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Many social scientists lament the increasing fragmentation of their discipline, the trend toward specialization and away from engagement with overarching issues. Opportunities to transcend established subdisciplinary boundaries are rare, but the extraordinary conference that gave rise to this volume was one such occasion.

The W. I. Thomas and Florian Znaniecki Memorial Conference on Social Theory, held at the University of Chicago, brought together an outstanding array of scholars representing a variety of contending approaches to social theory. In panels, presentations, and general discussions, these scholars confronted one another in the context of an entire range of approaches. But as readers of this deftly edited collection will discover, the conference was more than a forum for abstract theoretical debate. These papers and discussions represent original scholarly contributions that exemplify orientations to social theory by examining real problems in the functioning of society—from large-scale economic growth and decline to the dynamics of interpersonal interaction.

By exploring a few central issues in different ways, this unique conference worked through some lively theoretical incompatibilities and established genuine potential for communication, for complementary and collaborative effort at the core of sociology. The excitement of that dialogue, and the intellectual vitality it generated, are captured for the reader in Approaches to Social Theory.

"Meaty presentations and confrontations of ideas by people whose views we respect...Recommended to anyone interested in the current state of social theory." —Contemporary Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright Page
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-x
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  1. Preliminaries
  2. p. xi
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-10
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  1. On W. I. Thomas and Florian Znaniecki
  2. pp. 11-12
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  1. Opening of the Conference
  2. JAMES S. COLEMAN
  3. pp. 13-14
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  1. Prologue
  2. ROBER MCCORMICK ADAMS
  3. pp. 15-18
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  1. Current Issues in Social Theory
  2. p. 19
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  1. How Sociological Theory Lost Its Central Issue and What Can Be Done About It - Siegwart Lindenberg
  2. SIEGWART LINDENBERG
  3. pp. 20-25
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  1. The Analysis of Diversity and the Diversity of Analysis - Morris Janowitz
  2. MORRIS JANOWITZ
  3. pp. 26-29
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  1. The Hidden Issues: A New Agenda - Immanuel Wallerstein
  2. IMMANUEL WALLERSTEIN
  3. pp. 30-33
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  1. General Discussion
  2. pp. 34-39
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  1. The Emergence of Sociologyas a Discipline
  2. p. 40
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  1. Three Sociological Traditions: On Creating the Future While Creating the Past
  2. RANDALL COLLINS
  3. pp. 41-46
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  1. The Development of Scholasticism
  2. ARTHUR L. STINCHCOMBE
  3. pp. 47-54
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  1. Two Traditions: Substantive Analysis and Empirical Research
  2. EDWARD SHILS
  3. pp. 55-58
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  1. General Discussion
  2. pp. 59-64
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  1. Sociology of Knowledge
  2. p. 65
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  1. Academic Market, Ideology, and the Growth of Scientific Knowledge: Physiology in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Germany
  2. JOSEPH BEN-DAVID
  3. pp. 66-78
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  1. Comment
  2. RANDALL COLLINS
  3. pp. 79-80
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  1. General Discussion
  2. pp. 81-85
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  1. Network Theory
  2. p. 86
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  1. Social Network Theory
  2. EDWARD O. LAUMANN AND DAVID KNOKE
  3. pp. 87-108
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  1. Comment
  2. RONALD S. BURT
  3. pp. 109-111
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  1. General Discussion
  2. pp. 112-114
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  1. Structural Theory
  2. p. 115
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  1. The California Gold Rush: Social Structure and Transaction Costs
  2. ANTHONY OBERSCHALL
  3. pp. 116-124
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  1. Comment
  2. PETER M. BLAU
  3. pp. 125-127
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  1. General Discussion
  2. pp. 128-133
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  1. Purposive Action Theory
  2. p. 134
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  1. Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families
  2. GARY S. BECKER AND NIGEL TOMES
  3. pp. 135-149
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  1. Comment
  2. RUSSELL HARDIN
  3. pp. 150-152
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  1. General Discussion
  2. pp. 153-156
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  1. Ecological Theory
  2. p. 157
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  1. The Ecology of Organizations: Structural Inertia and Organizational Change
  2. MICHAEL T. HANNAN AND JOHN FREEMAN
  3. pp. 158-179
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  1. Comment
  2. HOWARD ALDRICH
  3. pp. 180-182
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  1. General Discussion
  2. pp. 183-187
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  1. Interpretive Sociology
  2. p. 188
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  1. Public Problems as Phenomena: The Shape of a Humanistic Social Science
  2. JOSEPH R. GUSFIELD
  3. pp. 189-203
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  1. Comment
  2. JOHN KITSUSE
  3. pp. 204-206
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  1. General Discussion
  2. pp. 207-210
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  1. Organization Theory
  2. p. 211
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  1. Firm and Market Interfaces of Profit Center Control
  2. ROBERT G. ECCLES AND HARRISON C. WHITE
  3. pp. 212-229
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  1. Comment
  2. JOHN PADGEIT
  3. pp. 230-233
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  1. General Discussion
  2. pp. 234-237
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  1. Theory of Social Change
  2. p. 238
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  1. Explaining the Origins of Welfare States: A Comparison of Britain and the United States, 1880s-1920s
  2. THEDA SKOCPOL AND ANN SHOLA ORLOFF
  3. pp. 239-264
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  1. Comment
  2. ARTHUR MANN
  3. pp. 265-268
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  1. Comment
  2. DAVID L. FEATHERMAN
  3. pp. 269-271
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  1. General Discussion
  2. pp. 272-274
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  1. Sociolinguistics
  2. p. 275
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  1. Language Structure and Social Structure - William Labov
  2. WILLIAM LABOV
  3. pp. 276-295
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  1. Comment
  2. ALLEN GRIMSHAW
  3. pp. 296-298
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  1. General Discussion
  2. pp. 299-301
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  1. Social Psychology
  2. p. 302
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  1. Modeling Symbolic Interaction
  2. DAVID R. HEISE
  3. pp. 303-321
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  1. Comment
  2. FRED L. STRODTBECK
  3. pp. 322-324
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  1. General Discussion
  2. pp. 325-328
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  1. Social Movements
  2. p. 329
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  1. A Theory of Social Movements, Social Classes, and Castes
  2. MANCUR OLSON
  3. pp. 330-350
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  1. Comment - Michael Hechter
  2. MICHAEL HECHTER
  3. pp. 351-353
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  1. General Discussion
  2. pp. 354-357
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  1. Closing Address
  2. p. 358
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  1. Micro Foundations and Macrosocial Theory
  2. JAMES S. COLEMAN
  3. pp. 359-377
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  1. General Discussion
  2. pp. 378-382
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  1. References
  2. pp. 383-402
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  1. Contributors
  2. pp. 403-404
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 405-412
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781610443616
Related ISBN
9780871542052
MARC Record
OCLC
908574912
Pages
408
Launched on MUSE
2016-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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