C. Wright Mills’ The Promise Essay

According to C. Wright Mills’ “The Promise”, he feels that an individual’s life and how they act is based on the society and what is happening around them at that time. Mills states in his essay that the sociological imagination helps us understand each individual’s background, lifestyles, and habits and/or traditions. It also allows us to understand the influence society may have on a person and how “historical” events led to it. Based on what he wrote, to understand this “imagination” we must be able to connect a person’s public or personal issues with the events happening within society during that time. According to this a person may act differently depending on their religious beliefs, whether or not they live within the city or the suburbs, etc. For example Mills argues that if a person’s “values” are not threatened then they would be in a state of “well-being” but, if their values were threatened then they would go into some sort of “crisis”. If Mills means “values” as in a person’s “standards of behavior” then this is happening today in our society with the LGBT equal rights movement. Many people feel that being homosexual is not a “standard behavior” and that it is perhaps a sickness. They feel that men should be with women therefor many have gone into a “crisis” and have begun belittling the gay community or bullying them due to the fact that they feel that this is not how an individual should be. Another example is homelessness; a person can be homeless due to a fire destroying their home, being kicked out, being unable to care for themselves due to being mentally ill, developing a heavy drug habit and losing their home due to trying to support the habit, or perhaps some sort of depression. Looking at it without un…

… Each individual comes from a different culture and background therefore each may react differently to society. For example a person of a certain religion may find it extremely difficult to accept gay marriage while those of other religions or those who are more open minded will not be affected by it. For those who oppose it, it may cause them to feel deeply uncomfortable with society. Another example can be seen with social networking and the media. Some individuals may not care for fashion, or making sure that they upload the latest gossip on their Facebook pages which proves that it wouldn’t affect everyone. Although some of his strengths can also be weaknesses; I do agree that certain factors such as war and natural disasters can affect a society as a whole.

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Works Cited

Mills, C. Wright. The Sociological Imagination. New York: Oxford University Press, 1959.

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