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Charles Wright Mills

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Charles Wright Mills was the most inspiring sociologist of the second half of the twentieth century, his achievement all the more remarkable for the fact that he died at 45 and produced his major work in a span of little more than a decade. He was a critic of ideology and a social scientist as well. According to many people he was both a scholar and radical, but unfortunately never quite succeeding. Mills had many ideas and philosophies, which some were agreed on and others objected to. He spent a great amount of time dealing with the writings of Karl Marx and Max Weber. Mills mixed the ideas of these two sociologists to come up with some of his best ideas and thoughts. The combination of Marx and Weber helped develop Mills's theory of social reality. Throughout the short life that Mills lived he wrote eleven books and over two hundred articles. Mills was forced to live off advances of books not yet written and he died nine thousand dollars in debt. His wife had no other choice but to barrow money from her father to bury him. According to contemporary social thought; his protestant background lies at the root of his social philosophy. Just recently, nearly a decade after his death is he beginning to be recognized for what he deserves. C. Wright Mills was born in Waco, Texas, on August 28, 1916. ...read more.


They simply dominated the country. Mills thought that the New Deal had greatly enhanced the power of the executive branch of the federal government. This had also given other groups such as organized labor and farms new access to power. Along with this the World War and the Cold War had increased the power of the military. In Mills's view, workers and farmers had more influence on public policy then they had before the New Deal. At the time Mills published the "new men of power" in 1948, which was the first volume of his trilogy on stratification (Tilman, 20). He believed that the United States was becoming a military force state with little standing in the way of economic slump and renewed warfare. Mills was concerned with power and powerlessness. In his, "new men of power", he analyzed the inability of the labor leader to exert power while in the essential powerlessness of the middle class (he referred to the middle class as white collar). In his third volume of the stratification trilogy, which was "the power elite", Mills focused on the powerlessness and apathy of mass society, which included the majority of the American people. It is said to be his best-known and most controversial work. Mills described an elite class composed of members of corporate, political, and military circles who made the important decisions in American life. ...read more.


Unfortunately his religion was not the only foundation for his thought. There were several other contributions that Mills believed in to help him acquire a rationale. Mill's was exposed to pragmatism, Weberian sociology, neo-Freudianism, and Marxism (Scimecca, 22). George Herbert Mead inspired Mill's to develop his theory of "the self". That was one of his pragmatic theories. As said above, Mills is just beginning to get recognized for his contributions to this society. His eleven books and hundreds of articles are still educating people today. Very few men in this world have left such a great intellectual legacy, and fewer still controversial and misunderstood. Charles Mills saw a different America then his peers around him and paid a great price for his dissenting views. People today are embracing Mills more for his heroics and colorful exploits that for his sociological writings. Today, Mills is known as the father of "radical sociology". His heroism is looked at more greatly then ever before. He is continually being looked upon more as a romantic hero than a social theorist. Mills was a controversial sociologist who lived through difficult times. His work remains of value to virtually every sociologist in the field. For emerging radical sociologists in the United States he is becoming a heroic figure to them. Regardless of what our overall judgement of his achievements, he is a difficult person to ignore. Instead of insisting on what Mills wants from sociology or what people want from him, why not acknowledge what he has given us. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 1 ...read more.

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