The contemporary crisis and the social relations department at Harvard: A case study in hegemony and disintegration

@article{Johnston1998TheCC,
  title={The contemporary crisis and the social relations department at Harvard: A case study in hegemony and disintegration},
  author={Barry V. Johnston},
  journal={The American Sociologist},
  year={1998},
  volume={29},
  pages={26-42}
}
The history of sociology is marked by periods of theoretical pluralism and hegemony. Their interplay has resulted in the slow and uneven development of the discipline. Today, however, bodies of theory and practice have become so diverse that many scholars worry that sociology is in a state of disintegration. The theoretical career of Talcott Parsons provides a microcosm in which to explore similar processes. Building on the success of The Structure of Social Action, Parsons led a movement that… 
A world from brave to new: Talcott Parsons and the war effort at Harvard University.
  • U. Gerhardt
  • History
    Journal of the history of the behavioral sciences
  • 1999
This article argues that for Parsons and some of his colleagues at Harvard, the Second World War and the post-war period provided a context in which their work contributed to the transformation from
Introduction: the social sciences in a cross-disciplinary age.
  • P. Fontaine
  • Art
    Journal of the history of the behavioral sciences
  • 2015
TLDR
This special issue takes the view that cross-disciplinary ventures should be considered not so much as efforts to loosen up the disciplinary yoke, but as an alternative form of production and dissemination of social scientific knowledge.
Toward an Integral, Professional-Public Sociology: The Example of Gordon W. Allport
There has been much recent debate within sociology regarding academic versus applied approaches, as well as how to integrate these during a career. Sociologists interested in such issues might find
The trap of intellectual success: Robert N. Bellah, the American civil religion debate, and the sociology of knowledge
Current sociology of knowledge tends to take for granted Robert K. Merton’s theory of cumulative advantage: successful ideas bring recognition to their authors, successful authors have their ideas
The Interstitial Ascent of Talcott Parsons: Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration and Careerism at Harvard, 1927–1951
The paper builds on Joel Isaac’s analysis of “interstitial” arrangements that generate scientific knowledge, and also draws upon the networking model of theory groups articulated by Nicholas and
Clifford Geertz, intellectual autonomy, and interpretive social science
  • A. Cossu
  • Sociology
    American Journal of Cultural Sociology
  • 2019
Clifford Geertz was a key protagonist in the development of “interpretive social science,” but much of our understanding of his position as an intellectual neglects the crucial years before the
Riding natural scientists' coattails onto the endless frontier: the SSRC and the quest for scientific legitimacy.
  • M. Solovey
  • Sociology
    Journal of the history of the behavioral sciences
  • 2004
TLDR
It is proposed that the postwar National Science Foundation debate constituted a critical, transitional episode in American social science and partisan politics and has a deep historical significance for the social sciences, for American liberalism, and for the nation.
Il Mulino-Rivisteweb
Daniel Little’s discussion of the relationship between Analytical Sociology’s stated program and various exemplars of sociological scholarship occasions three questions. The first two are historical
Elite versus mass sociology: An elaboration on Sociology's Academic Caste System
The American Sociologist / Winter 2006 Stan C. Weeber is an associate professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice at McNeese State University. His interests in sociology include the sociology of
Toward a History of Economics at MIT, 1940-1972
This article tells the development of economics at MIT between 1940 and 1972. The recruitment of Paul Samuelson in 1940 fostered the establishment of a small community of economists within an
...
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 25 REFERENCES
Structure After 50 Years: The Anatomy of a Charter
In the half century since its publication, The Structure of Social Action has emerged as one of the classics of the sociological tradition. At the present time, however, there is scarcely any
The Present Condition of American Sociology. A Review Article
  • D. Wrong
  • Sociology
    Comparative Studies in Society and History
  • 1993
A mood of crisis has pervaded the field of sociology over the past decade. It might be and indeed often has been argued that crisis is endemic to a field that has always lacked both a clearly bounded
Visions of the Sociological Tradition
In this work, Don Levine moves from the origins of systematic knowledge in ancient Greece to the present day in order to present an account that is at once a history of the social science enterprise
Social relations undone: Disciplinary divergence and departmental politics at Harvard, 1946–1970
This article examines the failed convergence of sociology, social psychology, cultural anthropology, and clinical psychology in Harvard’s Department of Social Relations. The analysis shows that from
The Disintegration of American Sociology
What do I mean by "disintegration"? The term is used here in both an evaluative and a more technical sense. Its evaluative connotations are that American sociology is "falling apart" and losing
Sociology and the Goal of Generalization
The purpose of this essay is to underscore the importance of two related insights that lie at the foundation of sociology and account for its unique contribution to the study of human behavior. The
The Sociological Eye and Its Blinders
RANDALL COLLINS University of Pennsylvania By refusing to march into a morass of postmodernist relativism, and yet simultaneously refusing to retreat to nineteenth-century positivism, sociology seems
(Re)Making Sociology: Breaking the Bonds of Our Discipline
What is sociology? The question tends to focus our attention on issues of topic and/or method, and at that point we can see why the question emerges. We are increasingly diverse on both dimensions.
Institutional Perspectives on Sociology
  • J. Huber
  • Sociology
    American Journal of Sociology
  • 1995
Persistent fiscal constraints in higher education pose special risks for sociology. The organization of academia gives all departments problems in self-governance. But these problems are intensified
Sociology After the Crisis
After the crisis sociology as theories of lost worlds modernity's riddle and Durkheim's lost fathers the end of ideology, really! measured selves in weak worlds structuring differences three ways to
...
...