Theories Behind Sociology : C. Wright Mills And Peter L. Berger

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Early developers of the concepts behind sociology include C. Wright Mills and Peter L. Berger. Mills was a Professor of Sociology at Columbia University from 1946 until 1962. Next, Berger developed his ideas as a Professor of Sociology and Theology at Boston University beginning in 1981. These two men disputed about how to maximize credibility and neutrality, but agreed that sociology is used to impact society. Mills believed including one’s personal life is a necessity in sociology, but Berger argued that mixing personal life and work belittles the credentials of sociology as a science. Mills came up with the practice of sociological imagination which involves ‘ordinary men’ “[understanding] the larger historical scene in terms of its meaning for the inner life and the external career of a variety of individuals.” (Mills, 9) He believed that once men connect the troubles in their personal lives to the issues in society they will feel freed from things they originally felt trapped by, therefore making their lives better. Opposing Mills’ view, Berger defines an ‘ideal type’ of sociologist as “[someone who uses] operations… [and is] bound by certain rules of evidence. As a scientist, the sociologist tries to be objective, to control his personal preferences and prejudices…” (Berger, 5) This means that the sociologist must differentiate between his world and the world he is observing and by doing so the sociologist is being objective and therefore credible with his work. Their…

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