WE will consider here only the dominant tendencies in contemporary sociology. This must be followed up by more detailed studies: all boycotts of courses to help us in this are welcome.
Sociology must be looked at from a historical angle. The crucial date from this point of view is 1930, the date of Mayo's experiment in the Hawthorne factory.
In showing the importance of affective phenomena in small groups, and in suggesting that human relations should be regulated in order to improve the productivity of workers, Mayo did much more than open a new field of sociology. He closed the epoch of social philosophy and speculative systems concerning the society as a whole, and opened the glorious era of empiricism and of scientific data-collection. At the same time, in selling his services to the management of an enterprise, Mayo initiated the age of the large-scale collaboration of sociologists with all of the powers of the bourgeois world—which was then hard put to rationalize a capitalist system strongly shaken by the crisis of 1929.
The transition from an academic sociology, the vassal of philosophy, to an independent sociology, with scientific pretensions, corresponds to the transition from competitive capitalism to organized capitalism.
Henceforth, the rise of sociology is increasingly tied to the social de-____________________