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Charles wright mills
Charles wright mills
Charles wright mills
Charles wright mills
Charles wright mills
Charles wright mills
Charles wright mills
Charles wright mills
Charles wright mills
Charles wright mills
Charles wright mills
Charles wright mills
Charles wright mills
Charles wright mills
Charles wright mills
Charles wright mills
Charles wright mills
Charles wright mills
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Charles wright mills

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  • SOC4044 Sociological Theory Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender
  • SOC4044 Sociological Theory Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender
  • SOC4044 Sociological Theory Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender
  • SOC4044 Sociological Theory Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender
  • SOC4044 Sociological Theory Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender
  • SOC4044 Sociological Theory Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender
  • SOC4044 Sociological Theory Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender
  • SOC4044 Sociological Theory Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender
  • SOC4044 Sociological Theory Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender
  • SOC4044 Sociological Theory Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender
  • SOC4044 Sociological Theory Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender
  • SOC4044 Sociological Theory Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender
  • SOC4044 Sociological Theory Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender
  • SOC4044 Sociological Theory Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender
  • SOC4044 Sociological Theory Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender
  • SOC4044 Sociological Theory Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender
  • SOC4044 Sociological Theory Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender
  • SOC4044 Sociological Theory Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender
  • Transcript

    • 1. SOC4044 SociologicalTheory:Charles Wright Mills © 1998-2006 by Ronald KeithSunday, October 21, 2012 Bolender 1
    • 2. Charles Wright Mills 1916-1962 Born in Waco, Texas Middle-Class Roman Catholic © 1998-2006 by Ronald KeithSunday, October 21, 2012 Bolender 2
    • 3. Charles Wright MillsCharacter and Social Structure © 1998-2006 by Ronald KeithSunday, October 21, 2012 Bolender 3
    • 4. Charles Wright MillsSociological Imagination Sociological ImaginationThe sociological imagination enables us to grasp history and biography and the relations between the two within society.No social study that does not come back to the problems of biography, of history and of intersections within a society has completed its intellectual journey. Mills (1959:6) © 1998-2006 by Ronald KeithSunday, October 21, 2012 Bolender 4
    • 5. Charles Wright MillsSociological Imagination Personal Troubles versus Public Issues Troubles occur within the character of the individual and within the range of his immediate relations with others; they have to do with his self and with those limited areas of social life of which he is directly and personally aware. . . A trouble is a private matter: values cherished by an individual are felt by him to be threatened. © 1998-2006 by Ronald KeithSunday, October 21, 2012 Bolender 5
    • 6. Charles Wright MillsSociological Imagination Issues have to do with matters that transcend these local environments of the individual and the range of his inner life. . . An issue is a public matter: some value cherished by publics is felt to be threatened. Often there is a debate about what that value really is and about what it is that really threatens it. Mills (1959:8) © 1998-2006 by Ronald KeithSunday, October 21, 2012 Bolender 6
    • 7. Charles Wright MillsThe Power-Elite In 1956, Mills published a book entitled The Power Elite in which he traced the social class backgrounds of leaders in business, government, and other major spheres of influence and authority. It is not necessary to prove a conspiracy among these people or even to show that they are in contact with one another, in order to suggest that the decisions made in one power sector reinforce those made in others. As products of similar class locations and socialization experiences, these leaders will think alike, share a vision of what is fair and good, and act in ways that maintain the existing stratification system. © 1998-2006 by Ronald KeithSunday, October 21, 2012 Bolender 7
    • 8. Charles Wright MillsThe Power-Elite The empirical tests of Mill’s thesis have centered on identifying a “national upper class” whose members own most of the nation’s wealth, manage its corporations and banks, run the universities and foundations, control the mass media, and staff the highest levels of government and the courts (Schwartz 1987; Domhoff, 1990). © 1998-2006 by Ronald KeithSunday, October 21, 2012 Bolender 8
    • 9. Charles Wright MillsThe Power-Elite It is worth noting in this regard that contrary to the “log cabin” myth, all but five of our presidents were from the upper or upper- middle classes, including Abraham Lincoln (Pressen 1984; Baltzell and Schneiderman 1988). © 1998-2006 by Ronald KeithSunday, October 21, 2012 Bolender 9
    • 10. Charles Wright MillsThe Power-Elite The emphasis of recent research has been less on the content of socialization than on the structural links among the members of this elite: from schools and clubs to marriages and jobs. These are interlocks that extend beyond the world of business to involve politics, education, and control over information. © 1998-2006 by Ronald KeithSunday, October 21, 2012 Bolender 10
    • 11. Charles Wright MillsThe Power-Elite The Power-Elite Government Business Military Judiciary Foundations Media © 1998-2006 by Ronald KeithSunday, October 21, 2012 Bolender 11
    • 12. Charles Wright MillsThe Power-Elite This phenomenon is most obvious in presidential appointments (Riddlesberger and King 1989) and in the actual movement of people from on sphere to another, as when corporate officers become cabinet members, or when heads of regulatory agencies leave government for jobs in the industries they previously regulated. © 1998-2006 by Ronald KeithSunday, October 21, 2012 Bolender 12
    • 13. Charles Wright MillsThe Power-Elite Another source of support for the power-elite vision of the world lies in the vast resources of the major American foundations. Foundations are tax-exempt organizations built on endowments from very wealthy families. Funds from the interest on the endowments are used to finance various educational and charitable causes chosen by the trustees and managers of the foundations. As members of the elite strata, shaped by similar schooling and social networks, the men, primarily WASP, who run major foundations are not likely to lend their support to people or organizations whose goal is to overthrow the existing system or to challenge American interest abroad. © 1998-2006 by Ronald KeithSunday, October 21, 2012 Bolender 13
    • 14. Charles Wright MillsThe Power-Elite Levels Unified power-elite Diversified and balanced plurality of interest groups Mass of unorganized people who have no power over the elite © 1998-2006 by Ronald KeithSunday, October 21, 2012 Bolender 14
    • 15. Charles Wright MillsThe Power-Elite Changes Increasing concentration of power © 1998-2006 by Ronald KeithSunday, October 21, 2012 Bolender 15
    • 16. Charles Wright MillsThe Power-Elite Operation One group determines all major policies Manipulation of people at the bottom by group at the top © 1998-2006 by Ronald KeithSunday, October 21, 2012 Bolender 16
    • 17. Charles Wright MillsThe Power-Elite Bases Coincidence of interests among major institutions (economic, military, governmental) Social similarities and psychological affinities among those who direct major institutions © 1998-2006 by Ronald KeithSunday, October 21, 2012 Bolender 17
    • 18. Charles Wright MillsThe Power-Elite Consequences Enhancement of interests of corporations, armed forces, and executive branch of government Decline of politics as public debate Decline of responsible and accountable power--loss of democracy © 1998-2006 by Ronald KeithSunday, October 21, 2012 Bolender 18

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