Crisis in Sociology

Crisis in Sociology : The Need for Darwin

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Crisis in Sociology presents a compelling portrait of sociology's current troubles and proposes a controversial remedy. In the authors' view, sociology's crisis has deep roots, traceable to the over-ambitious sweep of the discipline's founders. Generations of sociologists have failed to focus effectively on the tasks necessary to build a social science. The authors see sociology's most disabling flaw in the failure to discover even a single general law or principle. This makes it impossible to systematically organize empirical observations, guide inquiry by suggesting falsifiable hypotheses, or form the core of a genuinely cumulative body of knowledge. Absent such a theoretical tool, sociology can aspire to little more than an amorphous mass of hunches and disconnected facts. The condition engenders confusion and unproductive debate. It invites fragmentation and predation by applied social disciplines, such as business administration, criminal justice, social work, and urban studies. Even more dangerous are incursions by prestigious social sciences and by branches of evolutionary biology that constitute the frontier of the current revolution in behavioral science. Lopreato and Crippen argue that unless sociology takes into account central developments in evolutionary science, it will not survive as an academic discipline. Crisis in Sociology argues that participation in the "new social science," exemplified by thriving new fields such as evolutionary psychology, will help to build a vigorous, scientific sociology. The authors analyze research on such subjects as sex roles, social stratification, and ethnic conflict, showing how otherwise disconnected features of the sociological landscape can in fact contribute to a theoretically coherent and cumulative body of knowledge.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 344 pages
  • 151.1 x 207.5 x 24.4mm | 512.57g
  • Taylor & Francis Inc
  • Transaction Publishers
  • Somerset, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • 0765808749
  • 9780765808745
  • 2,228,473

Review quote

"Crisis in Sociology introduces readers to the extraordinary revolution now taking place in evolutionary biology with by far the best summary of modern Darwinism that those with a social science background could currently find. Indeed, Lopreato and Crippen show that two sociologists can rival the best biologists in the depth and insightfulness of their grasp of modern evolutionary thinking.... By any standards, this is an outstanding and timely book, superbly written, faultlessly argued and unsurpassably well-informed. Sociology will ignore it at its peril." - Christopher Badcock. British Journal of Sociology."
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About Joseph Lopreato

Joseph Lopreato is a former professor of sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of several books, including Human Nature and Biocultural Evolution, Peasants No More, and, with L. E. Hazelrigg, Class Conflict and Mobility. Timothy Crippen is professor of sociology at Mary Washington College. His work has been widely published in the periodical literature.
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