Mills the promise.mht

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From: <Saved by Windows Internet Explorer 8> Subject: socimagination Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2010 13:38:21 -0700 MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/html; charset="Windows-1252" Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable Content-Location: http://legacy.lclark.edu/~goldman/socimagination.html X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V6.00.2900.5931 X <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN"> <HTML><HEAD><TITLE>socimagination</TITLE> <META content=3D"text/html; charset=3Dwindows-1252" = http-equiv=3DContent-Type><!--This file created 5/14/99 9:11 AM by = Claris Home Page version 3.0--> <META name=3DGENERATOR content=3D"MSHTML = 8.00.6001.18928"><X-CLARIS-WINDOW=20 RIGHT=3D"538" LEFT=3D"8" BOTTOM=3D"624" TOP=3D"66"><X-CLARIS-TAGVIEW=20 MODE=3D"minimal"></HEAD> <BODY bgColor=3D#ffffff> <H1> <CENTER>The Sociological Imagination</CENTER></H1> <H2> <CENTER>Chapter One: The Promise</CENTER></H2> <H2> <CENTER>C. Wright Mills (1959)</CENTER></H2> <P>Nowadays people often feel that their private lives are a series of = traps.=20 They sense that within their everyday worlds, they cannot overcome their = T troubles, and in this feeling, they are often quite correct. What = ordinary=20 people are directly aware of and what they try to do are bounded by the = private=20 orbits in which they live; their visions and their powers are limited to = the=20 close-up scenes of job, family, neighborhood; in other milieux, they = move=20 vicariously and remain spectators. And the more aware they become, = however=20 vaguely, of ambitions and of threats which transcend their immediate = locales,=20 the more trapped they seem to feel. </P> <P>Underlying this sense of being trapped are seemingly impersonal = changes in=20 the very structure of continent-wide societies. The facts of = contemporary=20 history are also facts about the success and the failure of individual = men and=20 women. When a society is industrialized, a peasant becomes a worker; a = feudal=20 lord is liquidated or becomes a businessman. When classes rise or fall, = a person=20 is employed or unemployed; when the rate of investment goes up or down, = a person=20 takes new heart or goes broke. When wars happen, an insurance = salesperson=20 becomes a rocket launcher; a store clerk, a radar operator; a wife or = husband=20
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lives alone; a child grows up without a parent. Neither the life of an=20 individual nor the history of a society can be understood without = understanding=20 both.</P> <P>Yet people do not usually define the troubles they endure in terms of = < historical change and institutional contradiction. The well-being they = enjoy,=20 they do not usually impute to the big ups and downs of the societies in = which=20 they live. Seldom aware of the intricate connection between the patterns = of=20 their own lives and the course of world history, ordinary people do not = usually=20 know what this connection means for the kinds of people they are = becoming and=20 for the kinds of history-making in which they might take part. They do =
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This note was uploaded on 02/05/2011 for the course MATH 21 taught by Professor Yeilei during the Spring '08 term at UC Merced.

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Mills the promise.mht - From:

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