Download Radical Ambition: C. Wright Mills, the Left, and American by Daniel Geary PDF

By Daniel Geary

Sociologist, social critic, and political radical C. Wright turbines (1916-1962) was once one of many top public intellectuals in 20th century the United States. providing a big new knowing of turbines and the days within which he lived, Radical Ambition challenges the alluring sketch that has prevailed of him as a lone insurgent critic of Nineteen Fifties complacency. as a substitute, it locations turbines inside broader developments in American politics, notion, and tradition. certainly, Daniel Geary finds that turbines shared key assumptions approximately American society in spite of these liberal intellectuals who have been his basic competitors. The e-book additionally units turbines firmly in the heritage of yank sociology and strains his political trajectory from dedicated supporter of the previous Left hard work stream to influential usher in of a global New Left. greater than only a biography, Radical Ambition illuminates the occupation of an excellent philosopher whose existence and works illustrate either the promise and the dilemmas of left-wing social suggestion within the United States.

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Additional info for Radical Ambition: C. Wright Mills, the Left, and American Social Thought

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Moreover, in failing to go beyond the general statement that ideas reflected social reality, pragmatists were unable to provide guidelines for explaining how the thought of particular individuals arose in specific social structures. For Mills, such models needed to be culturally and historically grounded. He argued that the root of Dewey’s problem was his attempt to generalize methods of inquiry drawn from the natural sciences and apply them to the social sciences. In particular, Mills objected to Dewey’s use of biological terms such as adaptation to account for social behavior.

Applying this principle to social science, Mills contended that sociological inquiry could become more productive through consciousness of its methods of inquiry. ”23 In his Texas years, Mills aimed to improve the practice of social science through philosophical reflection on its methods. From the pragmatists, Mills also gained a deeply contextualist and historicist sense of the role of ideas. His interest in the sociology of knowledge grew out of the pragmatist quest to contextualize ideas by relating them to the broader social world.

Sociology has always been the most general and the least defined of the social sciences, but the late 1930s was a period of particular disciplinary confusion. ”47 Though the Chicago School was hardly a hegemonic group in the profession, it was clearly the most recognizable, and the University of Chicago Department of Sociology housed both the American Sociological Society (ASS) and its journal, the American Journal of Sociology, until 1936. In the 1930s, an eclectic group of sociologists challenged the prominence of Chicago sociologists in the ASS.

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