Guide to the vibrant and

Download 17.16 Mb.
Date conversion17.05.2016
Size17.16 Mb.
1   ...   79   80   81   82   83   84   85   86   ...   162

Mannheim, Karl Polyani, Arnold Hauser, and

others. In 1918 he joined the Communist Party,

and during the Hungarian Commune he was, in

1919, Minister for Education and Culture. In this

early stage of his career, he was interested in the

historical development of various forms of literature

such as the novel, and published Soul and

Form (1910 [trans. 1974]), History of the Development

of Modern Drama (1911), Aesthetic Culture (1913 [trans.

1963]), and The Theory of the Novel (1920 [trans. 1971]).

After the collapse of this revolutionary movement,

Luka´cs spent his exile in Austria, Germany,

and Russia, becoming a friend of Georg Simmel,

Max Weber, and Ernst Bloch. In the period

1919–29, Luka´cs wrote several interpretations of

Marxist philosophy that had a major influence on

European sociology. His work had particular significance

for the theory of class consciousness, the

sociology of knowledge, and the Frankfurt School.

In his History and Class Consciousness (1923 [trans.

1971]), he emphasized the importance of the work

of the young Karl Marx on alienation, and noted

the role of the reification of beliefs in capitalism.

His study of Marx promoted the importance of

dialectical thinking and rejected the deterministic

and mechanical theories of society promoted by

orthodox Marxism, which predicted the inevitable

collapse of capitalism through revolutionary

struggles. As a result, Luka´cs had an ambiguous

and unstable relationship with the Communist

Party. He was criticized by party intellectuals in

the 1940s for his views on culture and, in 1956, he

was briefly Minister of Culture in Imre Nagy’s

government in Hungary, but he was deported to

Romania when the government was suppressed.

When Luka´cs withdrew from political life, he

turned increasingly to the study of aesthetics

and ontology, publishing The Specific Nature of the

Aesthetic (1962) and Towards an Ontology of Social

Being (1971).

He made a major contribution to the sociology

of literature in The Historical Novel (1955 [trans.

1962]), Essays on Thomas Mann (1964), and Goethe

and his Age (1968), in which he treated the novel

as a reflection of the life of the bourgeois class.


Lynd, Robert Staughton (1892–1970), and

Helen Merrell Lynd (1896–1982)

Born in Indiana, Robert Lynd received his PhD at

Columbia University in 1931. He served on the Columbia

faculty from 1931 to 1961. His wife, Helen

Merrell Lynd, was born in Illinois, receiving her MA

from Columbia in 1922 and her PhD in 1944. She

was on the faculty of Sarah Lawrence College from

1928 to 1964. They collaborated on Middletown

(1929), and Middletown in Transition (1937), two important

studies of changing American values in the

face of industrialization.

These studies of Muncie, Indiana (under the

pseudonym of Middletown), demonstrated the vast

changes sweeping the United States through the

experiences of a typical Protestant, predominantly

white middle-American town. They catalogued the

rise of a new culture based on consumerism and

competitive individualism which eclipsed more

traditional values of thrift, prudence, and public

spiritedness. The increasing importance of wealth

as a measure of social status was illustrated in

the disappearance of a shared sense of community,

and its replacement by a class-based hierarchical

social structure, in which differences between a

business class and the working class became more


Middletown and Middletown in Transition were the

first studies of the corporate, consumer society

based on new forms of industrial capital that

was arising in the United States in the 1920s. The

Lynds demonstrated that the Great Depression of

the 1930s only helped to consolidate this new

society. Robert Lynd criticized this new culture’s

influence on the social sciences in Knowledge for

What? (1939). KENNETH H. TUCKER

Lyotard, Jean-Franc¸ois (1924–1998)

A French philosopher and social thinker, one of

the leading exponents of postmodernism in philosophy

and social theory, Lyotard is best known to

sociologists for his Postmodern Condition (1979

[trans. 1984]), a critical reflection on the state of

knowledge in postindustrial society. It contains a

radical criticism of the epistemological foundations

of scientific knowledge, and a sociological

account of commodified knowledge under the

impact of new technology and information. Knowledge,

according to Lyotard, consists of narratives,

that is a mixture of norms, stories, popular

wisdoms, fables, and myths. The “postmodern

condition” is characterized by increasing public

realization that scientific knowledge is no exception:

like all social knowledge, it is a type of discourse,

a “metanarrative,” or a grand story of a

totalizing type. Claims of those who see scientific

knowledge as uniquely objective, true, and universal

are greeted with incredulity or skepticism. This

incredulity extends to all metanarratives, including

Marxism (a story of human emancipation) and

Lynd, Robert Staughton (1892–1970) Lyotard, Jean-Franc¸ois (1924–1998)


modern social theory (a story of progress, secularization,

and rationalization). Their legitimacy, and

their claims to privileged epistemological status,

are questioned; and their true nature as language

games opens the way for critical revaluation of

their substance and social function. Postmodern

skepticism permeates popular cultures in contemporary

postindustrial or (computerized) societies,

in which information and communication technologies

undermine the capacity of state elites to

control public discourses and legitimize metanarratives.

Knowledge turns into a commodity that

circulates among increasingly diverse audiences.

This increases the diversity of language games and

the accompanying pluralism, fragmentation, and

eclecticism of knowledge. JAN PAKULSKI

Lyotard, Jean-Franc¸ois (1924–1998) Lyotard, Jean-Franc¸ois (1924–1998)



MacIntyre, Alasdair (1929– )

From his early twenties onwards, MacIntyre’s

work has been dominated by criticism of moral

individualism and moral relativism. The critique of

moral individualism led him to sociology, which

he taught at the University of Essex in the 1960s.

Keen to strengthen a contextual understanding of

practical reason in the wake of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s

Philosophical Investigations (1953), he has also

been concerned to avoid the relativism to which

such contextualism led in the work of Peter

Winch. Their debate is to be found in Bryan R.

Wilson (ed.), Rationality (1970). In After Virtue

(1981) and in Whose Justice? Which Rationality?

(1988), MacIntyre developed his own position, reconciling

contextualism and moral realism on a

neo-Aristotelian basis, using an idiosyncratic

theory of tradition. MacIntyre denounces the

moral emptiness of advanced liberal societies, arguing

that their individualism undermines the

social practices and communities required for

the development of a proper sense of virtue.

Turning away from sociology per se, MacIntyre

argues that rigorous sociology must engage with

moral and political philosophy.

His other works include (with Paul Ricoeur) The

Religious Significance of Atheism (1966), A Short History

of Ethics (1967), Secularization and Moral Change

(1967), Marxism and Christianity (1968), Marcuse

(1970), and Dependent Rational Animals (1999).



The sociological study of large processes and social

structures, it can be illustrated by such prototypical

examples as studies of revolutions (see theory

of revolutions), the state, the economy, the social

system, and the world-system. Macrosociology is

often contrasted with microsociology, which is the

sociological study of small-scale phenomena – the

prototypical example is the study of face-to-face


In practice the difference between macrosociology

and microsociology not only lies in the size of

the unit of analysis, but also in their theoretical

and epistemological commitments. Macrosociology

comprises diverse approaches, including

structural functionalism, Marxism, and worldsystems

analysis. Nevertheless, it is with comparative-

historical sociology that the label macrosociology

has come to be principally associated.

Characteristic contemporary exponents are Barrington

Moore, Reinhard Bendix, Charles Tilly,

and Theda Skocpol.

With regard to epistemology and methodology,

macrosociologists often rely, more or less explicitly,

on two of John Stuart Mill’s canons of induction:

the method of agreement and the method of

difference. Substantively, they have been more

interested in political and economic issues than

in cultural ones. In fact, Skocpol’s States and Social

Revolutions (1979) delineated the contours of the

field for nearly two decades. However, a new generation

of scholars is increasingly moving away

from this paradigm in terms of both their substantive

and their epistemological preferences.

In contrast, microsociology focuses on interpersonal

situations and the contexts in which they

occur. Within microsociology, there are two main

theoretical orientations: rational choice theory

and social exchange theory on the one hand, and

symbolic interactionism and ethnomethodology

on the other. The former tradition – influenced

by microeconomics and the economic approach

to human behavior – places the emphasis upon

individual preferences and choices, constraints,

transactions, and costs and benefits. The latter

tradition – whose intellectual resources include

Max Weber’s Verstehen and Edmund Husserl’s

phenomenology which was channeled through

the work of Alfred Schu¨tz – is concerned with

individuals’ subjectivity and the construction of


The opposition between macro and micro used

to be conceived as a dispute over which one

is “more fundamental” or “ontologically prior,”

and was often similar to the contrast between collective

and individual and to the debate over

agency and structure. Nevertheless, this essentialist

construal of the micro–macro “problem” is now


largely rejected. The point is not to reduce one to

the other, but to search for theoretical and methodological

linkages. Macrosociology stands on

microfoundations and microsociology stands on

macrofoundations. In any case, the distinction

maintains its value as a linguistic convention by

means of which types of inquiries and levels of

analysis are classified.

One set of criticisms against macrosociology

is methodological. Given the magnitude of the

objects studied under its auspices and the inclination

to study processes over long periods of

time, macrosociologists’ samples are generally

small. Thus, Stanley Lieberson in “Small N’s and

Big Conclusion,” in C. Ragin and H. Becker (eds.),

What is a case? has argued that in small-N studies

Mill’s methods do not yield valid causal inferences.

According to him, this strategy requires

implausible assumptions, such as that there be

no interaction effects, mono-causality, and that

sociological theories be deterministic rather

than probabilistic. A second set of criticisms calls

macrosociology to task for having conceptualized

history as a mere repository of data, thereby

failing to historicize social reality and its own

conceptual tools in a manner that is convincing.



– see religion.

Malinowski, Bronislaw (1884–1942)

A scion of the Polish aristocracy, Malinowski studied

engineering before pursuing a degree in anthropology

at the University of Cambridge. He was

not the first anthropologist to undertake fieldwork,

but in his classic Argonauts of the western

Pacific (1916) was the first to provide it with an

articulate methodology and rationale. He urged

impartiality, attention to the “imponderabilia of

everyday life,” and rigor in investigating “the

native’s point of view.” His research among the

peoples of the Kiriwana Islands was itself

the benchmark of ethnographic excellence for

many decades and his reputation survived the

sometimes unflattering revelations of the posthumously

published A Diary in the Strict Sense of the

Term (1967) largely intact.

Fromthe social organization and collective psychology

of the kula, the periodic sailing expeditions

that bound the Kiriwanans into a dynamic interisland

ring of trade and alliance, Malinowski extracted

the persuasive model of a reasonable, industrious,

and practical economic actor who

remained “primitive” only in having less passion

for profit than for prestige. The model informs

Malinowski’s instrumentalistic treatment of magic

(see religion) and myth and, in “Group and Individual

in Functional Analysis” (1939), a broader argument

that each of the basic institutional

components of culture is so much technological

service for the satisfaction of a correlative psychobiological

human need. The argument risks circularity

and oversimplification, but is also the

manifesto of a pure functionalism resolutely opposed

to the Durkheimian reification of society as

a thing having needs of its own.

Malinowski contributed significantly to the

study of religion in Magic, Science and Religion and

Other Essays (1948) and to the study of sexuality in

Sex and Repression in Savage Society (1972) and The

Sexual Life of Savages (1929). J AMES D. FAUBI ON

Malthus, Thomas Robert (1766–1834)

Educated at Jesus College, Cambridge, where he

won prizes for Latin and English declamation, at

the age of twenty-two Malthus became a curate

near his family home in Surrey and later in Lincolnshire.

In 1805 he was appointed a professor of

history and political economy at East India College,

Haileybury, a position he occupied until his

death in 1834.

During his early tenure as a rural clergyman,

he published anonymously in 1798 the first edition

of his famous book, An Essay on the Principle of

Population as it Affects the Future Improvement of

Society, with Remarks on the Speculations of Mr. Goodwin,

M. Condorcet, and Other Writers. W. Petersen in

his Malthus (1979) writes that this publication

“immediately established its anonymous author

as a controversial figure.” Five years later, in

1803, this time under his name, Malthus published

the second edition of the essay, with a

different subtitle, as An Essay on the Principle of

Population; or a View of Its Past and Present Effects

on Human Happiness; With an Inquiry into our Prospects

Respecting the Future Removal or Mitigation of

the Evils which It Occasions. Petersen notes that this

was indeed a new book. The first edition was

mainly a “deductive book” of around 55,000

words, whereas the second edition expanded the

theory and provided a great deal of illustrative

data, resulting in around 200,000 words. Subsequent

editions, the final being the seventh edition

which was published posthumously in 1872,

included relatively minor changes. The best edition

is the second, with revisions, contained in

two volumes and edited by Patricia James as An

Essay on the Principle of Population (with the Variora of

1806, 1807, 1817, 1826) (1989).

magic Malthus, Thomas Robert (1766–1834)


The principle of population stated that, if left

unchecked, populations would tend to grow geometrically,

while food and subsistence would

grow arithmetically. But Malthus argued that

population growth was held in check by two kinds

of controls, preventive checks and positive checks.

Malthus referred to the major preventive check as

“moral restraint,” or the postponement of marriage.

As a clergyman he was not able to recognize

birth control as a check. Indeed he was “opposed

to birth control on the grounds that such ‘unnatural’

experiments ran contrary to God’s design

in placing humankind under the right degree

of pressure to ensure its development” (D. Winch,

Encyclopedia of Population, 2003). The positive

checks included wars, famine, pestilence, and

other forms of misery. The positive checks kept

the death rate high, the preventive checks

kept the birth rate low.

Malthus’s essay needs to be placed and considered

in historical context. It opposed two very

influential schools of thought, mercantilism and

utopianism, and cast doubt on the hope of human

perfectibility. Winch writes in the Encyclopedia of

Population that “Malthus showed that any attempt

to create an ideal society in which altruism and

common property rights prevailed would be

undermined by its inability to cope with the

resulting population pressure.”

The writings of Malthus are said to have influenced

the work of Charles Darwin, Herbert Spencer,

David Ricardo (1771–1823), John Maynard

Keynes, and many others. For instance, Darwin

wrote in his Autobiography (1887) that:

Fifteenth months after I had begun my systematic

enquiry, I happened to read for amusement

Malthus on population, and being well prepared

to appreciate the struggle for existence which

everywhere goes on from long-continued

observation of the habits of animals and plants, it

at once struck me that under these circumstances

favorable variations would tend to be preserved

and unfavorable ones be destroyed. The result of

this would be a new species. Here, then, I had at

last got a theory by which to work.

Scholars hold mixed views with respect to the

influence of Malthus on demography. W. Petersen

argues that in the writings of Malthus, modern

population theory was born. D. Bogue on the other

hand, in Principles of Demography (1969), states that

although the writings of Malthus “have attracted

worldwide attention and have dominated the

thinking of many students of population, his contribution

to the development of demography as a

science was rather modest.” DUDLEY L . POSTON

Malthusian theory

– see Thomas Robert Malthus.


Engineers have long been fascinated by work and

employment. Engineering has a natural affinity

with work in a profit-based economy, because it

is oriented to getting more output from less

input as its definition of efficiency. It was an engineer,

Frederick Winslow Taylor (1865–1915),

whose Principles of Scientific Management (1911) first

defined management systematically.

Taylor proposed “four great principles of management”:

(1) developing a science of work by

observing and measuring norms of output, using

a stopwatch and detailed observation of human

movements to improve effectiveness; (2) scientifically

selecting and training the employee; (3) combining

the sciences of work and selecting and

training of employees; and (4) management and

workers specializing and collaborating closely.

Taylor regarded science as equivalent to making

systematic measurement and observation, after

which work would be redesigned on the basis of

the data generated and inferences made about

existing procedures and how they might be improved.

A famous example, which is discussed

critically by H. Braverman in Labor and Monopoly

Capitalism (1974), was the example of the Dutch

worker Schmidt, and the art of shoveling pig

iron. Taylor established that even a rather stupid

worker, with a carefully designed tool, could increase

productivity significantly, as long as what

scientific management said should be done was

done. Armed with a checklist and a stopwatch,

Taylor observed and timed work, and then

redesigned it, so that tasks could be done more

efficiently. Taylor proposed designing the best way

of performing any set of tasks on the shop floor,

based on detailed observation, selection, and

training. Time was of the essence.

Taylor’s ideas had the advantage of being quite

easy to grasp and so were as easily adopted as they

were opposed. However, it is worth noting that

employers tended to adopt his ideas piecemeal:

they were keen on the efficiencies from time

measurement but not as keen on the rewards in

the form of bonuses that Taylor proposed under

his recommendations for the use of piece-rates.

Taylor and the movement for systematic management

were opposed by a number of forces.

First, there were internal contractors – people

who provided and supervised labor to work within

factories owned by remote robber barons,

Malthus, Thomas Robert (1766–1834) management


financiers, entrepreneurs, and industrialists – who

stood to lose their livelihoods if scientificmanagers

triumphed and replaced them with systematic

managers. Second, there were the owners of capital,

particularly those with small workshops, who

were already fearful of being devoured or driven

out of business by big businessmen, such as the

“robber barons” (Andrew Carnegie and Theodore

Vanderbilt), gobbling up their assets into new

centers of financial control; they were also fearful

of the dilution of the power of ownership. Third,

the workers, increasingly organizing in trade

unions, railed against the loss of craft skills that

the project of standardization and systematization

of work entailed. Standardization became a wedge

that opened the door for a wider adoption of systematic

scientific management through linking individual

remuneration to individual effort in

scientifically framed tasks. Managers would be a

new breed of practical scientists managing corporations

1   ...   79   80   81   82   83   84   85   86   ...   162

The database is protected by copyright © 2016
send message

    Main page