The Americanization of Social Science: Intellectuals and Public Responsibility in the Postwar United States / Edition 1

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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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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
The Americanization of Social Science is written so beautifully, so engagingly, and Haney is so widely read in the sociology and context of the 1950s, that this is both a wonderful social history of the discipline and, at the same time, an astute sociological analysis of the field's consolidation….This [book] is sure to further stimulate the debate about public sociology.”— Michael Burawoy, Department of Sociology, University of California, Berkeley
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592137138
  • Publisher: Temple University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

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

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Table of Contents

Preface     vii
Acknowledgments     xi
Introduction     1
The Postwar Campaign for Scientific Legitimacy     22
Quantitative Methods and the Institutionalization of Exclusivity     46
Social Theory and the Romance of American Alienation     68
Theories of Mass Society and the Advent of a New Elitism     88
Fads, Foibles, and Autopsies: Unwelcome Publicity for Diffident Sociologists     122
Pseudoscience and Social Engineering: American Sociology's Public Image in the Fifties     172
The Perils of Popularity: Public Sociology and Its Antagonists     203
Conclusion: The Legacy of the Scientific Identity     233
Bibliography     253
Index     277
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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2007

    Patiently waiting...

    If Haney's writing is anything like his teaching, than this book will be spectacular! He was by far the best professor I had at UT 'I took all of his classes that would work into my schedule!'and he is the reason I chose to focus on history. I am excitedly looking forward to learning something from him again!

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