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The Promise

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Chapter One ‘The Promise’, of C.Wright Mills (1959) The Sociological Imagination.
The Promise, a chapter in the book entitled ‘The Sociological Imagination’, written by C. Wright Mills (1959, pp 3-24) is from a sociological perspective in regards to the unrecognised linkage between history and biography. It also mentions the three sorts of questions asked by classical analyst, the distinction between the terms issues and troubles. Mills repetitively makes reference to the notion that in order to comprehend an individual’s life; be it man or woman, it is prominent to consider and understand one’s historical social context. There is a connection that exists which most people don’t acknowledge and realise its existence, which is the “the interplay of biography and history” [ (p. 4) ]. According to Mills, “Men often feel that their lives are a series of traps. They feel that within their worlds they cannot overcome their troubles [ (p. 3) ]. This theory supports the notion that feelings associated with malaise, troubles and issues are actually linked to society which affects them individually. Mills strongly emphasises the importance of sociological imagination, which is that in order for an individual to make sense of what is happening to them, they should consider and reflect on the intersections of biographical time and social-historical time. Mills emphasises the significance of sociological imagination and states that isn’t simplistically a ‘fashion’ but a quality of mind to help individuals in society understand the intimate realities of self and social realism [ (p. 15) ]. In addition Mills ascertains that the intellectual learning journey even for social analysts, social scientists or any studies relating to society isn’t complete without focusing on the links between historical and biographical intersections within a…...

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