American Sociology: From Pre-Disciplinary to Post-Normal by Stephen Turner (auth.)

By Stephen Turner (auth.)

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During the 1920s and 1930s sociology had achieved something distinctive: a stable of methodological approaches that produced what were taken to be facts, and which were largely accessible to a wider reading public as well as to the profession itself. 1057/9781137377173  American Sociology other demographic trends and in employing concepts such as attitude and scales of various kinds, for example, Stuart Chapin’s living room scale for estimating social class. Qualitative techniques were developed as well: participant observation, life history analysis, and forms of auto-ethnography, exemplified in such works as Nels Anderson’s The Hobo (1923).

If there had been no Parsons, there still would have been Hans Gerth and C. Wright Mills from Wisconsin and Edward Shils from Chicago to introduce Weberian themes, to analyze power and civility and character and social structure. If there had been no Lazarsfeld, there still would have been Stouffer and Louis Guttman, as well as Otis Dudley Duncan. Likert scales would have proliferated; statistical analysis would have proceeded in much the same way. If there had been no Seymour Lipset, there would still have been Reinhard Bendix.

The demise of the idea of an overarching consensual theoretical framework, and the emergence of a practical kind of expertise represented by Coleman’s studies, led to a bifurcation between expertise and sociology as ‘science’. Keywords: Daniel Patrick Moynihan; James Coleman; Lewis Coser; Moynihan Report; Partialling; Robert Merton Turner, Stephen. American Sociology: From Pre-Disciplinary to Post-Normal. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014. 1057/ 9781137377173. 1057/9781137377173 The Crisis of the 1970s  The crisis of the 1970s was a result of the reaction against the events of 1968 and the later years of student protest, recession and a tight job market, a shift to more applied funding and the end of rapid growth in science funding, and, most important, the end of the baby-boom driven expansion of the universities.

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