Developments in American Sociological Theory, 1915-1950

By Roscoe C. Hinkle

Subjects: American Philosophy
Paperback : 9780791419328, 429 pages, July 1994
Hardcover : 9780791419311, 429 pages, July 1994

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Table of contents



Part I: Orientation

1. Confronting Problems in the Study of Theory in American Sociology (1915/18-1945/50)

2. Three Epistemological-Methodological Stances

Part II: Continuities (With First-Period Theory)

3. Social Evolutionism, Social Origins, and Social Structure

4. Critique of Earlier Social Evolutionism and Its Legacy in the Second Period

5. Fragmentation and Demise of Social Evolutionary Change Theories

Part III: Discontinuities (in Relation to First Period Theory)

6. Discontinuities Arising within American Sociology

7. Theory, Anthropology, and History

8. Theory, Psychiatry, and Psychology

9. Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, and Symbolic Interactionism

10. Possible European Influences on American Theory

Part IV: Summary Retrospective and Prospective

11. The Concept of the Group: An Analytical Summary

12. An Overview in Context: Past, Present, and Future



Selected Reference List



This book presents a comprehensive, extended, and systematic analysis of social theory as it developed between the two World Wars, a period during which major transformation occurred. Centering on the continuities, on the one hand, and discontinuities on the other, in substantive theory, it deals with the major ideas of Cooley, Ellwood, Park, Thomas, Ogburn, Bernard, Chapin, Mead, Faris, Hankins, MacIver, Reuter, Lundberg, H. P. Becker, Parsons, Znaniecki, Sorokin, and Blumer. Finally, the problematic relevancy of the past for the present is directly confronted. The author examines how basic assumptions of theory in particular periods have used relatively unique schema and generated considerable controversy.

Roscoe C. Hinkle is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the Ohio State University. He is the author of Founding Theory of American Sociology, 1881–1915.


"This topic is significant. Although there are a number of books available on the Chicago school of sociology, the Hinkle book is much more comprehensive and thorough in dealing with the state of American sociological theory between the great wars. It also has the virtue of examining the influences of other academic disciplines on the development of American sociology which no other book does at present. " — Ellsworth R. Furman, Professor of Sociology, and Science and Technology Studies, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University