Quotes by C. Wright Mills

C. Wright Mills

C. Wright Mills

American sociologist

Alive from: 1916-1962

Category: History and sociology

Quotes 16 till 30 of 36.

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    Neither the life of an individual nor the history of a society can be understood without understanding both.
    Source: The Sociological Imagination
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    Nobody talks more of free enterprise and competition and of the best man winning than the man who inherited his father's store or farm.
    Source: White Collar :The American Middle Classes (1951) Section One: The Competitive Way of Life.
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    Not wishing to be disturbed over moral issues of the political economy, Americans cling to the notion that the government is a sort of automatic machine, regulated by the balancing of competing interests.
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    One could translate the 555 pages of The Social System into about 150 pages of straightforward English. The result would not be very impressive.
    Source: The Sociological Imagination (1959) P. 31, commenting on the verbosity of the chief wo
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    People with advantages are loath to believe that they just happen to be people with advantages.
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    Power is not of a man. Wealth does not center in the person of the wealthy. Celebrity is not inherent in any personality. To be celebrated, to be wealthy, to have power requires access to major institutions.
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    Prestige is the shadow of money and power. Where these are, there it is. Like the national market for soap or automobiles and the enlarged arena of federal power, the national cash-in area for prestige has grown, slowly being consolidated into a truly national system.
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    Religion, virtually without fail, provides the army at war with its blessings, and recruits from among its officials the chaplain, who in military costume counsels and consoles and stiffens the morale of men at war.
    Source: The Power Elite (1956)
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    S a proportion of the labor force, fewer individuals manipulate things, more handle people and symbols.
    Source: White Collar :The American Middle Classes (1951)
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    Some men want war for sordid, others for idealistic, reasons; some for personal gain, others for impersonal principle. But most of those who consciously want war and accept it, and so help to create its inevitability, want it in order to shift the locus of their problems.
    Source: The Causes of World War Three (1960)
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    The aim of the college, for the individual student, is to eliminate the need in his life for the college; the task is to help him become a self-educating man.
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    The family provides the army and navy with the best men and boys that it possesses. And, as we have seen, education and science too are becoming means to the ends sought by the military.
    Source: The Power Elite (1956)
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    The life-fate of the modern individual depends not only upon the family into which he was born or which he enters by marriage, but increasingly upon the corporation in which he spends the most alert hours of his best years.
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    The mass production of distraction is now as much a part of the American way of life as the mass production of automobiles.
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    The nearest the modern general or admiral comes to a small-arms encounter of any sort is at a duck hunt in the company of corporation executives at the retreat of Continental Motors, Inc.
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