Sociology History of Sociology
by
Stephen Turner
  • LAST MODIFIED: 21 January 2016
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756384-0140

Introduction

The history of sociology is both a traditional area of sociology itself and a part of the history of the social sciences as studied by intellectual historians and historians of science. The earliest writings on the subject were completed by sociologists attempting to construct a canon and a history of the discipline reaching into the distant past. This style of history remained important in sociology for a very long period in American sociology and was part of the original remit of the flagship journal of what was then called the American Sociological Society in 1936. This changed after 1945 with the generation of Robert Merton and Talcott Parsons but persisted in Europe as academic sociology was refounded in specific national academic settings as a taught field and in the light of a new internationalism. Historians began writing in earnest about the subject in the 1960s and 1970s. There is a traditional divide between “disciplinary histories” written by members of the discipline and writings by professional historians. Although this line has blurred in recent years, there is a basic distinction between work that is historical in the sense of being based on archives and work that interprets books. Both are found here. Sociology has generally been less celebratory of its own history than psychology and lacks the rich autobiographical material that psychology has generated, but there is now a certain amount of online material, sometimes in the form of oral history interviews for university archives, that tells the stories of individual careers, and a small number of books that can serve as primary sources. Sociology also has a close relation to social reform, so the historian of sociology needs to understand the various reform movements and organizations that interacted with it. British developments paralleled American reform movements and require a similar approach. In Europe, there was also a social reform movement prior to Second World War, but it was eclipsed by the postwar welfare state and the ideological movements of the Left, which have a complex and largely unanalyzed relation to academic sociology. These relations are clearer in the context of the Frankfurt School, which was not a part of academic sociology originally but which later produced academic sociologists in Germany and elsewhere in Europe and influenced many sociologists internationally. More recently, the discipline as well as the history of sociology itself has been influenced by the women’s movement. This bibliography attempts to provide the rudiments of a background to researchers and students with an interest in this rich history.

General Overviews

General overviews of the history of social thought leading to and including the era of scientific sociology were characteristic of the early decades of sociology. This genre is virtually nonexistent today. However, some of these early anthologies still have considerable value as guides to relatively obscure figures in the history of sociology and as evidence of the thinking of their authors, who are now of historical interest. The differences in the books reflect very different interpretations of the past and different eras of interpretation. Among the major overviews are Sorokin 1928, which makes shrewd observations that are still relevant today, and Ellwood 1938, a bestseller with a public audience that paralleled standard American texts in the history of philosophy and the history of political theory but was side-lined during the postwar period. Barnes and Becker 1938 is even more comprehensive. Parsons 1937 was an attempt to reorient the canon and succeeded in doing so. McDonald 1993 provides a feminist reinterpretation of the canon, bringing in many women. The most recent major attempt at comprehensive coverage is Levine 1995. Coser 1977 was a standard source in the 1970s, and the choices of subjects and interpretation reflect the era, but it remains valuable as an introduction to the thinkers in the canon of the time.

  • Barnes, Harry Elmer, and Howard Becker. 1938. Social thought from lore to science. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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    This is a huge compendium of social thinkers with no subsequent parallel that is exceptionally cosmopolitan

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    • Coser, Louis. 1977. Masters of sociological thought: Ideas in historical and social context. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

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      Although this is a textbook, it was a dominant source for biographical interpretation in the 1960s and remains accessible and readable. Originally published in 1971.

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      • Ellwood, Charles. 1938. A history of social philosophy. New York: Prentice Hall.

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        A bestseller in its time, this book explicates thinkers from the Enlightenment to the early 20th century by placing their thought in context and in relation to others.

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        • Levine, Donald. 1995. Visions of the sociological tradition. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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          A large, reflexive, and very up-to-date reconsideration of the tradition.

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          • McDonald, Lynn. 1993. The early origins of the social sciences. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s Univ. Press.

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            Beginning with the Greeks, this book is concerned with recognizing feminist issues and women social thinkers.

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            • Parsons, Talcott. 1937. The structure of social action. New York: Free Press.

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              A flawed but influential classic, which promoted the canonical status of Max Weber and Émile Durkheim in its time.

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              • Sorokin, Pitirim. 1928. Contemporary sociological theories. New York: Harper.

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                Sorokin’s contemporaries are our classics. The book is full of shrewd comments on key ideas in sociology.

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                The Grand Figures

                In addition to the comprehensive surveys, there are a number of important books that provide insight into specific thinkers or comparative accounts of multiple thinkers. These include recent works on Spencer (Francis 2007) and a classic discussion of Durkheim (Lukes 1985), which has recently been given a new treatment by Fournier (Fournier 2013). Marx has been a major subject, though the secondary literature is not dominated by concerns with sociology. It includes a multivolume overview of Marx and Marxism (Kolakowski 1978), the standard English-language survey and life (McLellan 1995 [originally published in 1973]), and a recently translated version of the classic German source, written prior to Soviet communism (Mehring 2003). The larger Weber works include controversial texts, such as Mommsen 1984 on Weber’s politics, and Radkau 2009, which contains speculations about his personal life. This kind of book is an important part of the literature of sociology, because it mixes historical interpretation with textual interpretation and criticism. Some of these texts are by sociologists who are themselves Grand Figures, such as Raymond Aron, whose two volumes (Aron 1968, Aron 1970) on seven great thinkers was designed as a foundational introduction to the domain for a French audience. Frank Manuel, an intellectual historian, provides a basic introduction and history of the French thinkers from the revolution through Comte and their quite fascinating and important social ideas (Manuel 1962). Pickering 1993–2009, a massive study of Comte and his influence, is indispensable to an understanding of this much misunderstood thinker.

                • Aron, Raymond. 1968. Main currents in sociological thought I: Montesquieu, Comte, Marx, Tocqueville. The sociologists and the Revolution of 1848. Translated by R. Howard and H. Weaver. Garden City, NY: Doubleday.

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                  This is a survey of the thought, and to some extent the political context, of these four thinkers by one of the central figures of 20th-century sociology.

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                  • Aron, Raymond. 1970. Main currents in sociological thought II: Durkheim, Pareto, Weber. Translated by R. Howard and H. Weaver. Garden City, NY: Doubleday.

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                    The thinkers covered in this book are the founders of modern sociology, although Pareto’s star has dimmed.

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                    • Fournier, Marcel. 2013. Émile Durkheim. Translated by David Macey. Cambridge, MA: Polity.

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                      A new life and works, more complete and focused more on the details of Durkheim’s activities than Lukes 1985.

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                      • Francis, Mark. 2007. Herbert Spencer and the invention of modern life. Stocksfield, UK: Acumen.

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                        Spencer was one of the most influential thinkers of his time, but he was a liberal and therefore an outlier in the history of sociology. Nevertheless, he was prescient in many ways and also the source of many of the organismic analogies of later sociology.

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                        • Kolakowski, Leszek. 1978. Main currents of Marxism. 3 vols. London: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                          The literature on Marx is massive and reflects the various different directions Marxism itself has taken in the century and a half since Marx was alive. This three-volume study is a clearly written and accessible introduction to the main ideas and to Marx himself.

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                          • Lukes, Steven. 1985. Émile Durkheim: His life and work. A historical and critical study. Stanford, CA: Stanford Univ. Press.

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                            This is the classic “life and works” study of Durkheim, which introduces the reader to the complexity of his thought and the process of its development. Originally published in 1975.

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                            • Manuel, Frank E. 1962. The prophets of Paris: Turgot, Saint-Simon, Fourier, and Comte. New York: Harper & Row.

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                              The figures Marx called “Utopian Socialists” were important sources not only for Marx and the Left but for subsequent sociology generally. This classic study illuminates their thought as well as the Parisian context they shared.

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                              • McLellan, David. 1995. The thought of Karl Marx: An introduction. London: Papermac.

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                                This is a comprehensive “life and works” that is widely accepted as the best account of Marx. Originally published in 1973 under a different title, the 1995 edition provides critical commentary on other accounts.

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                                • Mehring, Franz. 2003. Karl Marx: The story of his life. London: Routledge.

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                                  The classic German account of Marx, representing a viewpoint untainted by the later influence of Soviet communism. Originally published 1918.

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                                  • Mommsen, Wolfgang. 1984. Max Weber and German politics, 1890–1920. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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                                    Based on the author’s highly controversial dissertation originally published in German in 1959, this book is a comprehensive introduction to Weber as a political thinker and activist, which radically revised the image of Weber as a precursor of German postwar liberalism.

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                                    • Pickering, Mary. 1993–2009. Auguste Comte: An intellectual biography. 3 vols. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                      Comte not only invented the term “sociology,” but he embodies many of the conflicts and contradictions in the sociological tradition. These volumes, a genuinely historical approach to the subject rather than a textual one, respect the ideas and tell the later story of the Religion of Humanity that Comte founded.

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                                      • Radkau, Joachim. 2009. Max Weber: A biography. Cambridge, MA: Polity.

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                                        This controversial book summarizes many of Weber’s ideas but in the course of a biographical history that also delves into his sex life. Although the book has been controversial, it is revealing.

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                                        Organized Pre-Sociology

                                        Sociology was not always understood as an academic discipline, or as distinct from social reform generally, and this lack of distinction has persisted throughout its history. The early American academic sociologists were particularly sensitive to this history, and although there was a definite break in the 1920s with the tradition that was known at the time as “social work” and which preceded the professionalization of social work around the case method, early sociologists were both highly aware of the reform background of the discipline and influenced in their actual teaching and practice by the attitudes and subject matter of the reformers. The best work on reform is on prohibitionism and is Okrent 2011, which was central to the reform movement and shows its sinister aspects. Bernard and Bernard 1943 provides a sympathetic study with a good deal of biographical information that reflects a more positive attitude; Furner 2011 and Haskell 1977 provide vivid accounts of the demise of the American Social Science Association and its replacement by the modern academic disciplines of social science and the thinking that went into this change. Goldman 2002, an early work by a highly respected British historian, deals with the British analogue to this movement, as does Yeo 1996. Lindenfeld 1997 discusses the more state-based forms of pre-sociology in German. This category shades off into the category of early sociology, and more works relating to this transition are to be found in other headings in this bibliography, particularly those relating to the origins of national academic sociologies. Ross 1992 applies this perspective to the question of the relation of early American social science to questions of national identity. The residues of the issue of the “scientific” basis of reform have persisted to the present. The works of the 1970s, for example, tended to be biased against the reformers, and for disciplinarization; later works were more sympathetic to the reformers

                                        • Bernard, Luther Lee, and Jessie Bernard. 1943. Origins of American sociology: The social science movement in the United States. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell.

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                                          This extensive study of the movement organized as the American Social Science Association deals with the major figures in a sympathetic way.

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                                          • Furner, Mary. 2011. Advocacy and objectivity: A crisis in the professionalization of American social science, 1865–1905. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction.

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                                            This classic study, originally published in 1975, explains one of the crucial parts of the context of the creation of the discipline of sociology: the failure of the reform “sciences” that were represented in the American Social Science Association to become university disciplines.

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                                            • Goldman, Lawrence. 2002. Science, reform, and politics in Victorian Britain: The Social Science Association, 1857–1886. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                              There was a well-developed British association for reform “social science” This is a classic work.

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                                              • Haskell, Thomas L. 1977. The emergence of professional social science: The American Social Science Association and the nineteenth-century crisis of authority. Urbana: Univ. of Illinois Press.

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                                                Like Furner 2011, this book is concerned with the transition from the American Social Science Association to professional social science and is especially good at depicting the early academic professionalizers and their arguments.

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                                                • Lindenfeld, David. 1997. The practical imagination: The German sciences of state in the nineteenth century. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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                                                  The field of sociology was preceded in Germany by a field of Staatswissenschaft that was associated with state bureaucracies and statistical bureaus. This is a survey of this quite extensive body of knowledge and its institutional forms.

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                                                  • Okrent, Daniel. 2011. Last call: The rise and fall of prohibition. New York: Scribner.

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                                                    Although this book is not specifically about sociology, it is a masterful history of the most important element of the reform program in the United States and illustrates the appeal to bogus expert knowledge and science that was at the heart of the reform movements and an important impetus to their replacement by a genuinely scientific approach to society.

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                                                    • Ross, Dorothy. 1992. The origins of American social science. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                      This study is a well-regarded account of the creation of the social sciences as academic fields and argues that sociology in particular was concerned with establishing American exceptionalism. It is based on extensive archival research.

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                                                      • Yeo, Eileen. 1996. The contest for social science: Relations and representations of gender and class. London: Rivers Oram.

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                                                        Foregoing the usual professionalization narrative, this book is concerned with class and gender in the early-19th-century pre-social science and how their representation was contested.

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                                                        American Sociology to 1945

                                                        The history of American sociology in the early academic period divides into two rough categories: histories of the University of Chicago Department of Sociology and everything else. Chicago is given a separate section in this bibliography. This section includes works on American sociology before 1945, which is the traditional turning point, reflecting the retirement of an older generation and the emergence of a new and young set of leaders, notably Parsons, Merton, and Lazarsfeld. Several of these books discuss the crucial period of overlap between early academic sociology and the Progressive movement in American politics and social reform before 1929. Jewett 2012 explains the relation between democratic politics and the university and situates sociology in this larger story. Vidich and Lyman 1985 provides a more traditional intellectual history of the influence of Christianity on the founders of American sociology. Recchiuti 2007 is an indispensable guide to the interrelations between various movements and organizations in New York, the center of this activity. Sealander 1997 is a study of the operations of the Russell Sage Foundation through some of its representative reform activities. Several of these books deal with the disputes over the nature of sociology in the interwar years. Bannister 1987 deals with these topics. Bannister’s archive-based study deals with the internal politics of the American Social Science Association and some key personalities. Smith 1994 provides a context for the dispute over “taking sides” that culminates in Lynd 1939. Odum 1951 gives a vivid picture of the lives and orientations of the early American Sociological Society’s presidents, which provides crucial atmospheric context for the period, as well as many important and revealing personal details about academics who were important in their time. Turner and Turner 1990 discusses both the intellectual sources of statistical sociology and the foundation support that made it dominant. This book also supplies a Columbia-oriented alternative to the Chicago-centric view of American sociology. Much of this history involves the question of whether sociology was a science or a reform discipline, which is still an issue today, in a different form.

                                                        • Bannister, Robert C. 1987. Sociology and scientism: The American quest for objectivity, 1880–1940. Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press.

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                                                          Bannister’s book is a classic study of the origins of “scientism” and the debates surrounding it. The book is based on extensive archival work and vividly displays the personalities of the protagonists.

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                                                          • Jewett, Andrew. 2012. Science, democracy, and the American university: From the Civil War to the Cold War. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                            Although this important recent book is not primarily about sociology, there is a lot of content related to sociology, and it places sociology in the larger context of the relation of academics to politics in the United States.

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                                                            • Lynd, Robert. 1939. Knowledge for what? The place of social sciences in American culture. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.

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                                                              This is not a history so much as a document, which refers to the interwar dispute over values and ideology in relation to sociology and promotes a certain view of the role of the social sciences in bringing about social change.

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                                                              • Odum, Howard. 1951. American sociology: The story of sociology in the United States through 1950. New York: Greenwood.

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                                                                Odum was a powerful figure in interwar sociology and knew the early figures personally. This book discusses the American Sociological Society residents up to 1950 biographically and reveals a great deal about the way sociology was understood and conducted in the period.

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                                                                • Recchiuti, John. 2007. Civic engagement: Social science and Progressive-era reform in New York City. Philadelphia: Univ. of Pennsylvania Press.

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                                                                  The Progressive era is critical for understanding the origins and development of American sociology, but it is confusing. This indispensable and unique book explains the most important locus of organized progressive activity, in New York, and explains the connections and institutions that sustained it.

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                                                                  • Sealander, Judith. 1997. Private wealth & public life: Foundation philanthropy and the reshaping of American public policy from the Progressive Era to the New Deal. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press.

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                                                                    Early American social science came out of and was influenced by reformist philanthropy, but what the philanthropists did is normally not discussed. This archivally based study explains the mindset and organizational structures of one of the crucial organizations, the Russell Sage Foundation.

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                                                                    • Smith, Mark. 1994. Social science in the crucible: The American debate over objectivity and purpose, 19I8–194I. Durham, NC: Duke Univ. Press.

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                                                                      This book documents the long-running exchanges between sociologists in the interwar period over objectivity and the nature of the authority of social science. It discusses the major players, such as W. F. Ogburn and R. S. Lynd, but places the discussion into its complex context.

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                                                                      • Turner, Stephen, and Jonathan Turner. 1990. The impossible science: An institutional analysis of American sociology. London: SAGE.

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                                                                        This is the standard one-volume history of American sociology, concentrating on the relations between sociology and the founders and the understanding of the science ideal and its relation to the development of social research methods and statistical practice.

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                                                                        • Vidich, Arthur J., and Stanford M. Lyman. 1985. American sociology: Worldly rejections of religion and their directions. New Haven, CT: Yale Univ. Press.

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                                                                          The authors trace the religious backgrounds of the founding figures of American sociology and the uses of the term “sociology” even earlier to signify the idea of a Christian commonwealth.

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                                                                          Britain

                                                                          British sociology has a rich historical literature, despite or perhaps because of its peculiar history. Goldman 2002 (cited under Organized Pre-Sociology) discusses organized reform in the late 19th century. Organized sociology, the primary focus of this section, has a separate history. Prior to securing a place in the universities, which occurred on a large scale first in the United States and only later and more haltingly in Europe, “sociology” was an international intellectual movement with strong affinities to reform and in France and Italy to state bureaucracies. As other national sociologies became institutionalized, British sociology was largely restricted to the London School of Economics (LSE) and the Sociological Society. Some of the flavor of the early period at the LSE is found in Collini 1983, a study of Hobhouse. The Sociological Society’s LePlay House was a meeting ground for intellectuals in London across disciplines but also acted as an organization that retained the interests and attitudes of international sociology, with interests in community, housing, and the role of the spiritual in human life. There is a striking continuity from the sociologists involved in this society described in detail in Scott and Bromley 2013; interwar projects like mass observation, discussed in Bulmer 1985; and the postwar concern with community, described in Savage 2010. Savage 2010 is revolutionary in style and is especially focused on the specifically English obsession with the loss of community. There was also a strong survey research tradition focused on poverty, outside the academy, partly discussed in Bulmer 1985, a collection of essays on British empirical social research and much more extensively in Bulmer, et al. 1991 (cited under Quantitative Social Research) on the social survey. The LSE is central to the history of British sociology and needs to be understood as an institution, Dahrendorf 1995 supplies a detailed history. It is fleshed out in an autobiography, Martin 2013. The full complexities of British sociology are addressed in the massive collection Holmwood and Scott 2014. British sociology “professionalized” only after World War II but had a strong tradition prior to that, which withered in the 1930s with the death of its major figures. Much of the story is one of fragile institutionalization in the universities, which were not welcoming.

                                                                          • Bulmer, Martin, ed. 1985. Essays on the history of British sociological research. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                            This collection of essays covers a variety of research efforts from the 19th century on.

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                                                                            • Collini, Stefan. 1983. Liberalism and sociology: L. T. Hobhouse and political argument in England 1880–1914. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                              Hobhouse was the most prominent sociologist in Britain of his time. This book, by a leading intellectual historian, describes the setting and political significance of his thought.

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                                                                              • Dahrendorf, Ralf. 1995. LSE: A history of the London School of Economics and Political Science, 1895–1995. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                This book, by an influential sociologist and one-time leader of the LSE, is based on previously inaccessible archival material and is a useful source and complement to other studies of British sociology.

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                                                                                • Holmwood, John, and John Scott, eds. 2014. The Palgrave handbook of sociology in Britain. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

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                                                                                  This comprehensive collection fills in many of the gaps in the history of British sociology and reflects the best contemporary thinking on the subject. Indispensable as a starting point.

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                                                                                  • Martin, David. 2013. The education of David Martin: The making of an unlikely sociologist. London: SPCK.

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                                                                                    Autobiographies of academic sociologists in Britain are rare, and this one provides an account of the life and career of an important sociologist of religion who was nevertheless outside the mainstream of British sociology.

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                                                                                    • Savage, Mike. 2010. Identities and social change in Britain since 1940: The politics of method. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                      This influential meditation on the history of British sociology focuses on the 1950s and the theme of community. It shows both the centrality of this theme in sociology and its larger cultural significance.

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                                                                                      • Scott, John, and Ray Bromley. 2013. Envisioning sociology: Victor Branford, Patrick Geddes, and the quest for social reconstruction. Albany: SUNY.

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                                                                                        The figures discussed in this book were the main players in the Sociological Society, the focus of British Sociology before Second World War and professionalization. They pursued a distinctive program of reformist sociology deriving from Comte and LePlay that focused on communities.

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                                                                                        Chicago Sociology

                                                                                        The University of Chicago, founded in 1892, provided a home for the first fully developed academic sociology department and published the journal American Journal of Sociology, which for some time was the dominant journal in the field. Although it is often treated as a unitary phenomenon, the history of the department is nevertheless complex, and generational differences were large, despite some important continuities. The high-water mark was the 1920s, when the social sciences at the university were heavily funded by the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Foundation and the leading intellectual figure was Robert Ezra Park. Bulmer 1984 provides a detailed history of this period, situating the department in the university. This period was short. Park arrived in 1914 and left for good in the early 1930s. He nevertheless established attitudes toward social reform and toward urban communities that persisted in sociology generally, in addition to establishing certain distinctive styles of urban ethnography. Raushenbush 1979 provides a reliable guide to Park’s attitudes and personality. Bulmer 1984 and Abbott 1999 provide a long-term perspective on the department, while Cavan 1983 and Faris 1970 focus on the special period of the 1920s, both on the basis of personal experience and knowledge of the key figures, notably the students. Raushenbush 1979 focuses on Park personally, while Shore 1987 examines the influence of the school. Matthews 1977 is the classic survey of the Park era. Joas 1997 presents the philosopher G. H. Mead, who was influential in relation to students in the department, in a way that reveals his social activism. Fine 1995 explains the contributions of the students who came out of Chicago in the immediate postwar period, while Abbott 1999 is especially good on the way the department developed after Columbia products such as Blau and Rossi arrived in the 1950s.

                                                                                        • Abbott, Andrew. 1999. Department and discipline: Chicago sociology at one hundred. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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                                                                                          This is a remarkable study that contributes a great deal of new material on the department from the late 1950s on and about the American Journal of Sociology and its operations. Abbott is a former editor of the journal and had unparalleled access.

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                                                                                          • Bulmer, Martin. 1984. The Chicago School of Sociology: Institutionalization, diversity, and the rise of sociological research. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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                                                                                            A major work, in which Bulmer explores the crucial moments of the rise to influence of the Chicago School.

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                                                                                            • Cavan, Ruth Shonle. 1983. The Chicago School of Sociology, 1918–1933. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 11.4: 407–420.

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                                                                                              Cavan was one of the last surviving students from the “Golden Era” and provides a personal viewpoint on its participants.

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                                                                                              • Faris, R. E. L. 1970. Chicago sociology, 1920–32 (Heritage of Society). Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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                                                                                                A well-informed and personal account by a son of the long-time department chair of the period of Chicago dominance in the 20th century, with revealing portrayals of research projects undertaken by students that represented the Chicago style.

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                                                                                                • Fine, Gary Alan, ed. 1995. A second Chicago School? The development of a postwar American sociology. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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                                                                                                  The period after Second World War was difficult for the Chicago Department of Sociology, which saw the premature death of Louis Wirth, the retirement of W. F. Ogburn, and the rapid rise of Columbia and Harvard. Nevertheless, the department continued to produce distinctively “Chicago” graduates.

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                                                                                                  • Joas, Hans. 1997. G. H. Mead: A contemporary re-examination of his thought. Cambridge, MA: MIT.

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                                                                                                    This is the now-standard but not uncontroversial discussion of Mead, which brings out Mead’s activism and social involvement.

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                                                                                                    • Matthews, Fred H. 1977. Quest for an American sociology: Robert E. Park and the Chicago School. Montreal: McGill-Queens Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                      This was the first major analysis of Park and his influence and is still valuable as a source.

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                                                                                                      • Raushenbush, Winifred. 1979. Robert E. Park: Biography of a sociologist. Durham, NC: Duke Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                        This book, by the mother of the philosopher Richard Rorty and student of Park, is a personal portrait that captures the attitudes of the period, as well as Park’s personal commitments to black America.

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                                                                                                        • Shore, Marlene. [1987] 2015. The science of social redemption: McGill, the Chicago School, and the origins of social research in Canada. Toronto: Univ. of Toronto Press.

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                                                                                                          This is a basic text in the history of Canadian sociology detailing the influence of the Chicago School sociologists who taught and did research in Canada and the consequences of their efforts.

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                                                                                                          France

                                                                                                          French sociology does not begin with Durkheim, and there is much to be said about the 19th-century French origins of the field, but French academic sociology does begin with Durkheim, whose students dominated French sociology in the interwar period. Mucchielli 1998 tells the story of the vibrant, internationally oriented French sociology community before Durkheim. Durkheim himself is treated at length in many books, but the classic study Lukes 1985 and the more recent one Fournier 2013, which is more detailed about Durkheim’s day-to-day activities, are the comprehensive discussions. Jones 1999 discusses the early Durkheim, especially the Durkheim of The Division of Labor in Society and its examination as a dissertation. Strenski 1997 explores the question of his Jewish origins. Lukes 1985 is more concerned with the ideas and Fournier 1994 and Fournier 2013 with the details of the complex biography. Besnard 1987 and Besnard 2009 are two important texts on the aftermath of Durkheimianism: one on the reception history of the concept of anomie, which appears in the American context as something different from Durkheim’s intent, as a condition of the individual.

                                                                                                          • Aron, Raymond. 1990. Memoirs: Fifty years of political reflections. Translated by George Holock. New York: Holmes & Meier.

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                                                                                                            These memoirs, by a leading non-Durkheimian figure in French sociology, were listed as one of the most important books of the 20th century and provide a deep look into French intellectual life and world politics as well as French sociology.

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                                                                                                            • Besnard, Philippe. 1987. L’anomie: Ses usages et ses functions dans la discipline socioloque depuis Durkheim. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

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                                                                                                              Besnard explicates the concept of anomie and shows how it was distorted in later sociology.

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                                                                                                              • Besnard, Philippe. 2009. The sociological domain: The Durkheimians and the founding of French sociology. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                This is a collective portrait of the students of Durkheim and their works.

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                                                                                                                • Fournier, Marcel. 1994. Marcel Mauss: A biography. Translated by Jane Marie Todd. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                  Mauss was the nephew and student of Durkheim and in many ways more interesting. This book considers his life and thought, as well as his political engagements.

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                                                                                                                  • Fournier, Marcel. 2013. Émile Durkheim. Translated by David Macey. Cambridge, UK: Polity.

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                                                                                                                    Based on extensive archival research, this book allows one to see Durkheim in all his facets and for him to emerge as a living person.

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                                                                                                                    • Jones, Robert Alun. 1999. The development of Durkheim’s social realism. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511488818Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                      A defense of the traditional view of Durkheim as a teleologist, based on his early work.

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                                                                                                                      • Lukes, Steven. 1985. Émile Durkheim: His life and work. A historical and critical study. Stanford, CA: Stanford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                        A classic text that was the foundation and starting point for later Durkheimian studies. Originally published in 1975.

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                                                                                                                        • Mucchielli, Laurent. 1998. La Découverte du social: Naissance de la sociologie en France (1870–1914). Paris: Éditions la Découverte.

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                                                                                                                          French sociology before its acceptance in universities was lively and interesting, which this book shows.

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                                                                                                                          • Strenski, Ivan. 1997. Durkheim and the Jews of France. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226777351.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                            Debunks the notion of Durkheim’s sociology as essentially Jewish but reveals a great deal about Durkheim’s background.

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                                                                                                                            Germany

                                                                                                                            German sociology is one of the most important national traditions in sociology, and its history is the most complex. The central figure is Max Weber, whose basic methodological ideas, discussed in Bruun 2007 (first published in 1972), a classic survey, are essential to understanding the history of sociology and German sociology. Swedberg 2000, a discussion of Weber’s economics sociology, covers many other aspects of his thought. Weber’s complex life and activities are discussed in two influential books: Radkau 2011 and Mommsen 1984—each highly controversial. Weber’s wife, Marianne Weber, wrote a biography based on personal knowledge and material that is no longer extent but that is still essential background and captures some of the intellectual flavor of the time (Weber 1988). But there is much more to German sociology than Weber. His brother, Alfred, who outlived him by many years, had a career pursuing different ideas, as explained in Loader 2012, and there were many rivals to Weber. Kaesler 1991, which is based on an American sociologist’s interviews, gives a clear and intensely personal picture of this landscape. Muller 1987, a study of Hans Freyer, tells the story of one alternative school with deep roots in the German intellectual tradition and a bad fate. The best available survey, which relates the various movements in German sociology to the changing political situation, is Gerhardt 2009. This entire literature is overshadowed by the fact of Nazism and the question of the relation of sociological ideas to Nazism.

                                                                                                                            • Bruun, Hans Henrik. 2007. Science, values and politics in Max Weber’s methodology. Expanded ed. Burlington, VT: Ashgate.

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                                                                                                                              Weber’s methodological writings are crucial and difficult. This is the best introduction. Originally published in 1972.

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                                                                                                                              • Gerhardt, Uta. 2009. Soziologie im zwanzigsten Jahrhundert. Studien zu ihrer Geschichte in Deutschland. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag.

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                                                                                                                                This is a somewhat polemical history of German sociology that fits the sociology of different periods with the political system of the time.

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                                                                                                                                • Kaesler, Dirk. 1991. Sociological adventures: Earle Edward Eubank’s visits with European sociologists. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction.

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                                                                                                                                  This unusual book is based on primary source materials of interviews by an American sociologist of European sociologists at the moment of Hitler’s ascent to power and provides unforgettable glimpses into their lives and attitudes.

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                                                                                                                                  • Loader, Colin. 2012. Alfred Weber and the crisis of culture, 1890–1933. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

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                                                                                                                                    Alfred Weber, the younger brother of Max, lived through the turbulent Weimar period and was fully engaged with the cultural changes of the time.

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                                                                                                                                    • Mommsen, Wolfgang. 1984. Max Weber and German politics, 1890–1920. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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                                                                                                                                      Based on his highly controversial dissertation originally published in German in 1959, this book is a comprehensive introduction to Weber as a political thinker and activist, which radically revised the image of Weber as a precursor of German postwar liberalism.

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                                                                                                                                      • Muller, Jerry Z. 1987. The other god that failed: Hans Freyer and the deradicalization of German conservatism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                        Hans Freyer was a major German sociologist of the interwar period who represented a political and intellectual viewpoint that was contrary to Nazism but conservative.

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                                                                                                                                        • Radkau, Joachim. 2011. Max Weber: A biography. Cambridge, UK: Polity.

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                                                                                                                                          A controversial but compelling biography that analyzes Weber as a psychologically troubled genius.

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                                                                                                                                          • Swedberg, Richard. 2000. Max Weber and the idea of economic sociology. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                            This survey of some of the major areas of Weber’s thought goes far beyond the limits implied by the title.

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                                                                                                                                            • Weber, Marianne. 1988. Max Weber: A biography. Translated by Harry Zohn. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction.

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                                                                                                                                              This book is foundational for studying Weber. By his wife, and based on many no longer extant sources, it is not unproblematic, but it presents a rich personal account.

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                                                                                                                                              Karl Mannheim and Gunnar Myrdal

                                                                                                                                              Mannheim and Myrdal are unusual figures who have generated a significant historical literature but do not fall into the normal categories. Mannheim and Myrdal were close contemporaries; though Mannheim died prematurely, both were influenced by Max Weber and both were committed to the 1930s idea of planning. Myrdal’s popularity in particular was influenced by attitudes toward the Swedish welfare state, to which he and his wife Alva were strongly committed and in which they were deeply involved in politically. Each of them had a major international career. Mannheim was of Hungarian Jewish origin; he became a German professor and emigrated to Britain, but he was greatly concerned with his American reputation and prospects. Myrdal was a Swede who was tapped to write and organize a major foundation-funded project on American race relations during Second World War and had a major career beginning with his role in the Stockholm School of Economics, political involvement, a long concern with Asian development, and ultimately a Nobel Prize in economics. The quality and quantity of the literature on these two men (and Myrdal’s wife Alva) justifies a separate section for them. The Mannheim literature includes several surveys: Woldring 1986, a philosophical sociology of Mannheim’s life; Loader 1985, an intellectual history; and several more specialized studies, including Kettler, et al., 1984; Kettler, et al., 1995; Kettler, et al., 2001; and Kettler, et al., 2008, which reveal a great deal about sociology at the time. Myrdal has been the subject of numerous books, most prominently Jackson 1990. Etzemüller 2014 discusses Mydral’s wife Alva and his role in the Swedish welfare state.

                                                                                                                                              • Etzemüller, Thomas. 2014. Alva and Gunnar Myrdal: Social engineering in the modern world. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

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                                                                                                                                                Deals with the idea of planning and Alva’s important role in his career.

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                                                                                                                                                • Jackson, Walter A. 1990. Gunnar Myrdal: Social engineering and racial liberalism, 1938–1987. Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press.

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                                                                                                                                                  Highly respected historical study focused on An American Dilemma and its context.

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                                                                                                                                                  • Kettler, David, and Colin Loader, eds. 2001. Karl Mannheim on sociology as political education. Brunswick NJ: Transaction.

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                                                                                                                                                    The idea that teaching sociological thinking to the public is an essential means of reform has a long history. This book deals with the idea in Mannheim.

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                                                                                                                                                    • Kettler, David, Colin Loader, and Volker Meja. 2008. Karl Mannheim and the legacy of Max Weber: Building a research programme. Farnham, UK: Ashgate.

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                                                                                                                                                      Mannheim had an unusually talented and influential group of students and assistants, including Norbert Elias and Hans Gerth. Their relation to Mannheim and Weber is examined in this book.

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                                                                                                                                                      • Kettler, David, and Volker Meja. 1995. Karl Mannheim and the crisis of liberalism: The secret of these new times. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction.

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                                                                                                                                                        Mannheim lived through the collapse of a liberal regime and saw threats to the remaining ones. This book discusses his thoughts on liberalism, which he attempted to see beyond.

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                                                                                                                                                        • Kettler, David, Volker Meja, and Nico Stehr. 1984. Mannheim. Chichester, UK: Ellis Horwood.

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                                                                                                                                                          A short, basic introduction to Mannheim’s thought.

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                                                                                                                                                          • Loader, Colin. 1985. The intellectual development of Karl Mannheim: Culture, politics and planning. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                            This is a standard intellectual history of Mannheim and a good introduction.

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                                                                                                                                                            • Woldring, Henk. 1986. Karl Mannheim: The development of his thought: Philosophy, sociology and social ethics. New York: St. Martin’s.

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                                                                                                                                                              Billed as a philosophical sociological account rather than as intellectual history, this is a detailed discussion of Mannheim’s career and context and various critical encounters.

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                                                                                                                                                              Postwar United States

                                                                                                                                                              The history of American sociology is commonly divided at 1945, the date of the death or retirement of some early figures and of the rise of Merton, Lazarsfeld, Stouffer, and Parsons. The historical writing on the period until the 1980s is dominated by discussions of these men and their students, some of which appear in other sections, such as the section on transatlantic contacts. Parsons is a controversial figure: Buxton 1985 and Gerhardt 2011 offer competing perspectives, representing different views of Parsons’ form of authoritarian liberalism. Merton is discussed by Crothers 1987. The group as a whole is discussed in Turner and Turner 1990 (cited under American Sociology to 1945). The main critic and rival of the Parsons-Merton-Lazarsfeld group was C. Wright Mills, and much of the controversy over this period reflects different attitudes toward Mills and of his critique of establishment sociology. The story of Mills’s career is told in Geary 2009. The conflict between Mills and his establishment enemies is described in Haney 2008. One of the pivotal figures, Gouldner, a student of Merton who became a strong critic of Parsons, is analyzed in Chriss 2015, a book that reveals interesting features of the hidden politics of the era. Calhoun 2007 contains many essays on such issues as the historiography of American sociology, the histories of particular specialties, and discussions of feminism. Feminism and feminization are one of the concerns of Turner 2014, a discussion of the post-1990 period. The significance of the figures of this period, especially Mills and Parsons, are still contested subjects, as they were during their lives, making this period a particularly interesting topic.

                                                                                                                                                              • Buxton, William. 1985. Talcott Parsons and the capitalist nation-state: Political sociology as a strategic vocation. Toronto: Univ. of Toronto Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                The influence of Talcott Parsons is something of a mystery. This book details the institutional and political setting that enabled Parsons to dominate several areas of study.

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                                                                                                                                                                • Calhoun, Craig, ed. 2007. Sociology in America: A history. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226090962.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                  This award-winning collection of essays includes both surveys of different specialties in sociology and an extensive discussion of the historiography of American sociology.

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                                                                                                                                                                  • Chriss, James J. 2015. Confronting Gouldner: Sociology and political activism. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.

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                                                                                                                                                                    This book has an introduction by Alvin Gouldner’s son that reveals Gouldner’s politics and contains a new interpretation of Gouldner’s life and sociology.

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                                                                                                                                                                    • Crothers, Charles. 1987. Robert K. Merton. Chichester, UK: Ellis Horwood.

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                                                                                                                                                                      Although this is a book in a series of introductions, it is a comprehensive guide to the complexities of Merton’s work and development.

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                                                                                                                                                                      • Geary, Daniel. 2009. Radical ambition: C. Wright Mills, the Left, and American social thought. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                        There are many books on C. Wright Mills, but this is one of the most respected.

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                                                                                                                                                                        • Gerhardt, Uta. 2011. Talcott Parsons: An intellectual biography. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                          This is very much a defense of Talcott Parsons’s much-maligned legacy from a German scholar.

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                                                                                                                                                                          • Haney, David Paul. 2008. The Americanization of social science: Intellectuals and public responsibility in the postwar United States. Philadelphia, PA: Temple Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                            Harvey tells the fascinating story of how postwar American sociologists abandoned the past practice of speaking to the public and isolated themselves as experts, leading to the bitter conflict with C. Wright Mills and to the issues of the 1960s. This is a good counterbalance to the celebration of Parsons and Merton.

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                                                                                                                                                                            • Turner, Stephen. 2014. American sociology: From pre-disciplinary to post-normal. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave.

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                                                                                                                                                                              This book, which addresses the period after 1990 in the context of the past, controversially argues that the turn to feminism and gender saved American sociology after the undergraduate enrollment losses in the 1970s and 1980s.

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                                                                                                                                                                              Quantitative Social Research

                                                                                                                                                                              Quantification is an important part of the history of sociology, but it has a separate history, before disciplinarization and alongside it. The literature includes material on the history of statistics, as well as of the collection of statistics both by states and by researchers. Porter 1986 gives a history of 19th-century statistics that illuminates some of the technical developments necessary for the analysis of social data and of the core issue of 19th-century social statistics, the suicide problem. Desrosières 2002 provides a philosophical history of social statistics concentrating on the construction of the subject matter by official statistics, on which most early work and much later work depended. Anderson 1988 gives a more conventional account of the US Census. Bulmer, et al. 1991 provides detailed discussions of early surveys. Of special interest is the so-called survey movement, a social reform movement based on social surveys that included but were not limited to quantitative material. Greenwald and Anderson 1996 deals with the many complexities of the Pittsburgh survey, the most important of these. Converse 1987 covers the later history. Fleck 2011 examines the international dimension in detail, concentrating especially on the Vienna-born Lazarsfeld and his influence. Platt 1996 explains the academic impetus for quantification within sociology in the United States and deals with the question of whether the pressure to quantify was driven by internal intellectual desires or external demands, especially by funders. This is an issue that runs through this literature in various ways. The survey in its modern form is given a full history in Converse 1987, which is especially good on the wartime impetus to surveys of morale

                                                                                                                                                                              • Anderson, Margo. 1988. The American Census: A social history. New Haven, CT: Yale Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                This is the standard history of the US Census, with many details relevant to the history of sociology.

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                                                                                                                                                                                • Bulmer, Martin, Kevin Bales, and Kathryn Kish Sklar, eds. 1991. The social survey in historical perspective 1880–1940. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  This collection, primarily contributed to by historians, covers a large number of early social and poverty surveys and the settings in which they were completed.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  • Converse, J. M. 1987. Survey research in the United States: Roots and emergence, 1890–1960. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    A very substantial book that is especially strong on the role of wartime survey research in the development of the field.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    • Desrosières, Alain. 2002. The politics of large numbers: A history of statistical reasoning. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      This book is a philosophical reflection on the reality of the numbers in official statistics, based on extensive understanding of the politics of number creation and bureaucracy, especially in France and the Continent.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      • Fleck, Christian. 2011. A transatlantic history: Robber barons, the Third Reich and the invention of empirical social research. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

                                                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.5040/9781849662932Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                        This highly readable book is the most useful account of Lazarsfeld, especially in his interactions with the Frankfurt School in relation to the Authoritarian Personality study.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        • Greenwald, Maurine W., and Margo Anderson. 1996. Pittsburgh surveyed. Pittsburgh: Univ. of Pittsburgh Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          The Pittsburgh survey was the crown jewel of the survey movement, and this collection of essays covers its many facets.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          • Platt, Jennifer. 1996. A history of sociological research methods in America 1920–1960. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            Platt, a distinguished historian of the field, argues that the development of quantitative methods in the United States was internally motivated rather than grant-driven.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            • Porter, Theodore M. 1986. The rise of statistical thinking 1820–1900. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              This is a classic overview of the probabilistic revolution with a special emphasis on suicide, a major concern of 19th-century social statisticians.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              Social Psychology

                                                                                                                                                                                              Social psychology has a complex history. It was originally a field of sociology, concerned with the fundamental mechanisms motivating social life and operating in society. In France, it was opposed to Durkheim’s collective psychology. In the United States, sociology always had a psychological orientation, and the relations between psychological and other approaches were intensely debated. In the 1920s, however, psychologists became interested in the subject and revolutionized it by taking over the concept of attitude, which had a long history discussed in a famous article (Fleming 1967) but popularized in Thomas and Znaneicki 1958 and introducing measures of attitudes, in line with their own emerging practices of quantification. This impetus had the effect of importing distinctive psychological ways of thinking about subjects, discussed in Danziger 1994, into sociology and made social psychology into an interdisciplinary field. This intrusion was not without its critics, and the abstraction of psychological fact was criticized in Blumer 1969 on the basis of the author’s own appropriation of the legacy of G. H. Mead, leading to an alternative to both sociology and psychology that Blumer called “symbolic interactionism,” a perspective that has persisted beyond the life of its rivals. This history is placed in a larger European context in Valsiner and van der Veer 2000. After Second World War, and in part as the consequence of the interdisciplinary military research projects of the war and postwar itself, which brought sociologists together with psychologists and psychiatrists, the younger generation of sociologists and social psychologists shifted their interest to racial attitudes and promoted the idea of a behavioral science centered in social psychology that could enable the transformation of attitudes. Brannigan 2004 tells the story of this doomed but enormously influential effort. The topic of crowds, as Borch 2012 argues, was central to sociology as a whole, leading the author to an alternative history of sociology rooted in social psychological concerns.

                                                                                                                                                                                              • Blumer, Herbert. 1969. Symbolic interactionism: Perspective and method. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                This is the only book-length statement of the position of symbolic interactionism by the inventor of the term and the leading exponent of the movement.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                • Borch, Christian. 2012. The politics of crowds: An alternative history of sociology. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511842160Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                  This innovative book treats the history of sociology by way of one of its original central concerns, the phenomenon of masses or crowds, which is traced from the 19th century through many major sociological thinkers to contemporary symbolic interactionism.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Brannigan, Augustine. 2004. The rise and fall of social psychology: The use and misuse of the experimental method. New York: Aldine de Gruyter.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    Brannigan brings a sociological and critical perspective to the history of social psychology.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Danziger, Kurt. 1994. Constructing the subject: Historical origins of psychological research. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      Although strictly speaking this is a history of psychology, it is a model of historical analysis and discusses issues relating to human experimentation that apply to social psychology.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Fleming, Donald. 1967. Attitude: The history of a concept. Perspectives on American History 1:287–365.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        This early contribution to the history of behavioral science traces the origins of this influential concept.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Thomas, W. I., and Florian Znaneicki. 1958. The Polish peasant in Europe and America: Monograph of an immigrant group. 2d ed. New York: Dover.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          Republication in two volumes. This massive study traced the path of the Polish immigrants of the early 20th century and the problems they produced as a result of the breakdown of village social controls in their new urban settings. Introduces the concept of attitude to sociology as a way of explaining the distinctive responses of the immigrants to their new situation. Originally published 1918–1920.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Valsiner, Jaan, and Rene van der Veer. 2000. The social mind: Construction of the idea. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            This study discusses key figures in a line of thought about the social character of mind, including Pierre Janet, James Mark Baldwin, Dewey, Cooley and Mead, and Lev Vygotsky, and their relations to other thinkers.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            Three Sociological Specialties: Rural Sociology, Criminology, and Medical Sociology

                                                                                                                                                                                                            The history of general sociology often differs from the history of specific specialties, some of which, such as two of the largest and best documented ones, criminology and rural sociology, have such a long history both before and parallel to sociology as to be, in effect, separate fields. Sociological criminology developed in part in response to enlightenment criminology, which often was focused on prison reform and physiognomic ideas about criminal types, for example in Lombroso, but also out of prison reform movements in the 19th century. Rural sociology developed alongside general sociology as more than a specialty but as a partly separate discipline with separate departments. Its history is illuminating because it was an alternative to the path taken by general sociology, rooted in practical concerns for improving rural life and frankly valuative in its orientation. Brunner 1957 tells much of the early history, as does Galpin 1938 in a more personal way in an autobiography. The institutional story is told in Nelson 1969. Also related to public policy, but in a different and less institutionalized way, was criminology. Keys and Galliher 2000 and Gaylord and Galliher 1988 tell the story of two major figures, Lindesmith and Sutherland, and their attempts to influence policy and the development of their ideas. In the postwar period, medical sociology emerged as a major field within sociology and evolved into a policy-oriented specialty. Its history is told in Bloom 2002.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Bloom, Samuel William. 2002. The world as scalpel: A history of medical sociology. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              For a time, medical sociology was the largest specialty in sociology. This is the first and most comprehensive history of what has become a lively research topic.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Brunner, Edmund de Schweinitz. 1957. The growth of a science: A half-century of rural sociological research in the United States. New York: Harper.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                Basic history of rural sociology, though not from the perspective of the land-grant colleges.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Galpin, Charles J. 1938. My drift into rural sociology: Memoirs of Charles Josiah Gilpin. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This is a charming autobiography that reveals a great deal about the motivations and practices of early rural sociology.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Gaylord, Mark S., and John F. Galliher. 1988. The criminology of Edwin Sutherland. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Criminology is an important part of American sociology, but its history is seldom incorporated. This book tells about one of its major figures, the father of differential association theory. The book is also a good introduction to the history of American criminology.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Keys, David Patrick, and John F. Galliher. 2000. Confronting the drug control establishment: Alfred Lindesmith as a public intellectual. Albany: SUNY.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      One of the topics of special interest among historians is the evolution of American drug policy, in many ways the last gasp of a certain kind of puritanical reformism. This tells the story of the sociologist who criticized it.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Nelson, Lowery. 1969. Rural sociology: Its origins and growth in the United States. New York: American Book.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Rural sociology has a separate history from general sociology but played a significant role in the land grant universities of the United States and in rural development worldwide. This history is by a practitioner who was a contemporary of the major figures of the second generation of the field. Available online. Originally published in 1948.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Frankfurt School and European Contemporaries

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The emigration of (mostly Jewish) scholars from Germany during the Third Reich was highly consequential for the history of sociology, but the consequences were complex and need to be understood in terms of the larger problem of the relations between Europe and American scholarship and the European and American experiences, as well as the relation between British sociology and its émigré scholars. Historical discussion is complicated by the problem of drawing a line between sociology and the kind of social scholarship that was motivated by Marxism and appeared for the most part outside of academic life or in other disciplines. It is of course the Frankfurt School that poses these problems in the most acute form: none of its members were “sociologists” in a formal sense, yet their thinking was influential in sociology and sometimes involved forms of social research that were typically sociological. To omit them would simultaneously omit one of the most important influences on later academic sociology. The major figure in the Frankfurt School was Theodor Adorno, who has been treated in several books, notably Muller-Doohm 2005. The school in general is surveyed in Jay 1973 in an important but now somewhat dated survey. Wiggershaus 1995 provides a more recent survey. An even more recent and extremely important book that is more directly focused on social research and the interchange with Paul Lazarsfeld is Fleck 2011. This topic does not exhaust the subject of transatlantic exchange. Shrecker 2010 includes a number of studies of different kinds of interactions, with a welcome inclusion of French examples. A separate literature addresses Weber: Scaff 2011 discusses both Weber’s American experiences and his American influence. Oakes and Vidich 1999 examines the remarkable rivalries that went into the translations of Weber into English. Finally, there is a massive treatment of the life and work of Habermas, the major figure of the second generation of the Frankfurt School, Muller-Doohm 2014 (available in German but being translated into English).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Fleck, Christian. 2011. A transatlantic history: Robber barons, the Third Reich and the invention of empirical social research. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.5040/9781849662932Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Based on archival research and a close knowledge of the major figures, this book tells the story of the collaborations and conflicts between major figures such as Lazarsfeld and Horkheimer in mid-century America.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Jay, Martin. 1973. The dialectical imagination: A history of the Frankfurt School and the Institute of Social Research, 1923–1950. Boston: Little Brown.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This book, by an intellectual historian who was personally close to several of the first-generation figures in the Frankfurt School, was an important guide to the history for the first few decades after its publication.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Kaesler, Dirk. 1991. Sociological adventures: Earle Edward Eubank’s visits with European sociologists. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This unusual book is based on primary source materials of interviews by an American sociologist of European sociologists at the moment of Hitler’s ascent to power and provides unforgettable glimpses into their lives and attitudes.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Muller-Doohm, Stefan. 2005. Adorno: A biography. Translated by Rodney Livingstone. Cambridge, UK: Polity.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Adorno is a controversial figure with a complex biography, which this “life and works” book explains.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Muller-Doohm, Stefan. 2014. Jurgen Habermas: Ein biographie. Berlin: Suhrkamp.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Although Habermas wrote during a period of relative stability and had a stable academic career, his range and importance justify a biography. This is a traditional life and works account, which will appear in English shortly.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Oakes, Guy, and Arthur J. Vidich. 1999. Collaboration, reputation, and ethics in American academic life: Hans H. Gerth and C. Wright Mills. Urbana: Univ. of Illinois Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The early publication of some of the most influential translations of Weber was the subject of intrigue, clashing personalities, ambition, and deception. This book is a slice of professional life in the 1940s, focusing on Gerth, Mills, and Edward Shils.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Scaff, Lawrence A. 2011. Max Weber in America. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1515/9781400836710Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Max Weber visited America, was influenced by what he saw and the people he met, and in turn was influential in America. This well-researched and perceptive book by a famous Weber scholar tells both parts of this story.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Shrecker, Cherry, ed. 2010. Transatlantic voyages and sociology: The migration and development of ideas. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The range of interactions between North American and European sociology goes far beyond the cases of the émigré scholars. This book is a collection of studies of specific influences, including influence of American experiences on Europeans.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Wiggershaus, Rolf. 1995. The Frankfurt School: Its history, theories, and political significance. Translated by Michael Robertson. Cambridge, MA: MIT.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Of the many books about the Frankfurt School, this one stands out as a modern overview.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Women in Sociology and Reform

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Women have always had a significant role in relation to sociology, but often this role was as translators, for example in the case of Martineau 1858, a translation of Comte; as supporters of sociologically related reform movements; as reformers, such as Jane Addams and Beatrice Webb; or as workers in research projects, especially in the 1920s, when quantitative studies were funded, during the war, in the American Soldier study, and after the war in Lazarsfeld’s Bureau of Applied Social Research. This role reaches well into the 19th century, a point made in Lengermann and Niebrugge-Brantley 1998. Meurer 2010, a study of Marianne Weber, shows the early emergence of a women’s point of view in sociology. Within American academic life, much of women’s presence before the 1960s was in areas related to social welfare, though there were many exceptions, especially in demography. The emergence of feminism in the 1960s provided a radically new impetus to sociological thinking about gender, as well as about neglected women sociologists of the past and the relation of sociology to social reform. If we include social reformers as sociologists, despite the sometimes antagonistic relation between the two groups, the number of women expands. Barbara Wooton, in Britain, was a major architect and theorist of the welfare state, whose life is described in Oakley 2011. The more academic but nevertheless turbulent life of Jessie Bernard is discussed in a biography (Bannister 1991) by one of the most prominent historians of American sociology. Fitzpatrick 1990 on women reformers is a classic in its field, though the author’s discussion has little overlap with other treatments, such as that of Deegan 1988, which argues that reformers like Jane Addams were excluded from sociology by the masculinist sociology of Ogburn and Park. The feminist revolution is discussed in Ferree, et al. 2007 and Turner 2014 from somewhat different but complementary perspectives. Ferree, et al. 2007 argues for the centrality of the problem of gender and its revolutionary importance for sociology; Turner 2014 is concerned with the consequences of the quantitative dominance of women in American sociology and with the nature of the sociology that feminization has been associated with. Newman 1999 provides an account of the dismal record of women reformers in relation to the race question—one of the few critical texts in this literature.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Bannister, Robert C. 1991. Jessie Bernard: The making of a feminist. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Jessie Bernard was one of the founders of feminist sociology, but her life history was complex and revealing about the actual situation of women in academic life in the period.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Deegan, Mary Jo. 1988. Jane Addams and the men of the Chicago School, 1892–1918. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This influential book argues that male sociologists in the 1920s seized control of sociology and transformed it in a way that excluded the reform impulses of women such as Jane Addams.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Ferree, Myra Marx, Shamus Rahman Khan, and Shauna A. Morimoto. 2007. Assessing the feminist revolution: The presence and absence of gender in theory and practice. In Sociology in America. Edited by Craig Calhoun, 438–479. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226090962.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ferree defends the idea that the recognition of gender as the fundamental issue in sociology is a conceptual revolution of a Kuhnian type, which has not been understood by the older generation of males.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Fitzpatrick, Ellen. 1990. Endless crusade: Women social scientists and progressive reform. Oxford, UK: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A work by a feminist historian, this book describes the personal networks and background of the Progressive-era women reformers in social science.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Lengermann, Patricia Madoo, and Jill Niebrugge-Brantley. 1998. The women founders: Sociology and social theory 1830–1930. Boston: McGraw-Hill.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Several important women intellectuals wrote on social theory in the 19th century. This book, a textbook, attempts to recapture their thought for current sociology.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Martineau, Harriet. 1858. The positive philosophy of Auguste Comte: Freely translated and condensed. New York: Calvin Blanchard.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This is the basic translation of the major work of Comte into English, approved by Comte himself. Available online

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Meurer, Barbel. 2010. Marianne Weber: Leben und werk. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Marianne Weber was the wife of Max Weber and a formidable scholar in her own right. This book is a biography and intellectual history.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Newman, Louise Michele. 1999. White women’s rights: The racial origins of feminism in the United States. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Newman discusses the way in which the women’s movement of the late 19th and early 20th century portrayed themselves as civilizers of mankind, in a way that openly treated blacks as a negative other.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Oakley, Ann. 2011. A critical woman: Barbara Wootton, social science and public policy in the twentieth century. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.5040/9781849664769Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Wooton was a major proponent of the modern British welfare state who thought in a theoretical way about its relation to the public.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Turner, Stephen. 2014. Feminization, the new university environment, and the quest for a sociology for people. In American sociology: From pre-disciplinary to post-normal. By Stephen Turner, 66–80. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This chapter discusses the role of feminism and the organization Sociologists for Women in Society in the recent history of sociology, a period in which women became numerically dominant.

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