cw mills and the sociological imagination

TASK 1: cw mills and the sociological imagination


Based on your reading of ‘The Promise’ from C. W. Mills’ The Sociological Imagination, write a response of no more than 600 words to the following:


Using some examples from contemporary life, explain the distinction Mills makes between personal troubles and public issues. Do you think that people still feel trapped in the twenty-first century in the same way that Mills described in the mid-twentieth century?

This task is designed to assess your understanding of the text as well as your ability to apply the key ideas in a discussion of more contemporary examples and situations. You will need to demonstrate an understanding of Mills’ concepts but you will also need to communicate your own ideas and develop your own argument. The second part of the question in particular requires you to form and explain your own opinion, having shown an appreciation for what Mills was asserting. While you are not required to use additional sources for this task, you may find it helpful to draw on other sources to substantiate your claims and illustrate your examples (e.g. you could use ABS statistics to illustrate a social trend). Remember, there is no single ‘correct’ answer to this task; strong responses will demonstrate a solid understanding of Mills’ ideas, include clearly explained contemporary examples, and offer a well-argued position on the matter of being ‘trapped’.


Your response should take the form of a short essay and adhere to formal academic writing conventions, including Harvard style, in-text referencing (no footnotes).


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