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

Contents

Introduction
1
THEORETICAL WORK IN SOCIOLOGY
9
Varieties of Theoretical Work
21
The Uses and Abuses of Classical Theory
23
Theoretical Pluralism
34
On Sociological Theories of the Middle Range
41
Specified Ignorance
51
The Codification of Sociological Theory
57
Social Structure and Anomie
132
Opportunity Structure
153
Socially Expected Durations
162
The Unanticipated Consequences of Social Action
173
The SelfFulfilling Prophecy
183
SCIENCE AS A SOCIAL STRUCTURE
203
The Ethos of Science
267
Science and the Social Order
277

Analytic Frameworks for Sociology
63
Paradigm for Functional Analysis in Sociology
65
Manifest and Latent Functions
87
Social Dysfunctions
96
Paradigm for Structural Analysis in Sociology
101
SOCIAL STRUCTURE AND ITS VICISSITUDES Structural Complexes and Contradictions
111
The RoleSet
113
Sociological Ambivalence
123
The Reward System of Science
286
Multiple Discoveries in Science
305
The Matthew Effect II
318
A Life of Learning
339
A Select
361
Name Index
369
Subject Index
377
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