TITLE

From the "Mass Society" to "The Sociological Imagination": Understanding an Intrinsic Clue to C. Wright Mills's Sociological Writings

AUTHOR(S)
Wen Xiang
PUB. DATE
July 2012
SOURCE
Society: Chinese Journal of Sociology / Shehui;2012, Vol. 32 Issue 5, p1
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
This paper tries to explain an intrinsic clue in Mills's empirical study of American society and the epistemological proposal of social sciences. In his stratification trilogy, which consists of New Men of Power: America's Labor Leaders (1948), White Collar: The American Middle Class (1951), and Men of Power (1956), Mills depicted a grey picture of the mass society, where the power was concentrated in the hands of small groups of elites while the labor and white collar were powerless and indifferent. The Sociological Imagination, which was published after the trilogy, inherited the substantive analysis of the mass society in the trilogy and further raised the problem of human nature in the mass society, namely, the problem of so?called "happy robot." On the other hand, it discussed what stance, position, and intervention intellectuals and social researchers should take when facing such a mass society in formation. In particular, Mills proposed how to use the sociological imagination to pursue the ideal of a democratic society. Thus, the trace from the "mass society" to "the sociological imagination" constitutes an intrinsic clue to an understanding of Mills. On this basis, the paper further discusses the two main issues in Mills' sociological writings, namely, to explore the possibility of social change, and to care about the human meaning in modern society.
ACCESSION #
78363682

 

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