The Concept of Sociological Imagination in the Promise by C. Wright Mills

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Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Mills’ Argument on Sociology
  • Strengths and Weaknesses of Mills’ Thought
  • Comparing Mills’ and Sternheimer’s Articles
  • My Response to Mills’ Ideas
  • Conclusion


Many are the times that people think that their personal challenges outweigh those of others. Individuals are blinded by obstacles they come across and forget that even more bigly and complicated issues are faced by others in different social structures. Literally, this may seem to be true but according to Mill’s book, Promise of Sociology, these thoughts tend to differ. In this light, it is necessary to review arguments put across by Mills, the strengths and weaknesses of his work and comparing his thoughts with those of Sternheimer.

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Mills’ Argument on Sociology

According to Mills, issues considered to be personal are faced by everyone in the society at large. The activist points out that what people require is a constructive mind that will enable them to utilize the information availed to them to arrive at possible solutions. An exemplary mind enhances individuals’ comprehension of the world around them and how to deal with problems that may arise.

Strengths and Weaknesses of Mills’ Thought

In his argument, Mills is able to point out key factors that people require in order to develop critical thinking to social problems. He analyzes the general thinking of an individual, spells out the particular aspects of the society (Burawoy 949-959). However, Mills does not portray a particular method that can be used to achieve understanding. In case of existence of such a way, there is no evidence of its success. Therefore, this renders Mills argument a bit vague despite it being full of enthusiastic ideas.

Comparing Mills’ and Sternheimer’s Articles

The authors bring out the essence of embracing one’s experiences and difficulties. Since life isn’t straightforward, it requires understanding and acceptance of whom we are and adopting possible mechanisms for the purpose of overcoming the challenges at hand (Sternheimer). However, in his argument, Mills fails to provide exemplary solutions to achieving an amicable perception of human sociology (Burawoy 949-959). On the other hand, Sternheimer lays out a procedure that enables one to think like a sociologist.

My Response to Mills’ Ideas

In my point of view, Mills ideas are attainable only if people are willing to diversify their thoughts beyond their thinking capacity. People tend to be limited by their shallow thinking that they forget that there is a world beyond what they can contemplate.


Sociology is the knowledge we possess of the world around us. As the saying goes, nothing comes on a silver platter. It is through this perception, as Mills points out that we are able to develop a critical imagination.

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