Review of Sociology: Analysis of a Decade

By Joseph B. Gittler | Go to book overview

chapter 9
Social institutions and voluntary associations

F. STUART CHAPIN

University of Minnesota

Little systematic research and writing on social institutions (5, 36, 94) per se has appeared in the decade 1945-1955.* But there are two active trends of sociological study related to institutional analysis: one concerns the study of voluntary organizations (72), ands the other is variously called "group dynamics" and "small research" (3). The latter development is still in an early stage and yet there are preliminary findings that have at least important implications for institutional analysis. Research in group dynamics and studies of small groups, although scanty in firm substantive results, are nevertheless rich in suggestions for improved techniques of research all the way from operational definitions of basic concepts to experimental tests of hypotheses. Theoretical development built upon or checked by these improved techniques, however

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*
For books in which social institutions are treated as incidental to some larger purpose, see bibliographical references (58, 66, 69).

-259-

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