C Wright Mills, The Politics of Truth and John Holmwood


I’ve been reading through C Wright Mills work in the The Politics of Truth collection (edited with a really nice biographical introduction by John H Summers). Its amazing really how radical and provocative some of his work was. The sociological imagination has in many ways become something a a softened concept in recent years, stripped as it is of its radical and critical edge when used as an umbrella concept for all sorts of different work. I hope to write something about this soon. But one thing that really caught my eye in the collection is a letter that has been ‘Sociological Poetry’. This is only about three pages long, but it gets to the heart of issue about sociological communication and how it might take on the values of a more poetic stance (and what the problems might be of doing so). The piece made me reflect again upon a piece i’ve got coming out later this year about hip-hop music as a form of sonic and poetic sociology. In this short piece, written in 1948, Mills opens up a debate that i don’t has ever really been followed up upon.

When searching around for stuff on Mills i came across this audio of John Holmwood’s recent BSA conference presentation on Mills. There are some important observations in here. Its interesting to hear why Holmwood disagrees with Mills. There are some fresh reflections in this talk upon the work of Parsons and Mills, and how these need to be updated for the onset of neoliberalism (and its impact upon disciplines).

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