Reintroducing Robert K. Merton
This book reintroduces the work of Robert K. Merton as a bridge between classical sociology and modern sociology. Founded in the sociological classics but developing a modern approach to the advancement of theory and research methodology, Merton’s thought helped to construct modern sociology in its coverage of many of the social institutional areas of contemporary society. Recovering and analysing the system of ‘structural analysis’, which Merton progressively developed – a system largely overlooked due to the tendency among commentators to stereotype him as a ‘functionalist’ – the author considers the applications of this approach to various substantive fields, particularly science and criminal justice, and examines the effect of Merton’s later ‘sociological semantics’ on his overall schema. A clear and accessible presentation of the array of concepts introduced by Merton to sociology, Reintroducing Robert K. Merton will appeal to scholars and students with interests in sociological theory, social research, the history of sociology and the various substantive areas covered in the work of Merton – deviance, science, and communications.
1. The Case for Reintroducing Merton 2. '1930s: The Harvard Years' (Jugendschriften) 3. Early Years at Columbia 4. Middle Years at Columbia 5. Later Years 6. Reprise: Merton as Discipline-builder, Theorist, Substantive Sociologist and Moralist 7. Merton the Man, His Operational Code and Influences
‘Charles Crothers’ new book is by far the best introduction to the work and life of Robert K. Merton. Merton’s role in modern sociology has been of enormous importance, not only for US sociology but also internationally. Crothers’ book is meticulously researched and written in an engaging manner. It should be on every social scientist’s bookshelf.’ - Richard Swedberg, Cornell University, USA
'Crothers offers what is perhaps the most compelling reason why Merton needs reintroduction: because his legacy, at once known and unknown, has been the victim of its own success … this book proves its value in providing us with another opportunity to stand on the shoulders of an intellectual giant.' - A. Javier Trevino, Social Forces