Pitirim Sorokin

Sorokin, Pitirim Alexandrovitch

Pitirim Alexandrovitch Sorokin (pĬtĬrēm´ ăl´Ĭgzăn´drəvĬch sōrō´kĬn), 1889–1968, Russian-American sociologist. Supporting himself as artisan and clerk, he was able to study at the Univ. of St. Petersburg and to teach sociology. Sorokin was imprisoned three times by the czarist regime; during the Russian Revolution he was a member of the Kerensky government. After the October Revolution he engaged in anti-Bolshevik activities and was condemned to death; the sentence was commuted to banishment. He emigrated (1923) to the United States and was naturalized in 1930. Sorokin was professor of sociology at the Univ. of Minnesota (1924–30) and at Harvard (1930–55). His writings cover the breadth of sociology; his controversial theories of social process and of the historical typology of cultures are expounded in Social and Cultural Dynamics (4 vol., 1937–41; rev. and abridged ed. 1957) and many other works. He was also interested in social stratification, the history of sociological theory, and altruistic behavior.

See his autobiography, Leaves from a Russian Diary—and Thirty Years After (enl. ed. 1950, repr. 1970); study by J. J. P. Maquet (1951, repr. 1973); F. R. Cowell, Values in Human Society; the Contributions of P. A. Sorokin to Sociology (1970).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Pitirim Sorokin: Selected full-text books and articles

Social and Cultural Mobility By Pitirim A. Sorokin Free Press, 1959
Social Philosophies of an Age of Crisis By Pitirim A. Sorokin Beacon Press, 1950
The Reconstruction of Humanity By Pitirim A. Sorokin Beacon Press, 1948
The Pattern of the Past: Can We Determine It? By Pieter Geyl; Arnold J. Toynbee; Pitirim A. Sorokin Beacon Press, 1949
Stalking the Sociological Imagination: J. Edgar Hoover's FBI Surveillance of American Sociology By Mike Forrest Keen Greenwood Press, 1999
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 7 "Pitirim Sorokin: Sociological Prophet in a Priestly Land"
Perspectives on Social Change By Robert H. Lauer Allyn and Bacon, 1977 (2nd edition)
Librarian’s tip: "Oscillating Sociological Modes: Pitirim Sorokin" begins on p. 41
The Analysis of Social Change Reconsidered: A Sociological Study By J. A. Ponsioen Mouton, 1962
Librarian’s tip: "The Criticisms of Pitirim Sorokin" begins on p.73
The Sociology of Progress By Leslie Sklair Routledge, 1998
Librarian’s tip: "Spengler, Toynbee, and Sorokin" begins on p. 81
The Social Limits of Art By John Manfredi University of Massachusetts Press, 1982
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 9 "Art and the Cultural System: The Social and Cultural Dynamics of P. A. Sorokin"
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