOC 1150 Assignment 9 The Story of You

These events shook my religious convictions and forced me to reevaluate my roles in life and contemplate my desired future. I grappled with health issues that led to hospitalizations, battled mental health challenges, and eventually confronted substance abuse problems. These trials transformed my roles and compelled me to redefine my identity.

I am a mother of five children and strive to further my career in substance abuse treatment by pursuing a degree. As a woman, a mother, a caretaker of a special needs child, a non-traditional college student, and an employee in the mental health field, 

I carry multiple roles with certain expectations and socializations specific to each circumstance. These roles have shaped my experiences and influenced how I perceive the world and my place within it.

Primary and Secondary Groups

Primary and secondary groups play vital roles in our socialization process. Primary groups consist of individuals closest to us, such as romantic partners, family members, and close friends. These intimate relationships provide socioemotional support, fulfill our expressive needs, and allow others to witness our true selves.

SOC 1150 Assignment 9 The Story of You

Primary group relationships are long-term, often lasting a lifetime (Andersen & Taylor, 2020). On the other hand, secondary groups form around common interests or goals, such as classmates, doctors, athletic teammates, or coworkers. These relationships are typically less personal and more short-lived than those in primary groups, serving instrumental purposes (Andersen & Taylor, 2020).

Throughout my life, the composition of my primary and secondary groups has constantly changed. These changes have occurred due to various factors, such as geographical distance, diverging interests, or evolving priorities. 

Many individuals I once shared intimate primary group relationships with are no longer part of my life. I have distanced myself from the church where I grew up and drifted apart from childhood and early adulthood friends. The dissolution of certain primary groups has necessitated the formation of new ones as I seek connections and support from individuals who align with my current values and aspirations.

SOC 1150 Assignment 9 The Story of You

Currently, my primary groups consist of a few close friends and

 My family. My secondary groups include

  • coworkers,
  • friends with children of similar ages,
  • neighbors within my community,
  • fellow individuals in substance abuse treatment, and
  • classmates from the courses I am currently undertaking.

Using Sociology to Improve Collaboration

Understanding sociological imagination, the roles assigned within society, and the dynamics of primary and secondary groups gives me a significant advantage when collaborating with others. Proficiency in the roles we assume offers invaluable insights into our identities and enhances our social awareness. 

Familiarity with primary and secondary groups aids problem-solving by facilitating the delegation of tasks and responsibilities as we work collectively towards common goals. The ability to view situations from multiple perspectives through the application of sociological imagination enhances problem-solving skills and cultivates empathetic, informed interactions with those around us. SOC 1150 Assignment 9 The Story of You

Sociological Research

As someone in substance abuse recovery with a deep interest in societal research, mental health, and the complexities of addictive behaviors, I am particularly intrigued by the evolution of primary groups for individuals in recovery. 

Removing contact with individuals who influence substance consumption is critical to maintaining abstinence and initiating positive life changes (Davis, Patton, & Jackson, 2018). Therefore, my research question would be: “How does the nature of socio-emotional support change for individuals who have successfully abstained from substance use?”

To address this question, I would develop a comprehensive research design and review existing literature on substance abuse treatment, community services, and emotional support systems for individuals in recovery. Data collection would involve distributing questionnaires, accompanied by informed consent, at recovery support groups and clinics offering individual drug and alcohol counseling. 

SOC 1150 Assignment 9 The Story of You

The questionnaires would capture relevant information to examine the patterns and variations in socioemotional support experienced by individuals who have achieved successful long-term abstinence. 

Additionally, I would synthesize findings from previous studies with the data collected from questionnaires to identify consistent themes and potential inconsistencies. The results of this study contribute to a better understanding of the dynamics of socioemotional support for individuals in recovery.


Societal expectations and the groups we belong to significantly influence our identities and life trajectories. While some roles and groups remain relatively stable, others transform over time. How we interact with others and perceive the world profoundly affects our relationships and the outcomes of various situations.

We recognized the roles we assume and understood how our mindset and perspectives influence us to foster personal growth and facilitate more productive interactions with others. By embracing sociological concepts such as sociological imagination, roles, and primary and secondary groups, we gain deeper insights into ourselves and the world around us, ultimately enriching our social experiences. SOC 1150 Assignment 9 The Story of You

Through sociological research, we can further explore and understand the intricacies of societal dynamics, contributing to improving social systems and the well-being of individuals within them.


Andersen, M. L., & Taylor, H. F. (2020). Sociology: The essentials (10th ed.). Cengage. 

Davis, P., Patton, R., & Jackson, S. (2018). Addiction: Psychology and treatment. Wiley. 

Mills, C. Wright. (1959). The Sociological Imagination. New York: Oxford University Press.