The Promise

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Concepts of C. Wright Mills' The Promise of Sociology

C. Wright Mills was an astounding sociologist, social critic, and idealist. His writings and character sparked debate within the sociological community. He advocated that one key purpose of a sociologist was to create social change against the oppression of government. In The Promise of Sociology, C. Wright Mills explores the imagination of a sociologist through the understanding of social analysis and the idea that society interrelates with an individual's life. The sociological imagination gives a person the ability to understand the factors such as biography, history, and lifestyle that impact and influence the individual. It allows the study of how a person's surroundings change their perception of the society around them. To comprehend the sociological imagination is to understand the principles of personal troubles and public issues. Modern sociologists do not study society to merely maintain it, but also to correct it through social change. What allows modern sociologists to gather, analyze, and correct the pillars of civilization? In Mills' view, a person must have the sociological imagination in order for any change to occur. If Mills' assertion is correct, one cannot be a true sociologist without this imagination. According to Frank Elwell, the sociological imagination is "a term referring to the application of imaginative thought to the asking and answering of sociological questions. [It is] the ability to see the effects of social patterns and history on human behavior." Therefore, the sociological imagination must be the thought process all sociologists experience at some moment in order to question and change society for the better of all people. If I were to imagine the complexity of my society, I would be able to better understand the world I live in. I would better understand groups of people I know on a personal level. My perspective on the world would change dramatically. There are many...
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