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Sociology and Scientism: The American Quest for Objectivity, 1880-1940


reviewed by Peter Abbs 1988

coverTitle: Sociology and Scientism: The American Quest for Objectivity, 1880-1940
Author(s): Robert C. Bannister
Publisher: John Wiley, New York
ISBN: 080784327X, Pages: , Year:
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Robert Bannister’s new book, Sociology and Scientism, is subtitled The American Quest for Objectivity 1880-1940. It is a detailed study of the emergence of sociology in America at the beginning of the century and its development to around the time of the Second World War. It explores, particularly, the division in the subject between what Bannister terms the “realist” and “nominalist” schools. The realists were those who envisaged their own discipline as a radical force in society able not only to diagnose but also to formally prescribe social polices. The nominalists, in contrast, were those who were more modest about their subject, seeing its main function as statistical and advisory. The realists were best represented by the work of Luther Lee Bernard; the nominalists were represented, most tellingly, by William Ogburn and F. Smart Chapin. The one group wanted sociology to be involved with a major reconstruction of society; the... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 89 Number 4, 1988, p. 593-595
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 549, Date Accessed: 12/11/2017 12:46:05 AM

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