Platt, 1996, 37 ; Wilner, 1985.
Platt, 1996, chap. 2.
The problematic builds on Ian Hacking’s call for historians of science to focus on the history of styles of reasoning. Cf. Hacking, 1992.
Bryant, 1985, chap. 5.
Mills, 1959, chap. 3.
For a review of US military support for the social sciences during and immediately after the war, cf.: Lanier, 1949. A more historical and insightful analysis can be found in Ellen Herman’s excellent study of American psychology (1995). The impact of the impact of the Cold War on American social science is explored in Schrecker (1986), Lowen (1997), Jardini (2000) and Solovey (2001). For an overview of the changing relation between the federal government and the social sciences cf. Lyons (1969) and Klausner, Lidz (1986).
For discussions of the development of social psychology as a branch of psychology and more generally cf. Danziger (1992), Katz (1978) and the special issue on the topic in the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, 2000, 36, 4.
For a more general discussion of sociologists formulations and responses to this dilemma cf. Halliday, Janowitz (1992).
Daston, 1993 ; Hacking, 1992.
Cited by Lerner in Merton, Lazarsfeld, 1950, 217.
Mullins, for example, cites The American Soldier as one of the three "successes" of the postwar mainstream tradition. The other two books being The Structure of Social Action (1937) by Talcott Parsons and Social Theory and Social Structure (1949) by Robert K. Merton (1975, 39).
Converse, 1987, 35-38.
Platt (1996, 99) specifically notes the curious association of survey research with scientism in the immediate post-war period.
The third volume was produced by Carl I. Hovland at the Yale Institute of Human Relations and focuses on experimental studies of communication. It was presented as a contribution to the new field of communications. As such, its reception had little direct impact on the consolidation of sociology as an academic discipline and it will not be discussed herein.
Key book length works on American sociological practice, rather than theory, include Converse (1987) and Platt (1996). Turner, Turner (1990) also pay considerable attention to empirical social research in their institutional history of sociology as a discipline. The discussion that follows draws extensively on these texts as well as on Bannister’s excellent analysis of scientism during the interwar period (1987). The history of empirical sociology has also been extensively treated in articles, which will be mentioned where relevant.
For an overview of this discussion, cf. the symposium on « The Impossible Science » by Turner, Turner (1994).
Turner, Turner, 1994, 42-46.
In making this argument Turner distinguishes between theoretical or intellectual and methodological tradition. Whereas sociology is notoriously fragmented when it comes to theoretical traditions, Turner argues that it is dominated by a mainstream methodological tradition involving « the understanding and use of statistical and measurement techniques to formulate researchable problems and conclude that they have been previously answered » (Turner, Turner, 1994, 49).
For an overview of Giddings’ philosophy of the social sciences and his contribution to sociology, cf. Bannister (1987, chap. 4 and 5).
The Grammar of Science, 1895.
The Social Science Research Council was created in 1923 with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation to facilitate interdisciplinary work and stimulate research. The organization did not conduct research directly, but rather distributed private foundation money to individual projects. In contrast with the National Bureau of Economic Research and the Brookings Institute – two other extra-university research organizations that were established in the same period – the SSRC supported work in sociology and psychology. It was a major actor in encouraging the development of a scientific sociology ; interwar activities included a committee on the aims and methods of research and on social statistics.
Abbott, 1999 ; Lengermann, 1979 ; Kuklick, 1973.
The exceptions, however, were important for they formed the leadership of the postwar period. Scholars obtaining posts in this period include the key figures in the debate around The American Soldier include Samuel Stouffer, David Riesman, Arnold Rose, William Sewell, Paul Lazarsfeld, Talcott Parsons, Herbert Blumer and Robert Merton (Turner, Turner, 1990, 85).
Bannister, 1987, 182.
United States. President’s Research Committee on Social Trends, MitchellW.C., 1933.
There is an extensive literature on Paul F. Lazarsfeld and his contributions. Cf., for example, Barton, 1979 ; Pollack, 1979 and 1980 ; and the recent collection edited by Lautman, Lécuyer, 1998.
Pollack, 1980 ; Capecchi, 1978.
Discussions of Lundberg’s epistemological position can be found interspersed in Hinkle (1994) and Bryant (1985).
Cited in Bannister, 1987, 176.
Clausen, 1984, 207-208.
Cited in Jahoda, 1962, 496.
Stouffer himself straddled the two worlds. He was a student of Ogburn (who was a student of Giddings) and had spent a year in London studying mathematical statistics with R.A. Fisher. At the same time he collaborated extensively with Lazarsfeld.
Other books subjected to a similar treatment included The Authoritarian Personality (1950) and The Lonely Crowd (1950).
Merton, Lazarsfeld, 1950, 11.
Clogg, Dajani, 1991, 8.
Lazarsfeld, Rosenberg, 1955.
Merton, Kitt, 1950, 40.
For a contemporary discussion of this convergence cf. Lundberg, 1955.
Merton, Lazarsfeld, 1950, 40.
Bulmer, 1992 ; Winsborough, 1992.
Turner, 1994 ; Collins, 1998.
Turner, Turner, 1990 ; Turner, 1990.
Turner, Turner, 1990, 96.
The initial proposal grew out of their joint participation in the Harvard based Committee on National Morale, further attesting to the importance of perceived links between science and democracy for the developments under consideration. For a discussion of aspects of this culture cf. Hollinger, 1995.
Nichols, 1998 ; Johnston, 1998.
Lidz, 1986 ; Vidich, 2000.
Johnson, Johnson, 1986.
The Office of Scientific Research and Development had been responsible for the successful development of radar, synthetic rubber and new weapons such as the proximity fuse and, towards the war’s end, the atomic bomb. These accomplishments allowed Bush to argue for the contributions of basic research for military and practical ends. It also gave him enormous influence over the federal government’s new science policy.
Klausner, 1986 ; Solovey, 2001.
Brick (2000) argues that it also prepared the way for the subsequent focus of sociology on race, gender and ethnicity, at the expense of politics and economics.
Turner S., 1993, 24 ; Turner J., 1974, 71-73.
For discussions of the problematic relation between theory and statistical models in sociology see: Turner (1987) and Abbott (1988). Warshay makes a similar suggestion in his discussion on the dominance of « small theories » in postwar sociology (Warshay, 1975).