C. Wright Mills and the Ending of Violence by John D. Brewer (auth.)

By John D. Brewer (auth.)

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Overwhelmed by institutions and forces over which it appears they have no control yet in which people are embedded, at the play of big institutions and structures and the mercy of the politics of the powerful nation state, ordinary people feel panic or indifference. Uneasiness and apathy were marks of that time period and the foremost responsibility for sociologists with the proper imagination was: ‘to make clear the elements of contemporary uneasiness and indifference . . It is because of this task and these demands, I believe, that .

Politics is implanted on this intersection by the focus placed on the mobilisation strategies of key political actors. In Chapter 4 the political dimension of the sociological imagination is given greater attention when we look at the way in which social structural factors and political events, nationally and internationally, combined to impact on the ending of violence.

Social structures have to be approached historically, for their shape may be influenced by the past, which means that people’s personal milieux and their individual biographical C. Wright Mills and the Sociological Imagination 35 experiences may feel the imprint of history. One of the truisms of the discipline is that sociologists are interested in social processes for the patterns they exhibit, being concerned with historical events only for the generalisations they contain (for a good discussion of this, see Runciman, 1999: 140ff ).

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