Explain how Mills differentiate between the classical and the historical traditions of sociology?

Step 1

Please read the attached chapter pages on C. Wright Mills

Background information on C. Wright Mills

The major lifelong aim of C. Wright Mills was to keep sociology in the classic and
historical tradition. He asserts that sociology is intellectually and morally confused.
Most of the ideas of the classic sociologists were not open to empirical testing.
These ideas were interpretive, that oriented individuals to numerous ways of
examining social realities. The classic tradition that Mills longs for has been
replaced by anthropology, political science, social psychology, and economics. These
disciplines have become so integrated, so as to allow us to examine the structure of
society in its whole. So, according to Mills, the crisis in social science today (written
some time ago) has two main features; the retreat into the supposed neutrality of
sheer fact and the classic tradition. Weber was responsible for sophisticating the
idea of class. In “The Classic Tradition” Mills mentions that individual malaise is
attributed to a condition called anomie, which of course was coined by Emile
Durkheim. Spencer’s main theme was evolution. According to Mills, the most
valuable legacy of Western Civilization is Classic Sociology.

Here is a summary of his theory:


Please write 1 long paragraph on your thoughts about the attached readings

Step 2

Please answer the below 2 questions. 2 paragraphs each question.

1. In the opening passages of the reading, Mills defends sociology. How does he defend sociology? How is sociology morally confusing?

2. Explain how Mills differentiate between the classical and the historical traditions of sociology?

Step 3

Please repsond to the below 2 students post.

Student post 1
He introduced the concept of the sociological imagination; arguing that sociologists should use their imagination to connect personal troubles with public issues. He believed that the sociological imagination was crucial for understanding how social structures and institutions shape individuals’ lives. Mills’ work on power and the elite structures in American society was groundbreaking at the time. He argued that a small group of individuals, consisting of business, political, and military leaders, wielded disproportionate power and influence over society. This idea has been proven countlessly and become more visible in current times. His Challenge of “Mainstream” sociological theories. Mills was critical of mainstream sociological theories that he believed did not adequately account for the complex relationship between individuals and the society they resided within. He challenged sociologists to think critically about their assumptions and to develop more comprehensive theories that took into account the broader social context. Finally… the combined theory and practice. Mills was not just a theoretical sociologist; he was also an activist who was deeply engaged with political and social issues. He believed that sociologists should use their knowledge to contribute to social change and to improve the lives of individuals in society, rather than just large groups.

Student Post 2

The article for discussion this week, The Classic Tradition by C. Wright Mills was really interesting. The article discussed the sociological tradition and its development to what it is in the modern day. Mills supported and believed in the classical tradition of sociology. Mill believed that sociologists should use historical facts and events to develop a better understanding of the social aspects they are evaluating and I agree with that point he had made. I always feel that in any situation, it is good to see what had led up to that event or to see the history behind it and what outcomes came from the interactions. Understanding history is extremely important in observing social situations to be able to have a better insight to research and correlate outcomes. Mills used this idea in connection to sociology in history to view it in a way that focuses on people and their beliefs and lives.

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