Much of Arnold Hauser’s work on the social history of art and the philosophy of art history is informed by a concern for the cognitive dimension of art. The present paper offers a reconstruction of this aspect of Hauser’s project and identifies areas of overlap with the sociology of knowledge—where the latter is to be understood as both a separate discipline and a going intellectual concern. Following a discussion of Hauser’s personal and intellectual background, as well as (...) of the shifting political and academic setting of his work, the paper addresses one of Hauser’s central questions, viz. how best to square a thoroughgoing commitment to the social nature of art with the reality of successive artistic styles, given that the latter seem to be characterizable on purely formal grounds. This is followed by a discussion of Hauser’s conflicted views on the relation between art, science, and technology. This injects a tension into Hauser’s work, due to his initial reluctance to explain just how the aesthetic and the cognitive realms relate. The final part of the paper, through a closer examination of the analogies and disanalogies that Hauser sees between art history and the history of science, attempts to give a positive answer—“on Hauser’s behalf”, as it were—to the question of whether art may be credited with a specific cognitive dimension of its own, and if so, what its contribution to our cognitive enterprise may consist in. (shrink)
This article argues against Catton and Dunlap’s claims that the natural environment has been ignored or downplayed in American sociology before the emergence of environmental sociology in the 1970s. By reviewing a collection of 86 sociology textbooks between 1894 and 1980, the article provides quantitative evidence regarding the scope and types of references to the natural environment in mainstream sociology. The bulk of the article is based on an interpretive-historical analysis of the different representations of the (...) environment in the textbook literature. This analysis is carried out from the perspective of the sociology of knowledge, whereby sociological ideas about nature are interpreted in terms of their intellectual milieu and social context. The main finding is that the ‘natural environment’ has been interpreted in different ways and has been put to a variety of epistemological and ideological uses — particularly positivism and functionalism — throughout the history of the discipline. (shrink)
Using as a case study the forensic comparison of images for purposes of identification, this essay considers how the history, philosophy and sociology of science might help courts to improve their responses to scientific and technical forms of expert opinion evidence in ways that are more consistent with legal system goals and values. It places an emphasis on the need for more sophisticated models of science and expertise that are capable of helping judges to identify sufficiently reliable types (...) of expert evidence and to reflexively incorporate the weakness of trial safeguards and personnel into their admissibility decision making. (shrink)
This volume addresses the conjoint problem of history and sociology. History has seen religion hold varied places within the timeline of the sociology of religion.The increase in world fundamentalisms, religious movements, private spiritualities and other indicators in the millennial age have today brought a renaissance to the field.
Textbooks increasingly reflect changes in our sociological stock of knowledge about the founders of the discipline. Richard Hamilton is unaware of this research and its documentation of the flaws in earlier accounts of the history of the profession. In an effort to expand his disciplinary understanding, I briefly review the extensive scholarship on the sociology of Harriet Martineau which has been published over the last quarter of a century.
Conventionally, proposals to improve working relations between sociology and history have been interdisciplinary. The present essay advances an alternative approach-consolidation of sociohistorical inquiry as a transdisciplinary enterprise. All socio-historical inquiry depends on four elemental forms of discourse: discourse on values, narrative discourse, social theoretical discourse, and the discourse of explanation. Though inquiry is transdisciplinary in the problematics of these discourses, concrete methodology typically is oriented either toward theorization in relation to cases (historical sociology) or toward comprehensive analysis (...) of a single phenomenon (sociological history). Varying the articulated relations among the four forms of discourse once for historical sociology and again for sociological history yields eight ideal typical strategies of inquiry. The four strategies of historical sociology include universal history, theory application, macro-analytic history, and contrast-oriented comparison. The parallel strategies for sociological history are situational history, specific history, configurational history, and historicism. These ideal types offer standard reference points that help clarify the underpinnings of a diverse range of scholarly practices. (shrink)
In actual practice the relation between history and sociology is very close. The sociologist of necessity derives his material from the data furnished by anthropology and history. On his side the historian, however eager he may be to confine himself to detailed and close narration of actual fact, cannot avoid reference to problems of causation or assumptions regarding human nature or the general course of human evolution, and so is a sociologist malgré lui. Again, though there are (...) still not wanting some historians, such as v. Below, who deny sociology any status, most writers on the theory and methodology of history have come to regard the two disciplines as Hilfwissenschaften to each other. Closer examination, however, reveals considerable uncertainty and hesitation. This is due, firstly to widely prevalent doubts as to the scope of sociology, with regard to which it is said, not without some exaggeration, the sociologists themselves are not in agreement. It is due, secondly, to the fact that the issues raised involve reference to difficult problems in the theory of knowledge generally, in regard to which, in the present position of epistemology, agreement is hardly to be expected. In this paper I shall attempt firstly to define briefly the scope of sociology and discuss the bearing of my definition upon some recent representative views of the nature of historical investigation. Secondly, in the light of this discussion, I will endeavour to restate the fundamental points of our problem in the hope of bringing out more clearly the main issues involved. (shrink)
This is the first-ever critical history of sociology in Britain, written by one of the world's leading scholars in the field. A. H. Halsey presents a vivid and authoritative picture of the neglect, expansion, fragmentation, and explosion of the discipline during the past century. The book examines the literary and scientific contributions to the origin of the discipline, and the challenges faced by the discipline at the dawn of a new century.
This is the first-ever critical history of sociology in Britain, written by one of the world's leading scholars in the field. Renowned British sociologist, A. H. Halsey, presents a vivid and authoritative picture of the neglect, expansion, fragmentation, and explosion of the discipline during the past century. He is well equipped to write the story, having lived through most of it and having taught and researched in Britain, the USA, and Europe.The story begins with L.T. Hobhouse's election to (...) the first chair in sociology in London in 1907, but traces earlier origins of the discipline to Scotland and the English provinces. There is a lively account of the nineteenth-century battles between literature and science for the possession of the third culture of social studies, setting the context for a narrative history of rapid expansion in the second half of the twentieth century. LSE had a virtual monopoly before World War II. The educational establishment of Oxford and Cambridge opposed its introduction into the undergraduate curriculum. Only the expansion of sociology to the Scottish, Welsh, provincial, and 'new' universities after the Robbins Report of 1963 brought reluctant acceptance of the subject to Oxford and Cambridge.The student troubles of 1968 are then described and the subsequent doubts, confrontations, and cuts of the 1970s and 80s. Then, paradoxically by a Conservative Government, there was a new university expansion incorporating polytechnics and other colleges, with a consequent doubling of both staff and students in the 1990s.Yet the end of the century left sociology riven by intellectual conflict. It had survived the Marxist subversions of the 70s and the feminist invasion. Yet the renewed challenges of various forms of relativism still threatened, and at root the war was, as it began, between a scientific quantifying and explanatory subject and a literary, interpretative set of cultural studies. (shrink)
For most literary sociologists serious modern work starts with Robert Escarpit’s Sociologie de la Littérature , a book which proposes that sociology can usefully explain how literature operates as a social institution. Subsequent Escarpit-inspired work on the literary enterprise covers topics such as the profession of authorship; the stratified “circuits” of production, distribution, and consumption; and the commodity aspect of literature. Critics have objected that Escarpit’s increasingly macroquantitative and statistics-bound procedures bleach out literary and ideological texture. And his model (...) of literature as discrete social system encourages the abstract model making which Raymond Williams despises.1 But, whatever its shortomcings, Escarpit’s definition of literary product and practice as social faits forms an essential starting point for the sociologist intending to investigate the apparatuses of literature.In what follows, I shall mainly fix on a problem currently disabling constructive research on the literary-sociological lines projected by Escarpit: namely, scholarly ignorance about book trade and publishing history technicalities. This sets up, I shall suggest, a large and troubling hole at the centre of the subject, and there is little indication, at this stage, how or when the hole is to be filled. 1. See Raymond Williams, “Literature and Sociology,” Problems in Materialism and Culture: Selected Essays , pp. 11-30. John Sutherland is professor of literature at the California Institute of Technology. His books include Fiction and the Fiction Industry , Bestsellers , and Offensive Literature . He is currently completing an encyclopedia of Victorian fiction. (shrink)
This paper presents the history of the Frankfurt School’s inclusion of normative concerns in social science research programs during the period 1930-1955. After examining the relevant methodology, I present a model of how such a program could look today. I argue that such an approach is both valuable to contemporary social science programs and overlooked by current philosophers and social scientists.
This paper discusses the prospect of the "new social history" guided by the recent work of Charles Tilly on the methodology of social and historical explanation. Tilly advocates explanation by mechanisms as the alternative to the covering law explanation. Tilly's proposals are considered to be the attempt to reshape the practices of social and historical explanation following the example set by the explanatory practices of molecular biology, neurobiology, and other recent "success stories" in the life sciences. Recent work in (...) the philosophy of science on these practices by Peter Machamer, Lindley Darden, Carl Craver and others is used as the foil to disclose the difficulties of Tilly's project. Most important among them is the dilemma of specification: if diagrams (standard forms of the representation of mechanisms) are intended as representations of robust causal processes, they cannot be specific enough to provide complete mechanism schemata, and are bound to remain mechanism sketches. If mechanism sketches are elaborated in detail by tracing particular causal processes, they provide representations of fragile causal processes, which cannot be considered as mechanisms comparable to those in advanced life and other special sciences. Tilly's work on the explanation of mechanisms can be considered as symptomatic for the recent trend to visualize the forms of historical representation. As far as diagrams seem to be able to communicate stories in a direct way (without narrative discourse), this trend is a challenge for the theory of historical representation. The new theories of scientific explanation focusing on the explanatory practices of the life sciences can provide examples and be the source of inspiration for the work on the theory of historical and social explanation, going beyond the confines of the received framework of the covering law model of explanation. (shrink)
Differing accounts are conventionally given of the origins of medical sociology and its parent discipline of sociology. These distinct ‘histories’ are justified on the basis that the sociological founders were uninterested in medicine, mortality and disease. This article challenges these ‘constructions’ of the past, proposing the theorization of health not as a ‘late development of sociology’ but an integral part of its formation. Drawing on a selection of key sociological texts, it is argued that evidence of the (...) founders’ sustained interest in the infirmities of the individual, of mortality, and in medicine, have been expunged from the historical record through processes of ‘canonization’ and ‘medicalization’. (shrink)
This article takes as its provocation Marx's intriguing statement about the disjunction between the flowering of Greek art and the underdeveloped stage of social and economic development made as an epilogue to the Introduction to the Grundrisse in order to ask what are the relations between that which has been considered art and what Marx calls `production as such'. In the elaborated conditions of contemporary capitalist societies, we can ask: Is art still being made? To examine this question I juxtapose (...) what Bauman has called `thinking sociologically' with a proposition that art thinks aesthetically. So how can art historians deal with that challenge of thinking aesthetic practices both socially and historically? I track a genealogy of art historians (Clark, Antal, Shapiro) who have attempted to think socially about artistic practices. This leads into a section about the necessity for both sociological and aesthetic education if we are to avoid totalitarianism or free-market individualism (Bahro). Finally, thinking sociologically, by taking as a case study the work of Aby Warburg, I explore the technological conditions of art historical production itself particularly in relation to photography and the way this shapes our access to the image. Warburg represents the possibility of another model for art historical thinking about the image as Kulturwissenschaft, a parallel to Sozialwissenschaft in its ambition and relation to the great intellectual revolutions c.1905 (Freud, Bergson, Einstein, Hussserl). Like Marx, Warburg questioned the continuity of the imaginary space of art thinking in the age of technological industrialism. Where art is now, where art history is, are not just sociological questions to which Marx might offer a dismal answer. I conclude that what is necessary is a constructive conversation between thinking sociologically and thinking aesthetically, knowing synthetically and knowing for oneself — curricular issues made more intense by the shared conditions in which all intellectual production is being transformed in contemporary sites of intellectual practice, the university, by `production as such' leading thought to risk the same fate as art in contemporary society, as Marx hypothesized. As a final thought, I suggest that in contemporary art work that confronts trauma and catastrophe, often using new technologies as aesthetic processes, we may find a counter-argument. (shrink)
Combining perspectives on the interplay of two areas of primary importance to our lives--business and society--this anthology brings together a wide range of readings on the subject. Topics covered include the historical evolution of the business enterprise, the emergence and development of the labor force, and the impact of the international marketplace. Barry Castro concentrates on the moral and social aspects of business, the way it affects national economy, the environment, careers, the disadvantaged, government, and public opinion. Considering the abundance (...) of socioeconomic issues in everyday life, he shows that business ethics is particularly relevant to the business student of today, and that the historical, social and ethical dimensions of business are an inseparable and necessary component of business education. (shrink)
The paper deals with the interrelations between the philosophy, sociology and historiography of science in Thomas Kuhn’s theory of scientific development. First, the historiography of science provides the basis for both the philosophy and sociology of science in the sense that the fundamental questions of both disciplines depend on the principles of the form of historiography employed. Second, the fusion of the sociology and philosophy of science, as advocated by Kuhn, is discussed. This fusion consists essentially in (...) a replacement of methodological rules by cognitive values that influence the decisions of scientific communities. As a consequence, the question of the rationality of theory choice arises, both with respect to the actual decisions and to the possible justification of cognitive values and their change. (shrink)
Sociology textbooks written over the course of the twentieth century provide surprisingly different portraits of the field's origins. Spencer once held a stellar position but is now treated negatively. Marx was once treated negatively but now holds a stellar position. In the 1990s, Harriet Martineau, a prominent nineteenth-century publicist, was announced as a founder. Alexis de Tocqueville received little attention at any time. Some important contemporary sociologists receive very little attention. Questions are raised about the adequacy of this performance.
In Primitive Classification, Durkheim suggests using the notion of affectivity to explain the emergence of various social structures. This bold attempt to extend the role of affectivity in sociological thinking has been rejected by most social scientists. By greatly elaborating Durkheim's outline for a sociology of emotions, however, this essay suggests that there is a fruitful way to use affectivity in macrosociological theory. This model allows us to develop in a new way Durkheim's description of structural differentiation and stratification (...) in The Division of Labor in Society. (shrink)
In the sociology of science and sociology of scientific knowledge, the decline of functionalism during the 1970s opened the field to a wide range of theoretical possibilities. However, a Marxist-influenced alternative to functionalism, interests analysis, quickly disappeared, and feminist-multicultural frameworks failed to achieved a dominant position in the field. Instead, functionalism was replaced by a variety of agency-based frameworks that focused on constructive or performative processes. The shift in the sociology of science from Mertonian functionalism to the (...) poststrong program, agency-based sociology of scientific knowledge has parallels with the broader shift in political ideologies from social liberalism to neoliberalism. The argument is made in a way that is cognizant of the criticisms raised against interests analysis and avoids the ?short circuit? of class imputation. Instead, the approach defends the potential for a more integrated approach to the structure-agency-meaning triangle in STS via the use of field sociology. (shrink)