What Happened in Sociology:
An Historical Model of
I have so far attempted to outline a few characteristics of the utilitarian culture with which middle-class society began; I now want to explore some ways in which these intertwined with the development of sociology itself. In doing so, I also hope to secure leverage for a broader analysis of the structure of Western sociology and the dynamics of its development. Thus I shall be concerned here not so much with the substantive content of specific theories as with the historical development of sociology's shared infrastructures, its intellectual and social organization, its differentiation and sponsorship by different nations and social classes, the division of intellectual labor in which sociology has taken a part, and the historical periods or stages in which these structures crystallized or changed.
Much of what I say below shall be in the nature of flat assertions concerning these structures and their development, rather than a probing analysis or an historical documentation. In other words, it is a preliminary effort at constructing a model about what happened to Western sociology. In effect, it is a theory of the development, and an outline for the history, of modern Western sociology.
There have been four major periods in the international development of Western sociology, which are here largely defined in terms of the theoretical syntheses dominant in each: Period I, Sociological Positivism, which began about the first quarter of the nineteenth century in France and to which the key contributors were Henri Saint-Simon and Auguste Comte;
Period II, Marxism, which crystallized about the middle of the
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Publication information: Book title: The Coming Crisis of Western Sociology. Contributors: Alvin W. Gouldner - Author. Publisher: Basic Books. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1970. Page number: Not available.
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