C Wright Mills The Sociological Imagination Summary

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INTRODUCTION

C. Wright Mills was a mid-century Activist, Journalist, and more importantly a Sociologist who was critical of intellectual sociology and believed sociologists should use their information to advocate for social change. Further, his writings particularly addressed the responsibilities of intellectuals in post World War II society and recommended relevance and engagement over unbiased academic observation. Well known for coining the phrase ‘power elite,’ a term he used to describe the people who ran a government or organization because of their wealth and social status. He was also known and celebrated for his critiques of contemporary power structures. Influenced by Marxist ideas and the theories of Max Weber, Mills was highly
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The most influential and famous work of Mills, The Sociological Imagination (1959), illustrates how one should approach the world if one wants to see and understand as a sociologist does. He emphasizes the importance of seeing the relation between individuals and everyday life and the greater social forces that constitute and pave through society, and the importance of understanding our contemporary lives and social structure in historical context. Mills argued that doing so was a vital element of coming to understand that what we often perceive as personal troubles are in fact public issues. C. Wright Mills argued that a simple few individuals within the political, military and corporate realms actually held the majority of power within the United States and that these few individuals made decisions that boomed throughout all American…show more content…
He was against any individualistic and obscure images of what constitutes society. This concept channels the Marxist idea that any society does not consist of individuals but expresses the sum of relationships and conditions that the individual actor is forming. While quite a number of academics were unwilling to tackle controversial subjects or form strong opinions, Mills eagerly did both. He criticized others for their unwillingness to take a stand, which contributed to his reputation as impetuous. These criticisms and his commitment to social change developed a place for Mills outside of mainstream academia. He completed a substantial range of studies in what was a short working life. Each possessing strengths and weaknesses but together they reflect a concern to understand American society and its place in world affairs. Mills definitely left an everlasting imprint in the world of sociology. CITATION/REFERENCES

• C. Wright Mills: power, craftsmanship, and private troubles and public issues

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