Wednesday, February 3, 2010

2/2/10 Class Notes

C. Wright Mills

I. American Sociologist
a. Similar to Karl Marx regarding capitalism and beyond.
b. Knowledge plus social change—Sociological knowledge as a means to an end.
c. Public intellectual—political and social issues (book by Howard Zinn—The People’s History of the United States).
d. Sociological Imagination is a concept coined by C. Wright Mills

Research and theory = research = data + theory = imagination (if not properly done will result in Abstracted Imperialism or Grand Theory.

II. Abstracted Imperialism – Data Collected without theory (opposite of Grand Theory

III. Grand Theory—Fetishism of Concepts—theory in spite of empirical data.

IV. Socio-Historical Approach – History – Present and Past is a long process – comparative analysis

V. Personal and Public Issues—personal troubles and public issues—unemployment is a personal and public issue although C. Wright Mills would have felt it only a public issue. Public issues cause Public Discourse.

VI. The Power Elite—(look on webct) who are the power elite? Economic order—B Gates, political order--President, military order—Military General—Why are they powerful? Because of their institutional power. Institutional power—national and international consequences.

VII. World War II—afterwards the US became one of the wealthiest countries in the world.