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C. Wright Mills and the Sociological Imagination

Contemporary Perspectives Edited by John Scott CBE, formerly Professor of Sociology and Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research, Plymouth University, UK and Ann Nilsen, Professor of Sociology, University of Bergen, Norway
C. Wright Mills is one of the towering figures in contemporary sociology and his writings continue to be of great relevance to the social science community. Generations of sociology students have enjoyed learning about the discipline from reading his best known book The Sociological Imagination. Over the years the title has become a term in itself with a variety of interpretations, many far removed from the original. The chapters in Part One of this book begins with general issues around the nature and significance of the sociological imagination, continue through discussions of modes of theorising and historical explanation, the relationship between history and biography, and the intellectual and political relationship of Mills to Marxism. They conclude with considerations on issues of class, power, and warfare. Part Two of the book includes a series of reflections from scholars who were invited to give personal thoughts on the impact of Mills’s writings in their sociological work, with particular attention to their own ‘biography and history’.
Extent: 256 pp
Hardback Price: £90.00 Web: £81.00
Publication Date: 2013
ISBN: 978 1 78254 002 1
Availability: In Stock
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  • Social Policy and Sociology
  • Sociology and Sociological Theory
C. Wright Mills is one of the towering figures in contemporary sociology and his writings continue to be of great relevance to the social science community. Generations of sociology students have enjoyed learning about the discipline from reading his best known book The Sociological Imagination. Over the years the title has become a term in itself with a variety of interpretations, many far removed from the original. The chapters in Part One of this book begins with general issues around the nature and significance of the sociological imagination, continue through discussions of modes of theorising and historical explanation, the relationship between history and biography, and the intellectual and political relationship of Mills to Marxism. They conclude with considerations on issues of class, power, and warfare. Part Two of the book includes a series of reflections from scholars who were invited to give personal thoughts on the impact of Mills’s writings in their sociological work, with particular attention to their own ‘biography and history’.

With renowned international contributors and expert contributions from a range of specialisms, this book will appeal to academics, students and researchers of sociology.
'What this collection offers more than anything is the opportunity to adopt Mills’ thought as a spur to action – as a way of being a sociologist... particularly in environments where sociology is increasingly under threat.'
– LSE Review of Books
Contributors: D. Bertaux, J. Brannen, J.D. Brewer, O. Brox, K. Kumar, K. Mills, L. Mjøset, M. Newman, A. Nilsen, O.J. Olsen, J. Platt, M. Savage, J. Scott, A.J. Treviño
Contents:

Foreword
Kathryn Mills

Introduction: Mills Today
Ann Nilsen and John Scott

PART I: THE INTELLECTUAL LEGACY
1. The Sociological Imagination, ‘On Intellectual Craftsmanship’, and Mills’s Influence on Research Methods
Jennifer Platt

2. C. Wright Mills and the Necessity of History
Krishan Kumar

3. The Fate of The Sociological Imagination: Mills, Social Science and Contemporary Sociology
Lars Mjøset

4. Contextualising Lives: The History–Biography Dynamic Revisited
Ann Nilsen and Julia Brannen

5. Mills, Miliband and Marxism
Michael Newman

6. C. Wright Mills and the Contemporary Challenge of Biographical Methods
Mike Savage

7. Class, Elites and Power: A Contemporary Perspective
John Scott

8. Access to Power Resources and Increase of the Symbolic Body
Daniel Bertaux

9. C. Wright Mills on War and Peace
John D. Brewer

PART II: REFLECTIONS AND ENCOUNTERS
Kathryn Mills: War and Peace, Civil Rights and Gender: A Few Reflections About My Father

John Scott: Encountering the Sociological Imagination

A. Javier Treviño: C. Wright Mills as Designer, Craftsman and Stylist

Ottar Brox: What C. Wright Mills Can Teach Us Today

John D. Brewer: The Sociological Imagination and Public Sociology

Ole Johnny Olsen: Learning From an Early Encounter with The Power Elite

Ann Nilsen: Encounters with Pragmatism

Index