Origins of Sociology

Origins of Sociology

Origins of Sociology

Origins of Sociology

Excerpt

The American sociological movement has become an assemblage of techniques for investigating the part which the group factor has played, the part which the group factor is playing, in different areas of human experience.

Until recently the sociologists did not clearly realize that the group factor in experience was an unoccupied center of operations. Nor did they realize that their gropings after a base for introducing a new variant into interpretations of human experience were converging toward this center.

This book was first published serially in the American Journal of Sociology, January, 1923-November, 1924, with the title Some Contributions to the History of Sociology. It does not deal with the maturest, but only with the most elementary, manifestations of the sociological tendency. It is an attempt to show the falsity of the general impression that sociology is like the popular notion of a comet--a monster with an orbit from nowhere to nowhere. The book sustains the main thesis that during the nineteenth century the social sciences were half-consciously engaged in a drive from relatively irresponsible discursiveness toward "positivity" or "objectivity," and that, at its time, the initiation of the American Sociological Movement was as truly a lineal continuance from the previous tradition of social interpretation as was any other of the tendencies which varied the technique of historiography, or economics, or political science.

The book does not purport to be a prospectus of a history of social science. It is not even a complete outline of the history of sociology. It is a syllabus and the beginning of a source book. The most easily authenticated line of descent, between prescientific social rationalizings and the sociological branch of positivistic social science, is through the German historians, and economists . . .

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