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Sociology in AmericaA History$
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Craig Calhoun

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780226090948

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226090962.001.0001

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Sociology in America: An Introduction

Sociology in America: An Introduction

(p.1) [One] Sociology in America: An Introduction
Sociology in America

Craig Calhoun

University of Chicago Press

This chapter traces the development of the field of sociology in the United States from the late nineteenth century onwards. Sociology drew its specifically scientific claims at first largely from evolutionary theory and then increasingly from empirical research, including the development of statistics. Economics and sociology both emerged as disciplines within this broad context, with many members minimally engaged with scientific theory and maximally engaged with social reform. If “liberal” market theory would eventually become clearly dominant in economics, this destiny was by no means obvious in the late nineteenth century. And sociology, in any case, would remain enduringly divided over the primacy of scientific pursuit of generalizable, lawlike knowledge versus engagement with social problems and social change.

Keywords:   sociology, United States, evolution, economics, social reform, social change, social problems

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