SOCIOLOGY, Introductory, Liberal
The Promise of Sociology, C. Wright Mills
Why do people in the United States tend to think of the operation of society in personal terms?
People end to equate success in their lives with social stature. Our personal and professional lives seem to be an ongoing competition with our peers and ourselves. Schooling, whether public or private or employment, traditional or trendy. For example, the profession we are in often dictates our taste in clothing. A well regarded man or woman owns a closet full of suits. A laborer may own but one suit, for funerals and weddings. Do we hold the laborer in less regard? Are the laborer’s contribution’s diminished when compared to the stockbroker? Does a sanitation worker attend the opera? Do “blueblood” members of our community attend tractor pulls? We often equate our social worth to our professional and economic status.
What are the practical benefits of the sociological perspective? Are there liabilities?
The benefits of the social perspective would be to allow us to understand that our issues are often commonly shared issues within our society. We are not proprietary in what is often bothersome to us. Realization of that may help us to share a sense of commonality, regardless of our social status, a shared empathy between us. A liability to this perspective could cause one to look outside exclusively, rather than within ourselves for solutions. We might look for a societal answer rather than a personal one.
What does Mills have in mind in suggesting that by developing the sociological imagination we learn to assemble facts into social analysis?
I believe he means we consider our facts and analyze how they relate to the society of today. Different values and attitudes must be considered and understood. What we disdained as non-conforming might now be required to be accepted or embraced. The facts we assemble into social analysis may assist...
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