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C. Wright Mills
Charles Wright Mills

(1916-08-28)August 28, 1916
Died March 20, 1962(1962-03-20) (aged 45)
Alma mater University of Texas at Austin (BA, MA); University of Wisconsin–Madison (PhD)
Occupation Political sociologist
Known for Elite theory
Sociological imagination
Criticism of abstract empiricism
Coining the term "grand theory"

Charles Wright Mills (August 28, 1916 – March 20, 1962) was an American sociologist, and a professor of sociology at Columbia University from 1946 until his death in 1962. Mills was published widely in popular and intellectual journals, and is remembered for several books such as The Power Elite, which introduced that term and describes the relationships and class alliances among the US political, military, and economic elites; White Collar: The American Middle Classes, on the American middle class; and The Sociological Imagination, which presents a model of analysis for the interdependence of subjective experiences within a person's biography, the general social structure, and historical development.

Mills was concerned with the responsibilities of intellectuals in post-World War II society, and he advocated public and political engagement over disinterested observation. Mills's biographer, Daniel Geary, writes that Mills's writings had a "particularly significant impact on New Left social movements of the 1960s." Indeed, it was Mills who popularized the term "New Left" in the U.S. in a 1960 open letter, Letter to the New Left.

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