American Sociological Theory. A Critical History by Robert Bierstedt

By Robert Bierstedt

American Sociological concept: A severe historical past discusses the background of yankee sociological idea via delivering a selective and demanding account of ten writers principally curious about the topic.
Chapters 1 to ten of this ebook are dedicated to the contributions and investigations of ten acclaimed sociological theorists— William Graham Sumner, Lester Frank Ward, Charles Horton Cooley, Edward Alsworth Ross, Florian Znaniecki, Robert Morrison Maclver, Pitirim A. Sorokin, George A. Lundberg, Talcott Parsons, and Robert ok. Merton. The sociological label, legacy of Spencer, normative taboo, American references, and the ""Holy Trinity"" (Marx, Durkheim, and Weber) also are elaborated during this textual content.
This booklet is an effective reference for college students and researchers undertaking paintings on common sociological conception.

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It would also require an amount of space that could be devoted to more fruitful enterprises. It is necessary nevertheless to mention his serious inability to maintain a distinction between folkways and mores. The subtitle of Folkways itself alerts us to this difficulty. " Are we to assume that all of these phenomena are examples of folkways, that folkways is the generic term of which the others are examples? Sumner himself, as we have seen, attempts to distinguish between folkways and mores by characterizing the latter as conducive to societal welfare, an attribute lacking in the former.

On the premise that no one would do any hard work if he could possibly avoid it, slavery proved to be the schoolmaster that taught the race to do it. 69 Slavery exhibits the tendency of stronger groups to exploit weaker ones in the struggle for existence; it is one way in which the survival of the fittest is brought about. Slavery differs from other folkways in an important respect. Most folkways arise unconsciously in random efforts to satisfy needs. Slavery, on the contrary, owes its origin to ill feeling for the members of an out-group, the desire to get something for nothing, the love of dominion over others (which is a species of vanity), and as mentioned above the hatred of hard labor.

As Robert G. " 85 Sumner inundates the reader with facts, offered with no particular order or arrangement, as his table of contents testifies. As another example, in the final chapter of the study he treats without any recognizable continuity such subjects as life policy, oaths, the clever hero, the lack of historical sense among Christians, success policy in the Italian Renaissance, divergences between convictions and conduct, the fad of classical learning, the humanists, individualism, the perverted use of words, the extravagance of the passions, the sex relation and the position of women, the cult of success, literature on the mores, and moral anarchy.

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