Applied Sociology: Opportunities and Problems

Applied Sociology: Opportunities and Problems

Applied Sociology: Opportunities and Problems

Applied Sociology: Opportunities and Problems

Excerpt

This book gives a view of the diverse uses to which sociology is being put in the organizations and communities in which Americans now live.

In dealing with the practical uses of sociology in today's society, we present the work of people who are, in effect, branching out and pioneering new styles of sociology. What is presented then has the freshness and vividness of the living case rather than the case-hardened: work done by men who are making the new applied sociology rather than by those who are codifying the work of others. At many points, different viewpoints are presented because the clash of perspective is necessary in the development of usefulness.

The current war on poverty is only one of the many wars in which the pragmatic American spirit will surely reach out for the guidance of the new sciences of man. Certainly, the wars against war, discrimination, delinquency, addiction, and political apathy will, no less, compel us to mobilize and utilize the instruments of intelligence.

It is the historic mission of the social sciences to enable mankind to take possession of society. This is a big job and will take a long time. The works presented here are surely among the significant and tangible beginnings of this effort to bring society under control. Some of the papers re-examine fundamental assumptions of social policy (see the papers in Section V, and those by Breed, Robbins, and Greer); others study the goals of society (see Section VI); still others evaluate the performance of our institutions (Section III); and a number are devoted to the examination of the complex tie between society and those who study it in order to change it (Sections I, II, and IV).

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