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Interesting but largely obsolete
on 27 October 2013
In the 1950s this book was considered to be the cutting-edge of Sociology, a replacement for the abstract theorising of the likes of Talcott Parsons. In some ways it was, but now that the world has changed Mills' conceptions of foundational ideas such as power, elitism and - especially - freedom are embarrassingly out of date. Many of today's philosophers are aware that simply shouting 'more freedom' is not the road to a better future, even if it looked that way in an age dominated by conservative repression. That this book is still so popular is an indication of how moribund Sociology is today. The discipline needs to step outside of the shadow of Weber and Mills to think anew at the deepest level about the difficult times in which we live. It really is time to move on.