Archive for the 'Sociology Monday' Category

Social Work Saturday: Margaret Humphreys

Saturday, October 24th, 2015


Click Here to Read: Margaret Humphreys on Wikipedia.

Click Here to Read: ‘People should sort this mess’: Margaret Humphreys has spent 23 years campaigning for the victims of forced childhood migration. This week, finally, Gordon Brown is due to apologise on behalf of Britain for separating them from their families by Aida Edemariam on The Guardian website on 19 February 19, 2010.

Click Here to View: Margaret Humphreys – Oranges and Sunshine- (more…)

Sociology and Anthropology Monday: William I. (Isaac) Thomas and Florian W. (Witold) Znaniecki

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

William I ThomasFlorian W. Zaniecki

Click Here to Read:  Other posts on Sociology and Anthropology Monday on this website.

Sociology and Anthropology Monday
William I. (Isaac) Thomas (13 August 1863 – 5 December 1947) and Florian W. (Witold) Znaniecki (15 January 1882 – 23 March 1958)

It is fitting that Thomas and Znaniecki be treated together since their collaborative work The Polish Present in Europe and America represents the first major in-depth study of emigration and the establishment of an immigrant population in the United States. A classic of sociology, its methodology was largely dependent on the data provided by the emigrants themselves in the form of letters, diaries and other autobiographies, newspaper reports, etc. in which the subjective experiences are treated as series data for an objective study.

W. I. Thomas studied English and Classics at the University of Tennessee and continued his studies in classics and (more…)

Sociology and Anthropology Monday: Seymour Martin Lipset (1922-2006)

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014


Martin Lipset was another one of those brilliant undergraduate students whose debating skills in particular and critical acumen more generally were honed at the Alcove One of the cafeteria of the City College of New York in the late thirties and early forties. The unifying factor of those 30-50 City students who congregated at Alcove One was not ideological purity (although they were all people of the left of varying and indeed conflicting stripes) but rather their strident opposition to Stalinism. Lipset came to Alcove One as a kind of Trotskyist but left the party after his first year at City. In an autobiographical essay published in 1996 Lipset suggests that his life work as a sociologist, more narrowly, as a political sociologist, had been motivated by three questions which he posed while an undergraduate student at City and as a graduate student in the Department of Sociology at Columbia University under the supervision of Robert K. Merton and Philip Selznick. (more…)

Sociology Monday: Alfred Kroeber

Monday, September 15th, 2014


Alfred (Louis) Kroeber (1876-1960) was an American anthropologist born in Hoboken, New Jersey to parents of German Protestant extraction. Fluent in both English and German (which was the predominant language of use growing up in his childhood home) he received a classical training in Latin and Greek and other humanistic subjects. He became interested in studying anthropology through his contact with Franz Boas in the latter’s class on linguistics at Columbia University. Kroeber was the first to complete a doctorate in anthropology at Columbia, a path soon to be followed by many of Boas’ students who later went on, like Kroeber, to become leading anthropologists in the United States. Less well-known is the fact that Kroeber became interested in psychoanalysis, underwent a personal analysis and was the first person to practice as a psychoanalyst in the Bay area in California: (more…)

Sociology and Anthropology Monday: C. Wright Mills

Monday, July 14th, 2014

C. (Charles) Wright Mills (1916-1962) was one of the most significant sociologists and sociological theorists to challenge the Parsonian consensus in American sociology during the late 1950s and early 1960s. Born in Waco Texas he completed his doctoral dissertation in the sociology of knowledge on the relationship between pragmatism and sociology, having been influenced in his thinking by the writings of John Dewey and George Herbert Mead among others. In 1945 he was appointed to a research position at the Bureau of Applied Research at Columbia University headed by Paul Lazarsfeld. In the following year Mills became an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at Columbia and remained a faculty member in that department until his death in 1962. (more…)

Sociology and Anthropology Monday: Talcott Parsons

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014


Sociology and Anthropology Monday: Talcott Parsons

 Talcott Parsons (1902-1979) was a dominant figure in American sociology from the late 1930s until the mid-1960s. He became a lightning-rod for criticism by a younger, more radical generation of sociologists who were just coming into their own against the backdrop of the anti-nuclear and peace campaigns of the late fifties and early sixties, the civil rights movement of the mid-fifties to mid-sixties, the student movement during the sixties and the rise of feminism, and the growing opposition to the War in Vietnam from the mid-sixties. This diverse group (more…)

Sociology and Anthropology Monday: Robert King Merton

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

Robert King Merton: (1910-2003) born in Philadelphia on the fourth of July as Meyer Robert Schkolnick to newly immigrated Russian-Jewish parents. Merton changed his name as an amateur magician to this stage name by which he came to be known during his scholarly career. One of the most celebrated sociologists in the mid to late 20th century – he amassed awards and honorary degrees from around the world – but it was his son, Robert C. Merton, who won the Nobel Prize in economics in 1997.

Merton eschewed the grand theory approach of one of his mentors and advisors, Talcott Parsons, in favour of a theory of the middle range, under the influence of his colleague, Paul Lazarsfeld, at the Bureau of Applied Research at Columbia University of which Merton was associate director. In addition to middle range sociological theory, Merton was known as an (more…)

Sociology and Anthropology Monday: Ferdinand Tönnies

Monday, June 2nd, 2014


FerdinandTönnies jpg

Ferdinand Tönnies (1855-1936) was a co-founder – with Georg Simmel, Werner Sombart and Max Weber – and first president of the German Sociological Society (1909). He is best known and remembered for his pairing of social groupings into Gemeinschaft (community) and Gesellschaft (society) a pairing that has often been linked to Durkheim’s mechanical and organic solidarity, Henry Sumner Maine’s status and contract and even Spengler among others’ distinction between culture and civilization. But different sorts of will, two different kinds of underlying drives, forces, impetus’ which propel different (more…)

Sociology and Anthropology Monday: Nathan Glazer

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014


Nathan Glazer (1923- ) is professor emeritus at Harvard University. Born in New York City and raised in the Bronx, he attended CCNY (entering the freshman class in February 1940) and was a “member” of Alcove One where the anti-Stalinist left tended to congregate to debate the issues of the day. He was also a member of Avukah, the student Zionist organization, and edited its journal. Through these contacts he came to know and for a time worked with Zellig Harris, a linguist at the University of Pennsylvania, who later moved to Israel. Harris introduced him to Eric Fromm who acquainted him with members of the Institut für Sozialforschung, the (more…)

Sociology Monday: Daniel Bell (1919-2011)

Monday, April 28th, 2014

Daniel Bell (1919-2011)

Daniel Bell was one of the most influential sociologists and public intellectuals in the post-war era. His most famous works include The End of Ideology(related to the Cold War) in which he argued that the imperative of the new, post-war economy narrowed the field of ideology so that real ideological and political choices would be significantly attenuated by the technological imperatives of the new organization of production; The Coming of Post-Industrial Society in which he discussed the impact of the shift from industrial societies in which the production of goods is the dominant activity to post-industrialism which is largely based on the training for and delivery of services by the application of science and technology in the most advanced economies in the last quarter of the 20th century; and The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism in which he posited (more…)

Sociology and Anthropology Monday: Lawrence Krader

Monday, April 21st, 2014


Sociology and Anthropology Monday
April 21, 2014
Lawrence Krader (1919-1998)

Lawrence Krader was born in New York City and died in Berlin, Germany. He was known in Anthropology as one of the world’s leading experts on the peoples of Soviet Central Asia, having both written a leading textbook on the subject and leading many expeditions to that part of the (more…)

Sociology and Anthropology Monday: Franz Boas

Monday, March 10th, 2014


Franz Boas (1858-1942) – Progenitor of American Anthropology

Franz Boas was a German-Jewish physicist and geographer who, through his studies of Inuit on Baffin Island and of the Kwakiutl in British Columbia under the auspices of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, came to devote himself to the study of anthropology by challenging the predominant fixed stage evolutionism in vogue in the last quarter of the 19th century. It was Boas who defined anew the science of (more…)

Sociology and Anthropology Monday: Vilfredo Pareto

Monday, March 3rd, 2014


Vilfredo Pareto (1848-1923) was a Franco-Italian civil engineer turned economist and sociologist. Prior to 1898 he was a traditional economic liberal and politically a man of the left. He failed at his bid for a career in politics and became disillusioned and somewhat embittered. He began to withdraw from society, and, after having inherited a small fortune he retired to a house in Celigny where he acquired an enormous wine cellar with his companion, Jane Regis, and a legion of Angora cats. In his later years he became increasingly (more…)

Sociology and Anthropology Monday: Auguste Comte

Monday, February 24th, 2014


Auguste Comte (1798-1857) was born to conservative, royalist and Catholic parents. A precocious student with a photographic memory he graduated with top honours from the Lycée at Montpellier at the age of 14 ½. He passed the entrance examinations for the EcolePolytechnique with the highest marks in southern and central France, yet he was not yet 16 and had to wait a year to begin his studies at the Ecole. Comte became a student (more…)

Sociology and Anthropology Monday: Charles Horton Cooley

Monday, February 17th, 2014


Charles Horton Cooley (1864-1929)

Cooley was one of the leading American sociologists of the second generation who, along with George Herbert Mead (see last week’s column), developed a sociological theory of the self – the looking-glass self – which was probably influenced by Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments in which the self was understood to be a construct based on the observation of others in relation to the self. Trained as a mechanical engineer and as an economist, Cooley later gravitated to his minor in Sociology, publishing three major books in that field: Human Nature and the Social Order (1902), Social Organization (1909) and Social Process (1918). He was influenced in (more…)

Sociology Monday: George Herbert Mead

Monday, February 10th, 2014

Click Here to Read:  George Herbert Read on Wikipedia.

Click Here to Read:  A large number of Mead’s publications can be found online at The Mead Project developed by Robert Throop and Lloyd Gordon Ward:

Click Here to Read:  George’s page on George Herbert Mead.

This installment of Sociology and Anthropology Monday introduces an important figure in American Pragmatism, Social Psychology and the social behaviorist theory of (more…)

Sociology Monday: Max Weber

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Max_WeberClick Here to Read:  Max Weber on Wikipedia.

Click Here to Read:  Max Weber’s Comparative-Historical Sociology Today: Major Themes, Mode of Causal Analysis, and Applications on the Ashgate Press website.

Click Here to Read:  The Weber-Rachfahl Debate: Calvinsim and Capitalism in Holland (Part One) by  J. I. (Hans) Bakker in the Michigan Sociological Review Volume 17: Fall 2013.

Sociology Monday: Georg Simmel

Sunday, January 26th, 2014


Click Here to Read:  Georg Simmel on Wikipedia

Click Here to Read: The Significance of Simmel’s Work on the George Simmel online website.

Click Here to Read:   Mind, Brain & Spirituality: Toward a Biology of the Soul on this website.

Sociology Monday: Karl Manheim

Monday, January 13th, 2014


Click Here to Read:  Karl Manheim on Wikipedia.

Click Here to Read: The Democratic Origins of the Term “Group Analysis”:  Karl Manheim’s ‘Third Way” for Psychoanalysis and Social Science. 

Sociology Monday: Mary Douglas

Monday, January 6th, 2014


Click Here to Read:  Review of: Douglas, Mary. Purity and Danger: an analysis of the concepts of pollution and taboo, Reviewed by Ana C. Zimmermann on the University of Nottingham website.

Click Here to Read:  Review of: Douglas, Mary. Purity and Danger: an analysis of the concepts of pollution and taboo, Reviewed by Emily on the It Was Evening, All Afternoon. website on August 30, 2013.