Discourses on Society

Discourses on Society : The Shaping of the Social Science Disciplines

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This book, which represents probably the most comprehensive discussion of the emergence of modem social science yet produced, is of far more than merely historical interest. The contributors set out to rewrite the history of the social sciences and to show the limitations of conventional conceptions of their development. These tasks they accomplish with great success and much distinction. Yet in so doing they contribute in a direct way to our understanding of the relation between social analysis and the nature of human societies today. The brilliant and distinctive perspective of the papers in this collection is to demonstrate, with many specific examples, that social science and modem institutions have helped shape each other in mutual interplay. Modem systems are in some part con- stituted through the reflexive incorporation of developing social science knowledge; on the other hand, the social sciences organise themselves in terms of a continuing reflection upon the evolution of those systems. Such a perspective, as Wagner and Wittrock in particular make clear, does not in any way either impugn the status of knowledge claims made within social science or destroy the independent reality of social institutions. The book questions the notion that the institutionalising of the social sciences can be understood as a process of their increasing autonomy from extemal social connections. 'Autonomy' forms a mode of legitima- tion and a basis of power rather than a distinctive phenomenon as such.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 386 pages
  • 156 x 233.9 x 25.4mm | 743.9g
  • Dordrecht, Netherlands
  • English
  • 1991 ed.
  • 1 Illustrations, black and white; XV, 386 p. 1 illus.
  • 0792310012
  • 9780792310013

Table of contents

The Politics and Episteme of Discourses on Society.- Analyzing Social Science: On the Possibility of a Sociology of the Social Sciences.- Knowledge for Certainty: Poverty, Welfare Institutions and the Institutionalization of Social Science.- National Profiles In a Long-Term Perspective.- The Social Science Disciplines: The American Model.- The Tripartite Division of French Social Science: A Long-Term Perspective.- "Science and Politics" as a Political Factor: German and Italian Social Sciences in the Nineteenth Century.- The Discourse on Politics Between Philosophy, Science, and Profession.- In Search of the State: Political Science as an Emerging Discipline in the U.S..- Oxford and the Emergence of Political Science in England 1945-1960.- The Constitution of A Science of Society.- How to Make Things Which Hold Together: Social Science, Statistics and the State.- Science of Society Lost: On the Failure to Establish Sociology in Europe During the "Classical" Period.- Social Science and the "Swedish Model": Sociology at the Service of the Welfare State.- The Instttutionalization of Economics: Educational Practices, State Policies, and Academic Recognition.- Political Economy to Economics Via Commerce: The Evolution of British Academic Economics 1860-1920.- The Teaching of Political Economy in Nineteenth-Century Italy and the Characteristics of its Institutionalization.- Western Social Sciences in Space and Time.- States, Institutions, and Discourses: A Comparative Perspective on the Structuration of the Social Sciences.
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