c wright mills personal problems and public issues

Wright Mills, the radical Columbia University sociologist who died 50 years ago (March 20, 1962), has been defined by some as the pioneer of the new radical sociology that emerged in the 1950s, in which his book, The Sociological Imagination (1959), has played a crucial role (Restivo 1991, p. 61). Mills was a meticulous researcher and his writing combined outrage and analysis, but he did not wanted to be what he called a “sociological bookkeeper”. Moreover, C.

Wright Mills argued that perhaps the most helpful distinction with which the sociological imagination works is between personal troubles and public issues. Here we can focus on how he is connecting the social, personal, and historical dimensions of our lives and understand what is the difference between ‘personal troubles’ and ‘public issues’ and how it is related. At the beginning, we need to understand the meaning of ‘personal troubles’ and ‘public issues’, the difference between it and try not to get confused.

The “personal troubles of milieu”, are the problems experienced by the individual, which occur in his daily life. It has to do with ‘an individual’s character and with those limited areas of social life of which he is directly and personally aware'(Mills, 1959, p. 4). Because these situations are caused by individual factors, it can just be solved with the desire of individual to change. However, talking about ‘public issues’, it is usually caused by the structure of society or the failure of one or more of society’s institutions.

Generally, an issue is a public matter and a trouble is a private matter. C. Wright Mills thought that the individual needs to understand the history of his society to understand the society, and himself in it. Associating ‘personal troubles’ and ‘public issues’ the individual will see that ‘others also share these troubles, and that the solution is not to struggle individually, but to join forces with those who also share his experiences’ (Mills, 1959, p. 8).

With this insight a person could then pursue in the public issues of the society, find a role and place, and address the troubles of his life, which are caused by the society. I would say that this relationship is the best way to describe what the sociological imagination is, because it provides this insight, allowing the individual to recognise and understand the larger forces within the society, and how these forces interact with, and affect the lives of the individuals. In addition, I think that the best example would be to look at the situation in Lithuania.

In a nation of about 3 million employees, 200 thousand men are unemployed and, as a result, 58 thousand Lithuanians are immigrated to other countries. When we see such numbers, we cannot claim an individual and it is clear, that this is a public issue, and we may not be able to ever solve these problems alone. Sadly, nobody is taking any serious action to stop emigration. We can easily find the main reason by looking Lithuanian history. During the World War II, it was occupied by the Soviet Union for more than 50 years, all political, economic, and cultural life was controlled.

Children were grown with fear, there was no free will and all borders were closed. If you were not happy with the situation, there was two ways – to keep quiet or to be deported. I would say that even now, in independent country, citizens are scared to take actions and do not see any solutions, they just choose the easiest ways – run away from problems or keep quiet. Hopefully, the new generation, who is born in independent and democratic country, might take some actions to ensure a better life for their children.

In conclusion, without a sociological imagination the individual is unable to see that most of his troubles are caused by the structure of society and he cannot become involved in the question of moral values of his community. We must ‘know that the problems of social science, when adequately formulated, must include both troubles and issues, both biography and history, and the range of their intricate relations. Within that range the life of the individual and the making of societies occur; and within that range the sociological imagination has its chance to make a difference in the quality of human life in our time’ (Mills, 1959, p. 26)

Words: 724 References 1. Kathryn Mills with Patricia Mills, editors, “C. Wright Mills: Letters and Autobiographical Writings,”, (2000), first chapter. 2. C Wright Mills, (1959), “The Sociological Imagination”, first and last chapters. 3. Sal Restivo” The Sociological Worldview” (1991) , first chapter. 4. http://www. cwrightmills. org/ – 16:0516/10/2012 5. http://www. bernardinai. lt/straipsnis/2012-01-09-statistikos-departamentas-lietuvos-gyventoju-sumazejo-taciau-padidejo-sugrizusiu-emigrantu-skaicius/75055 18:15 16/10/2012

"Looking for a Similar Assignment? Order now and Get a Discount!

Get Better Grades Effortlessly
Calculate your paper price
Pages (550 words)
Approximate price: -

Why Work with Us

Top Quality and Well-Researched Papers

We always make sure that writers follow all your instructions precisely. You can choose your academic level: high school, college/university or professional, and we will assign a writer who has a respective degree.

Professional and Experienced Academic Writers

We have a team of professional writers with experience in academic and business writing. Many are native speakers and able to perform any task for which you need help.

Free Unlimited Revisions

If you think we missed something, send your order for a free revision. You have 10 days to submit the order for review after you have received the final document. You can do this yourself after logging into your personal account or by contacting our support.

Prompt Delivery and 100% Money-Back-Guarantee

All papers are always delivered on time. In case we need more time to master your paper, we may contact you regarding the deadline extension. In case you cannot provide us with more time, a 100% refund is guaranteed.

Original & Confidential

We use several writing tools checks to ensure that all documents you receive are free from plagiarism. Our editors carefully review all quotations in the text. We also promise maximum confidentiality in all of our services.

24/7 Customer Support

Our support agents are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week and committed to providing you with the best customer experience. Get in touch whenever you need any assistance.

Try it now!

Calculate the price of your order

Total price:

How it works?

Follow these simple steps to get your paper done

Place your order

Fill in the order form and provide all details of your assignment.

Proceed with the payment

Choose the payment system that suits you most.

Receive the final file

Once your paper is ready, we will email it to you.

Our Services

No need to work on your paper at night. Sleep tight, we will cover your back. We offer all kinds of writing services.


Essay Writing Service

No matter what kind of academic paper you need and how urgent you need it, you are welcome to choose your academic level and the type of your paper at an affordable price. We take care of all your paper needs and give a 24/7 customer care support system.


Admission Essays & Business Writing Help

An admission essay is an essay or other written statement by a candidate, often a potential student enrolling in a college, university, or graduate school. You can be rest assurred that through our service we will write the best admission essay for you.


Editing Support

Our academic writers and editors make the necessary changes to your paper so that it is polished. We also format your document by correctly quoting the sources and creating reference lists in the formats APA, Harvard, MLA, Chicago / Turabian.


Revision Support

If you think your paper could be improved, you can request a review. In this case, your paper will be checked by the writer or assigned to an editor. You can use this option as many times as you see fit. This is free because we want you to be completely satisfied with the service offered.

Get better grades effortlesslyIt’s cheaper than you might think

Effortlessly get the essays and grades you need. You can now get any essay, on any subject and at ANY deadline with just 10 minutes of your time (or less). Your professor will love you for it!