Theory, Culture and Society 29 (7-8):399-421 (2012)

This article takes the fiftieth anniversary of the death of American sociologist C. Wright Mills as a cue to revisit his legacy but also the value of sociology today. It argues that the enduring relevance of Mills’ work is his cultivation of a sociological sensibility, which is both an attentive and sensuous craft and also a moral and political project. The article returns to some of the key aspects of Mills’ life and work, and focuses, in particular, on his influential book The Sociological Imagination. Revisiting the opening and closing chapters of this book – entitled ‘The Promise’ and ‘On Intellectual Craftsmanship’ – this article argues that the contemporary social imagination needs to offer its students the capacity to open out to the world through a heightened sensory attentiveness, which in turn makes possible a different kind of social imaginary. In this way Mills’ gift to the future is a sociological sensibility furnished by its tradition, but one also that is constantly re-tuned to the circumstances and problems of the present.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1177/0263276412459089
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,979
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Sociological Imagination.C. Wright Mills - 1960 - British Journal of Educational Studies 9 (1):75-76.
The Power Elite.C. Wright Mills - 1957 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 19 (2):328-329.
Experiencing Sociology.Mariam Fraser - 2009 - European Journal of Social Theory 12 (1):63-81.
Against Narrative: A Preface to Lyrical Sociology.Andrew Abbott - 2007 - Sociological Theory 25 (1):67-99.
The Future of Social Theory.Nicholas Gane - 2006 - Human Studies 29 (2):263-268.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Reclaiming C. Wright Mills.John Alt - 1985 - Telos: Critical Theory of the Contemporary 1985 (66):6-43.
C Wright Mills.Stanley Aronowitz (ed.) - 2004 - Sage Publications.
A Marx for the Managers.H. H. Gerth & C. Wright Mills - 1942 - Ethics 52 (2):200-215.
The Political Philosophy of C. Wright Mills.Jay A. Sigler - 1966 - Science and Society 30 (1):32 - 49.
C Wright Mills on Public Education.Faustine C. Jones - 1971 - Educational Theory 21 (3):302-319.
Introductory Sociology.Victor E. Mills - 1947 - Thought: Fordham University Quarterly 22 (3):564-565.


Added to PP index

Total views
20 ( #557,469 of 2,505,145 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #416,587 of 2,505,145 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes