Describe what c wright mills meant by the term sociological imagination

Definitions[ edit ] Sociologists differ in their understanding of the concept, but the range suggests several important commonalities. Together, they conclude that C. Wright Mills defined sociological imagination as "the awareness of the relationship between personal experience and the wider society". Specifically, the sociological imagination involves an individual developing a deep understanding of how their biography is a result of historical process and occurs within a larger social context.

Describe what c wright mills meant by the term sociological imagination

Elwell 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. Sociological thought, according to Mills is not something limited to professors of sociology; it is an exercise that all people must attempt.

Mills claimed that Sociological research has come to be guided more by the requirements of administrative concerns than by intellectual concerns.

It has become the accumulation of facts for the purpose of facilitating administrative decisions. To truly fulfill the promise of social sc ience requires us to focus upon substantive problems, and to relate these problems to structural and historical features of thesociocultural system.

These features have meanings for individuals, and they profoundly affect the values, character, and the behavior of the men and women who make up that sociocultural system. The promise of the social sciences is to bring reason to bear on human affairs.

To fulfill this role requires that we "avoid furthering the bureaucratization of reason and of discourse. What I am suggesting is that by addressing ourselves to issues and to troubles, and formulating them as problems of social science, we stand the best chance, I believe the only chance, to make reason democratically relevant to human affairs in a free society, and so to realize the classic values that underlie the promise of our studies" Mills set forth his own conception of how a social scientist should undertake the work.

Describe what c wright mills meant by the term sociological imagination

He conveys a sense of what it means to be an intellectual who concentrates on the social nature of man and who seeks that which is significant. In an appendix to the Sociological Imagination he set forth some guidelines that, if followed, would lead to intellectual craftsmanship.

First of all, a good scholar does not split work from life. Both are part of a seriously accepted unity. Second, a good scholar must keep a file. This file is a compendium of personal, professional, and intellectual experiences 3. Third, a good intellectual engages in continual review of thoughts and experiences.

Fourth, a good intellectual may find a truly bad book as intellectually stimulating and conducive to thinking as a good book. Fifth, there must be an attitude of playfulness toward phrases, words, and ideas.

Along with this attitude one must have a fierce drive to make sense out of the world. Sixth, the imagination is stimulated by assuming a willingness to view the world from the perspective of others. Seventh, one should not be afraidin the preliminary stages of speculation, to think in terms of imaginative extremes.

Eighth, one should not hesitate to express ideas in language which is as simple and direct as one can make it. Ideas are affected by the manner of their expression. An imagination which is encased in deadening language will be a deadened imagination.

Mills identified five overarching social problems in American society: Like Marx, Mills views the problem of alienation as a characteristic of modern society and one that is deeply rooted in the character of work.

Unlike Marx, however, Mills does not attribute alienation to capitalism alone. While he agrees that much alienation is due to the ownership of the means of production, he believes much of it is also due to the modern division of labor.

One of the fundamental problems of mass society is that many people have lost their faith in leaders and are therefore very apathetic. Such people pay little attention to politics. Mills characterizes such apathy as a "spiritual condition" which is at the root of many of our contemporary problems.

Apathy leads to "moral insensibility. They lack indignation when confronted with moral horror; they lack the capacity to morally react to the character, decisions, and actions of their leaders.

Sociological imagination - Wikipedia

Mass communications contributes to this condition, Mills argues, through the sheer volume of images aimed at the individual in which she "becomes the spectator of everything but the human witness of nothing.

Our acts of cruelty and barbarism are split from the consciousness of men--both perpetrators and observers. We perform these acts as part of our role in formal organizations. We are guided not by individual consciousness, but by the orders of others.

Thus many of our actions are inhuman, not because of the scale of their cruelty, but because they are impersonal, efficient. Mills believed that widespread alienation, political indifference, and economic and political concentration of power is a serious all added up to a serious threat to democracy.Early life.

Mills was born in Waco, Texas on August 28, He lived in Texas until he was His father, Charles Grover Mills, worked as an insurance salesman, while his mother, Frances Wright Mills, stayed at home as a housewife.

Sociological imagination C Wright Mills & The Sociological Imagination (Jureidini & Poole, ) To give a definition for ‘sociological imagination’ we must first give a definition for sociology, which is the study of the human society and is the main component of sociological imagination.

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Sociological imagination - Wikipedia

Describe what C. Wright Mills meant by the term sociological imagination. Why is the sociological imagination important and how might students acquire it? 2. Imagine that you have been asked to conduct a study of racism in Hawaii. rbert Spencer's Evolutionary Sociology C. Wright Mills []: C. Wright Mills on the Sociological Imagination.

By Frank W. Elwell.

Committing Sociology Since 2010

The Sociological Imagination is a book written by sociologist C. Wright Mills and published in His goal in writing this book was to try to reconcile two different and abstract concepts of social reality – the "individual" and "society.".

Sociological imagination C Wright Mills & The Sociological Imagination (Jureidini & Poole, ) To give a definition for ‘sociological imagination’ we must first give a definition for sociology, which is the study of the human society and is the main component of sociological imagination.

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