C Wright Mills The Promise Analysis

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C. Wright Mills puts forth in Ch. 1 “The Promise” that the discipline of sociology is focused primarily on the ability to distinguish between an individuals “personal troubles” and the “public issues” of one’s social structure. In the context of a contemporary society, he argues that such issues can be applied by reappraising what are products of an individual’s milieu and what are caused by the fabric of a society. The importance of this in a contemporary society is that it establishes the dichotomy that exists between an individual’s milieu and the structure of their very society.

Mill’s argues that to be able to distinguish between “personal troubles” and “public issues”, one must possess a sociological imagination. It is claimed that through having a sociological imagination individuals “acquire a new way of thinking” and “experience a transvaluation of values”. (Wright Mills, 1959) To strengthen this argument, Mills uses the example of a contemporary individual’s self-conscious view of themselves as an outcast from their society. He argues that such an outlook is a result of “an absorbed realisation of social relativity”. In contrast, the sociological imagination is put forth as the ultimate way to reach self-realisation. …show more content…

In particular, social relativity acts of critical importance when understanding both

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