Mills addresses a basic theme in patterns of social relationships/interconnections. How does this approach pertain to the following case study?
- Case study: Maria quit a rising career as a junior executive with Amazon.com to start a small business for herself. Doing so was her dream! After a year of seemingly endless work, and after investing all her savings, she finally opened the business. Things looked very upbeat for the first few months! Guess what happened? Not only did the Covid-19 pandemic close down her business, but also the increasingly dominant market clout of Amazon.com made it impossible to ever revive her business.
- Helen is furious with herself, blaming herself for her troubles! Why didn’t she stay at Amazon.com? And now she’s broke, can’t pay her apartment rent, her car payment, her health insurance, etc. She concludes “It’s my own damned fault!” She consequently has become socially isolated and seriously depressed—and even more vulnerable to Covid-19 infection.
- How would Mills reconceptualize Helen’s plight as “not a personal trouble but a social issue” and as a “biography embedded in specific time-place conditions”? What broader observations about biographies (that is, what’s happening to individual lives) and current time-place conditions would Mills make?
- How does Mills look beyond the problems of individuals to conceptualize and identify patterns of individual lives in relation to specific time-place conditions—that is, patterns of social relationships/interconnections within a society and as interconnected with the wider world?