When white-collar people get jobs, they sell not only their time and energy, but their personalities as well. They sell by week, or month, their smiles and their kindly gestures, and they must practise prompt repression of resentment and aggression.
Commercial jazz, soap opera, pulp fiction, comic strips, the movies set the images, mannerisms, standards, and aims of the urban masses. In one way or another, everyone is equal before these cultural machines; like technology itself, the mass media are nearly universal in their incidence and appeal. They are a kind of common denominator, a kind of scheme for pre-scheduled, mass emotions.
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|Birth:||28th August, 1916|
|Death:||20th March, 1962|
Mills graduated from Dallas Technical High School in 1934. He initially attended Texas A&M University but left after his first year and subsequently graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1939 and received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1941. After a stint at the University of Maryland, College Park, in 1945 he took a research associate position at Columbia University's Bureau of Applied Social Research. The following year he was made assistant professor in the university's sociology department. He remained with the department, despite the controversy he sometimes created, until he died at home of a heart attack (the third he had suffered). In the mid-1940s, together with Paul Goodman, he contributed to Politics, the journal edited during the 1940s by Dwight Macdonald.
Charles Wright Mills was an American sociologist. Mills is best remembered for his 1959 book The Sociological Imagination in which he lays out a view of the proper relationship between biography and history, theory and method in sociological scholarship. He is also known for studying the structures of power and class in the U.S. in his book The Power Elite. Mills was concerned with the responsibilities of intellectuals in post-World War II society, and advocated public, political engagement over uninterested observation.
When studying at the University of Texas, Mills met his first wife, Dorothy Helen Smith, who was also a student there. After they were married in 1937, Dorothy Helen, who became known as "Freya," worked to support the couple while Mills did graduate work, in addition to copyediting and typing many of the texts he wrote during this period, including his Ph.D. dissertation. They separated in New York City in 1945 and were divorced in 1947.
Mills' second wife was Ruth Harper, a statistician who worked with Mills on White Collar, published in 1951 and The Power Elite, published in 1956. Mills and Ruth were married in 1947, separated in 1957, and divorced in 1959.
Mills' third wife was Yaroslava Surmach, an American artist of Ukrainian descent whose varied work included glass paintings, book illustrations, and stained glass window designs. They were married in 1959, about three years before Mills' death in 1962.
By a strange coincidence, all three women died within a period of less than three months, Ruth on July 1, 2008, Freya on August 19, 2008, and Yaroslava on September 17, 2008. Mills had one child with each wife: Pamela (with Freya), Kathryn (with Ruth), and artist Nikolas (with Yaroslava).
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