Survival and Sociology: Vindicating the Human Subject

Overview

Kurt Wolff seeks to answer a large ques­tion: what are the justifications and tasks of sociology at a time when hu­mankind and its planet are in jeop­ardy? Since his youth in Germany, where he was a student ofthelate, great Karl Mannheim, the author has ori­ented much of his work to the sociology of sociology.

Survival and Sociology takes into ac­count that this age, for the first time in history, extends to society what was only in the province of nature and god—the ability to ...

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Overview

Kurt Wolff seeks to answer a large ques­tion: what are the justifications and tasks of sociology at a time when hu­mankind and its planet are in jeop­ardy? Since his youth in Germany, where he was a student ofthelate, great Karl Mannheim, the author has ori­ented much of his work to the sociology of sociology.

Survival and Sociology takes into ac­count that this age, for the first time in history, extends to society what was only in the province of nature and god—the ability to destroy as well as create life. That being the case, the concern of so­ciology must shift from everyday issues to ideas and policies aimed at averting human extinction.

The act of "surrendering" to our novel condition may give us a clue. In any case, it re-establishes our continuity with such founding figures as Max We­ber. Max Scheler. Alfred Schutz, Emile Durkheim. Georg Simmel, and Mann­heim himself.

As a result. Wolffs work can be seen as both innovative and continuing a grand tradition of analysis. The an­swers given are very much in terms of specific American conditions, but also provide the sort of theoretical scaffold­ing that underwrites current East-West negotiations on practical issues relat­ing to arms negotiations and peace set­tlements. It is thus a work that should have wide appeal to students of the his­tory of ideas, sociologists of knowledge, and people interested in the philosoph­ical foundations of war and peace.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780887383571
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/1/1991
  • Pages: 130

Meet the Author

Kurt H. Wolff is professor emeritus at Brandeis University, where he taught sociology until his retirement in 1982. Before that, he taught at Earlham College and Ohio State University. He is author of a number of books and many essays in the field, noteworthy of which are Surrender and Catch: Trying Sociology; and Beyond The Sociology of Knowledge. He has been a key figure in the International Sociological Association, serving as president of its research committees on the sociology of knowledge, and on the history of sociology, and served as Fulbright Senior Lecturer in Rome and Australia. He is the recipient of awards by several foundations.

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