Mills Sociological Imagination

Mills, C. Wright. 1959. "The Sociological Imagination" (355-358)

…by failing to develop [their sociological imagination] and to use it [many social scientists] are failing to meet the cultural expectations that are coming to be demanded of them and that the classic traditions of their several disciplines make available to them (357.8)

  1. SI is about overcoming false consciousness that portrays personal experience as disconnected from larger social patterns. (355.1)
  2. Individual biography is embedded in ongoing history (355.3)
  3. History & biography and relations between two in society (355.5).
  4. Three questions (1) Structure of whole society, components and their relations, functions, and dysfunctions? (2) How does this society fit in ongoing history? (3) What kinds of people are there, dominate, are coming to prevail?
  5. Important skill — capacity to shift perspectives and scales (356.3)
  6. Sociological self consciousness break out of the particularity of their situation and see a richer world (356.7)
  7. "personal troubles of milieu" and "public issues of social structure"
  8. Troubles as private matters, issues as matters that transcend situation and inner life. (357.1)
  9. "Styles of Thinking" as important concept. Sociology as a style of thinking more ought to have (357.6)

References and Further Reading


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