Theorist of Choice C. Wright Mills - Essay Example

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Write a paper on C. Wright Mills and theories on the sociological imagination. Describe the theory and provide evidence supporting your thesis (three reasons for choosing your theorist). C. Wright Mills inherently believed that people need to comprehend the history of their society, so that they can better understand the workings and functioning of the society, the people who live in it as well as themselves…
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Theorist of Choice C. Wright Mills
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Write a paper on C. Wright Mills and theories on the sociological imagination. Describe the theory and provide evidence supporting your thesis (three reasons for choosing your theorist). C. Wright Mills inherently believed that people need to comprehend the history of their society, so that they can better understand the workings and functioning of the society, the people who live in it as well as themselves. Through this, they will also be able to gauge what their ethics and moral values are. After having an understanding of these issues, the individuals can engage themselves in communal issues faced by the society at large rather than leading an isolated life. This will further allow him to take in hand the problems of his life, which are caused by society. These theories also have vast implementation in the political context. For instance: the implementation of these theories can be seen in the anti-war protests over Iraq. This is because the moral aspects and theories of war aid in creating a sociological imagination of many who may not possess anyone. Sociological imagination is required by many individuals to comprehend the society and the forces which have gone in creating it. If this understanding is not available, then the individual may not be able to understand himself as an individual, nor his/her place in the society. In other words, sociological imagination provides the insight and enables the individual to comprehend the larger and potent forces, which are at work within the society and also tells how they interact cohesively with each other and last but not the least, impacts the life of the individual (Mills, 1959). To elucidate Mills explained that: “What they need, and what they feel they need, is a quality of mind that will help them to use information and to develop reason in order to achieve lucid summations of what is going on in the world and of what may be happening within themselves” (Mills, 1959). Furthermore, Mills argued that if an individual is devoid of such imagination, then he will be isolated from the society and to an extent, also from their true selves. It creates bewilderment and also makes one feel secluded from society. This kind of sociological imagination frees the individual from this isolation by providing him with the knowledge to put his life in a perspective, which includes the contemporary situation of the individual as well as how this contemporary situation evolved and the juxtaposition of the two, which is shown clearly by Elwell’s words: “The sociological imagination is simply a "quality of mind" that allows one to grasp "history and biography and the relations between the two within society.  The sociological imagination enables one to switch from one perspective to another, thereby forming a comprehensive view of the socio-cultural system”(Kpohazounde, 2010). By possessing this knowledge, an individual can become a very proactive and functioning participant in the society. C. Wright Mills also places heavy emphasis on moral and ethical values in his sociological imagination, which is the edifice for the individual and the society. These moral values are shared by and also formulate and shape the moral values of the other. However, the forces present in the society and the incessant transitions cause people to re-adjust themselves and also their values to such changes, which create a questioning of the ethics of the society. This according to Mills is “morally insensible”. There are also some personal troubles of milieu which are troubles and problems experienced by the individual. If a person does not have a sociological imagination, he will not be able to see most of the problems, which are due to the structure in society and also due to the failure in one or more than one of the society’s institutions. The apparent lack of insight may also cease the individual from realizing that the only solution to this problem is not just at a minute individual level, but also at the social level, where he is unable to ever resolve his problems. Hence, the individual is struggling with his troubles and is also constantly endeavoring to liberate himself from these problems (Prevos, 2004). According to Mills, the solution to this dilemma is what he calls “the public issues of social structure”. When an individual has knowledge of the sociological imagination, he in turn realizes that the major underlying cause of his problems is the impact of living in a society, which does not function properly. When an individual has this understanding, he can also see that other people share these troubles, and that the only solution is not just to struggle on an individual basis, but also to combine with those who have shared these experiences (Mills, 1959). References Mills Wright C, The Sociological Imagination, Published in 1959,, Accessed 7th October, 2011 Prevos Peters, Sociological Imagination, Published on 14th June 2004,, Accessed 7th October, 2011 Kpohazounde Grace, The Sociological Imagination, Published in February 2010,, Accessed 7th October, 2011 Read More
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