C Wright Mills…
One of my favorite thinkers.
One my favorite quotes…
Do not allow public issues as they are officially formulated, or troubles as they are privately felt, to determine the problems that you take up for study.
Above all, do not give up your moral and political autonomy by accepting in somebody else’s terms the illiberal practicality of the bureaucratic ethos or the liberal practicality of the moral scatter.
Know that many personal troubles cannot be solved merely as troubles, but must be understood in terms of public issues – and in terms of the problems of history making.
Know that the human meaning of public issues must be revealed by relating them to personal troubles – and to the problems of the individual life.
Know that the problems of social science, when adequately formulated, must include both troubles and issues, both biography and history, and the range of their intricate relations.
Within that range the life of the individual and the making of societies occur; and within that range the sociological imagination has its chance to make a difference in the quality of human life in our time.
(Mills 1959: 226)