Concepts and the Social Order
Robert K. Merton and the Future of Sociology
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: Central European University Press
Table of Contents
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List of Illustrations and Tables
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Book Concept and Preface
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In June 2008, the 38th World Congress of the International Institute of Sociology was held in Budapest at Central European University. During the conference, very many high-level lectures were imbued with ideas that originate in the work of Robert...
Note to Sound and Sculpture
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This volume is many things in one. First of all, it is, as Yehuda Elkana has expressed in the Preface, a tribute to the scope of Robert K. Merton’s work and the influence he has had on both the work and life of sociologists around the world...
1. The Paradoxes of Robert K. Merton: Fragmentary Reflections
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Yehuda Elkana’s intellectual agendas for the first decade of his faculty, professorial life, like my own, took place a generation ago in the benign context of Bob Merton in his sixties—that fruitful, pre-senescent decade, through which in our turns Yehuda...
2. Looking for Shoulders to Stand on, or for a Paradigm for the Sociology of Science
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The conveners of our workshop asked participants to “write about an idea or concept which influenced their work but that, in addition to the personal, also points to future importance in the way Sociology in general is moving.” Since, as far as...
3. R. K. Merton in France: Foucault, Bourdieu, Latour and the Invention of Mainstream Sociology in Paris
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Why do French sociologists seldom quote Robert K. Merton? This paper is an attempt to analyze a recurrent paradox. Although Merton’s operative concepts are known and used, his achievements are not really acknowledged in France...
4. Merton in South Asia: The Question of Religion and the Modernity of Science
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My own engagement with the work of the sociologist of science Robert K. Merton arose in relation to the set of nested questions that could be referred to as the Weber question, the Merton question or the Needham question. More recently I delivered...
5. The Contribution of Robert K. Merton’s Key Concepts to the Analysis of Gender Differentiation in Society
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Sex and gender are among the subjects and fields of study most resistant to impartial inquiry in the social and physical sciences. Because no individual is free from impressions or perceptions based on personal experience or philosophy...
6. A Tribute to Robert Merton: Protestant and Catholic Ethics Revisited
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My small tribute to Robert Merton is done from the point of view of a historian believing, as I think he did, that neither historians nor sociologists can afford an easy choice between grand narratives—that is theoretical or conceptual...
7. The Concept of Ambivalence in the Relationship between Science and Society
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In his 1963 essay “Sociological Ambivalence” (coauthored with Elinor Barber) Robert K. Merton addresses the problem of ambivalence not by referring to the psychological experience we all are familiar with. Being pulled in opposite direction...
8. Re-evaluating the Place of Science in Evaluating Modernity
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Imagine that a spaceship were to land on earth sent by a superior civilization. The emissaries would descend, speaking of course perfect English, and would inform us that everything we thought we knew about science was wrong...
9. Democracy and the Normative Structure of Science after Modernity
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The New York Academy of Sciences published in 1980 a festschrift for Robert K. Merton entitled Science and Social Structure (Gieryn 1980). The essay I contributed to this volume was on “Science and the Problem of Authority in...
The Matthew Effect Writ Large and Larger: A Study in Sociological Semantics
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Peer recognition matters in science—to those who receive it, to those who give it and to the system as a whole. Robert Merton’s1 early research persuaded him that scientists’ pursuit of recognition from knowledgeable peers shaped their work...
11. Repetition with Variation: A Mertonian Inquiry into a Lost Mertonian Concept
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Throughout the chapters of this volume, my fellow contributors examine a range of concepts that originate in the work of Robert Merton and continue to circulate in contemporary sociological theory and research, but which have...
12. Robert K. Merton and the Transformation of Sociology of Knowledge and Possible New Directions
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This chapter discusses the place of Robert K. Merton in the transformation of Sociology of Knowledge (SoK) and some indications for possible future directions. The basic sources are the three articles included in Part...
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List of Contributors
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Page Count: 251
Publication Year: 2011