The Americanization of Social Science: Intellectuals and Public Responsibility in the Postwar United States

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Temple University Press, Jan 28, 2008 - History - 288 pages

A highly readable introduction to and overview of the postwar social sciences in the United States, The Americanization of Social Science explores a critical period in the evolution of American sociology’s professional identity from the late 1940s through the early 1960s. David Paul Haney contends that during this time leading sociologists encouraged a professional secession from public engagement in the name of establishing the discipline’s scientific integrity.

According to Haney, influential practitioners encouraged a willful withdrawal from public sociology by separating their professional work from public life. He argues that this separation diminished sociologists’ capacity for conveying their findings to wider publics, especially given their ambivalence towards the mass media, as witnessed by the professional estrangement that scholars like David Riesman and C. Wright Mills experienced as their writing found receptive lay audiences. He argues further that this sense of professional insularity has inhibited sociology’s participation in the national discussion about social issues to the present day.


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The Postwar Campaign for Scientific Legitimacy
Quantitative Methods and the Institutionalization of Exclusivity
Social Theory and the Romance of American Alienation
Theories of Mass Society and the Advent of a New Elitism
Unwelcome Publicity for Diffident Sociologists
American Sociologys Public Image in the Fifties
Public Sociology and Its Antagonists
The Legacy of the Scientific Identity

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Page 1 - A society is possible in the last analysis because the individuals in it carry around in their heads some sort of picture of that society.

About the author (2008)

David Paul Haney is an Adjunct Professor at Austin Community College and St. Edward's University.

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