Important People of Sociology Review Guide
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C. Wright Mills:
- The Sociological Imagination
- 3 broad categories of questions focusing on the structure of society, the patterns of social
change, and the characteristics of people who contribute to society
-People often feel as if they are in a series of traps in their personal lives. They feel that
they cannot overcome their personal problems (and people are usually right about this
-Individuals do not generally control forces that affect their lives.
-Social Imagination: the capacity to understand the relationship between elements of
society and their impact on individuals life chances
-Parsons was concerned with the problem of social order, "how, if individuals were really
separate entities pursuing their self-interest, there could be any order at all: How could
there be anything but disorder?". In practice, people do cooperate, and there is a degree of
social integration. For Parsons this comes from the values of society and of social actors –
the basis of social action can be termed voluntarism. "People act on the basis of their values;
their actions are oriented and constrained by the values and norms of people around them;
and these norms and values are the basis of social order".
-created structural functionalism
-founder of of political economy theory
-Das Kapital : a critique of capitalism.
-inspired by the suffering of factory workers and their families
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