Concepts and the Social Order: Robert K. Merton and the by Yehuda Elkana, Andras Szigeti, Gyorgy Lissauer

By Yehuda Elkana, Andras Szigeti, Gyorgy Lissauer

Suggestions and the Social Order bargains a entire point of view on wisdom creation within the box of sociology.

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Concepts and the Social Order: Robert K. Merton and the Future of Sociology

Suggestions and the Social Order bargains a finished viewpoint on wisdom creation within the box of sociology.

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Consept 1 :Whats minta 1 30 7/21/11 3:49 PM Page 30 Concepts and the Social Order particularly Friedmann, ignore Merton? In all my readings, I did not find any substantive comment of his work” (Marcel 2004). In this paper, I will try to show that the paradox is only apparent. Merton was read, partly in translation, but he was neither really used nor commented. His work was implicitly included in a very nebulous vision of “American sociology“ that stressed the applied and ideological dimension of the social sciences.

To explain this, one has to start with the rejection of Durkheimism that was especially strong in France in the post-WW II context. But one also has to take into account the strength of a philosophical lineage that shaped the whole intellectual field, the “French history of science,” as described by Michel Foucault. No real space was allowed to the sociology of science developed by Merton. ’ Thus this paper is a tribute to Merton’s fruitful notion of obliteration by incorporation, but also a contribution to the importance of creative misunderstanding in the international circulation of ideas.

Consept 1 :Whats minta 1 20 7/21/11 3:49 PM Page 20 Concepts and the Social Order them relied on a self-styled assemblage of fragments of social and sociological theories and research procedures that they had put together for themselves—based mainly on their own readings and, in a few cases, on occasional study trips abroad. In retrospect, the chief principles of theory selection seem to have been firstly, practical applicability in fieldwork and survey research and, secondly, ideological neutrality.

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