Sociological Imagination 09-10-2012
Reading: The Promise
C. Wright Mills
STRUCTURE OF PARTICULAR SOCIETY
What is the structure of this particular society as a whole?
What are its essential components, and how are they related to one another?
How does it differ from other varieties of social order?
Within it, what is the meaning of any particular feature for its continuance or change?
Where does this society stand in human history?
What are the mechanics by which it is changing?
What is its place within and its meaning for the development of humanity as a whole?
How does any particular feature we are examining affect and how is it affected by the historical
period in which it moves?
And this period, what are its essential features?
How does it differ from other periods?
What are its characteristics ways of history-making?
INDIVIDUALS WITHIN SOCIETY
What varieties of men and women now prevail in this society and in this period?
What varieties are coming to prevail?
In what ways are they selected and formed, liberated and repressed?
What kinds of “human nature” are revealed in the conduct and character we observe in this
society in this period?
What is the meaning for “human nature” of each and every feature of the society we are
THE SOCIOLOGICAL IMAGINATION
“The quality of mind”
Combining the use of information and reason
Understand our place in society by thinking about troubles with a social basis