Sociological Imagination and the Coronavirus Pandemic

“It’s really messing up with my spring break,” said college student Brianna Leeder to CBS News in reference to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the closing of restaurants and public places. “What is there to do here [Miami Beach] other than go to the bars or the beach?” she asked. She’s certainly not alone in her COVID-19 qualms, though not everyone’s merely concerned about missing out on a little sunbathing. Nevertheless, as a college student I too found myself faced with a spring break dilemma recently, as you’ll hear about in the podcast below, when Hamilton’s ultimate frisbee team was determining whether to attend a week-long tournament in South Carolina. In our debate, we tried to consider as many different perspectives as we could, so that we could make the choice that was best for everyone, not just ourselves. It seems from the news and social media, however, that individuals exhibit varying levels of regard for those around them.

“If I get corona, I get corona. At the end of the day, I’m not gonna let it stop me from partying.”

College student Brady Sluder, Miami Beach, March 2020

“We’re having parties all day. It’s my birthday, St. Patrick’s Day, turn up.”

College student Ni Smith, Miami Beach, March 2020

During this difficult time, sociological imagination–recognizing where one fits into one’s greater society, considering perspectives other than one’s own–is of utmost importance. To what extent are various groups of people facing sociological imagination predicaments? Do college students, employers, parents, and governments act for the betterment of society as a whole, or are their goals more self-centered? In this podcast, I aim to discuss and analyze these perspectives and highlight why being sociologically open-minded is imperative at all times, but especially in the midst of a worldwide pandemic. Please let me know if you have any questions or would like to share additional perspectives not discussed, of which there are many.

The Sociology Podcast: Sociological Imagination and the Coronavirus Pandemic

“It became clear early in the discussions, that no system meets the needs of everyone.”

Hamilton College Dean of Faculty Suzanne Keen, regarding the updated grading policy, April 9, 2020

Works Cited (in order of appearance in the podcast) 2020. Enigmatic. Retrieved April 30, 2020.      (

CBS News. March 19, 2020. “Spring-Breakers Express Frustration over Coronavirus Precautions in Miami.” YouTube Website. Retrieved April 30, 2020 (

Mills, C. Wright. 1959. TheSociological Imagination. New York.  Oxford University Press. Print. 

Ortiz, Aimee. 2020. “Man Who Said, ‘If I Get Corona, I Get Corona,’ Apologizes.” The New York Times. Retrieved April 30, 2020 (

Sternheimer, Karen. 2020. “Applying the sociological imagination to COVID-19.” Everyday Sociology Blog. Retrieved April 30, 2020 (

Norton Sociology. April 11, 2012. “Why did you start working on the Everyday Sociology Blog?” YouTube website. Retrieved April 30, 2020 (

Isinika, Alois. 2020. “[OPINION] Hugas-Kamay: Why DIY Solutions to a Public Problem Will Not Keep Us Alive.” Rappler. Retrieved April 30, 2020 (

Keen, Suzanne. April 9, 2020. “Hamilton College.” Hamilton College. Retrieved May 1, 2020 (