On Social Structure and Science

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University of Chicago Press, Sep 15, 1996 - Science - 386 pages
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Robert K. Merton is unarguably one of the most influential sociologists of his time. A figure whose wide-ranging theoretical and methodological contributions have become fundamental to the field, Merton is best known for introducing such concepts and procedures as unanticipated consequences, self-fulfilling prophecies, focused group interviews, middle-range theory, opportunity structure, and analytic paradigms.

This definitive compilation encompasses the breadth and brilliance of his works, from the earliest to the most recent. Merton's foundational writings on social structure and process, on the sociology of science and knowledge, and on the discipline and trajectory of sociology itself are all powerfully represented, as are his autobiographical insights in a fascinating coda. Anchored by Piotr Sztompka's contextualizing introduction, Merton's vast oeuvre emerges as a dynamic and profoundly coherent system of thought, a constant source of vitality and renewal for present and future sociology.

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User Review  - jensenmk82 - LibraryThing

Classic essays, though sometimes at a level of abstractness that is extreme. However, his writing is always precise and not without elegance. -- When Merton died at 92, the New York Times called him a "versatile sociologist and father of the focus group" in his obituary. Read full review

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About the author (1996)

Robert K. Merton (1910-2003) was University Professor Emeritus at Columbia University, the first George Sarton Professor of the History of Science at the University of Ghent (Belgium), and a leading figure in the sociology of science. Among his classic works in this area are On the Shoulders of Giants and Science, Technology, and Society in 17thCentury England.

Piotr Sztompka is professor of sociology at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, and visiting professor in the Department of Sociology, University of California, Berkeley. His books published in "English include Sociological Dilemmas: Toward a Dialectic Paradigm,"

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