C Wright Mills and Ambivalence

Nowadays men often feel that their private lives are a series of traps.  They sense that within their everyday worlds, they cannot overcome their troubles, and in this feeling, they are often quite correct:  What ordinary men are directly aware of and what they try to do are bounded by the private orbits in which they live; their visions and their powers are limited to the close-up scenes of job, family, neighborhood; in other milieux, they move vicariously and remain spectators.  And the more aware they become, however vaguely, of ambitions and of threats which transcend their immediate locales, the more trapped they seem to feel.

The Sociological Imagination

 

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