The Structure of Power in American Society by C. Wright Mills

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Psychology: Psychology is a social science that aims to study the mind and the behaviors of humans. It aims to understand what drives humans to act the way they do. It differs from sociology and anthropology in that it takes accounts the individual rather than society as a whole. Sociology: Sociology is the study of the relationships that humans have with each other and social institutions. It aims to understand the links that exist between individuals and the social structures around them and also the functions that these social institutions perform in society. Anthropology: Anthropology is the study of humans through the ages. It aims to understand different cultures and practices that have existed from the origins of mankind as well. It differs from sociology in that it takes into account humans and cultures that no longer exist. The Structure of Power in American Society: C. Wright Mills in his article “ The Structure of Power in American Society” writes that when considering the types of power that exist in modern society there are three main types which are authority, manipulation and coercion. Coercion can be seen as the “last resort” of enforcing power. On the other hand, authority is power that is derived from voluntary action and manipulation is power that is derived unbeknownst to the people who are under that power. It is discussed how the indifference to politics by many citizens of western society and the fact that ideologies are now no longer needed by those in power to enforce their will are two key truths of western politics. In some societies it is the actions of many men that change the environment to which they belong and this in turn makes up history. However in other societies such as the United States and R... ... middle of paper ... ... beacon of hope for liberals and what Mills believes is the lower level of power is the public or the masses. The public is defined as those who have no defined or well structured interests. Mills is of the opinion that their political influence is also decreasing and that they are being guided by the media and other forms of mass communication which is controlled by the ruling elite. Lastly Mills highlights how a truly democratic state can be achieved. There is a need for a public that acts a medium for true political change, skilled men who form the higher powers of the state and have no vested corporate interests, dependable parties that debate openly and lucidly the problems faced by the world and finally liberated institutions between the public and the elite that act as proponent for the public opinion. Personal analysis through a psychological perspective:

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