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For a long time, social scientists ignored the

importance of hermeneutics, especially in the heyday

of structural functionalism. Since the 1970s

sociologists have shown a growing interest in interpretative

philosophies, including hermeneutics.

Anthony Giddens’s New Rules of Sociological

Method (1976) and Zygmunt Bauman’s Hermeneutics

and Social Science (1978) were crucial in drawing the

attention of social scientists to hermeneutics. In

Constitution of Society (1984), Giddens suggests that

the way forward is the structuration theory, an

attempt to integrate interpretative philosophies

with structuralism. Structuration theory conceives

of social order as continually produced by “knowledgeable”

individuals in everyday settings. In

Knowledge and Human Interests (1968 [trans. 1971]),

Ju¨rgen Habermas demonstrated the importance of

hermeneutics to critical theory: his notion of

critical theory draws on a combination of empirical-

analytical knowledge (directed towards prediction

and control) and hermeneutics (directed

towards understanding) and is ultimately aimed

at self-emancipation. PATRICK BAERT

hidden curriculum

In 1971 B. R. Snyder published The Hidden Curriculum,

containing a chapter by the American sociologist

of higher education, Martin Trow, on

“distraction and the expropriation of learning.”

Snyder’s book was the outcome of research in

which, as a student of psychiatry, he investigated

in the early 1960s “the paths that students followed

during four years at the Massachusetts Institute of

Technology.” His findings were also informed by his

subsequent experience as a senior administrative

officer in a university. This was a period in the

history of American higher education in which

hermeneutics hidden curriculum


the system seemed to be dominated by regulation

and bureaucracy, associated with a technocratic

model of education and with credentialism. In a

context of precise regulatory control, Snyder

argued that students adopt coping mechanisms

which involve acting on the basis of their calculations

of what is actually required to succeed and

secure accreditation rather than what is officially

required. These mechanisms involve restricting

study only to those elements of curricula which

are assessed and also ensuring that extra-curricular

behavior is socially or politically acceptable

to the institution. Trow’s argument suggested

that similar circumstances push staff towards

equally “instrumental” rather than “expressive”

behavior. Snyder argued that acknowledging the

operation of a hidden curriculum recognizes

social and cultural factors in learning ignored

by rational planners. Arguably, subsequent higher

education reforms have sought to make the

hidden curriculum more visible and have thus

subjected the informal in teaching and learning

to more insidious regulation. DEREK ROBBINS

historical materialism

Materialism and idealism offer two contrasting

ways of understanding the social world. The

former emphasizes the causal primacy of material

forces such as climate, technology, economic resources,

and the institutional arrangements

within which they are organized and applied.

The latter emphasizes the primacy of ideas and

the meanings given by human actors to their

actions. Historical materialism, associated with

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, is a particular

form of materialism designed to account for

long-term processes of social change across time.

It was first articulated during the 1840s, in The

German Ideology. German idealism, as reflected in

the work of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and

his successors, had seen historical development as

the progressive realization of the ideas of reason

and freedom in human activities. This position

was criticized for ignoring the differing material

contexts within which individuals lived, the

changing patterns of power and exploitation built

into human institutions, and social conflicts between

exploiting and exploited social classes evident

through time. Meanwhile, existing forms of

materialism were generally ahistorical and often

contemplative in function.

For Marx, the agenda for social theory was both

to understand and to change the world. This required

an activist materialism, in which human

actors helped make the world and emancipate

humankind from exploitation, though not

through the simple imposition of progressive or

utopian ideas on the conditions of social existence.

The task was rather to bring ideas into harmony

with material possibilities. This shifted the burden

of human emancipation from philosophers to

exploited social classes whose interest lay in overcoming

the forms of material exploitation in

which they lived.

Within historical materialism the mode of production

is the key concept through which the

material conditions of existence are articulated.

This includes two main elements: the productive

forces, such as technology, and the social relations

of production, referring to the prevailing form of

property rights in human labor and other economic

resources. Such rights included slavery,

feudal land tenure, and the capitalist wage-labor

relationship. Under the capitalist mode of production,

the exploited working class would be the

bearer of social change through class conflict

leading to a socialist and communist future, where

labor and property were owned in common.

Historical materialism has received significant

criticism, and has been subject to revision and

reformulation from those more sympathetic to

the underlying project. Critics such as Max Weber

argued that the approach offers far too crude an

approach to the interaction of material and ideal

elements in social change, as well as downplaying

the motivating role of ideas, as proposed in

Weber’s Protestant ethic thesis on some origins

of the spirit of modern capitalism. Historical materialism

also overemphasizes class institutions

and class struggle over other social cleavages,

and downplays the autonomy of political institutions

and structures of legitimate domination.

Capitalism, meanwhile, has proven far more

robust, a reflection in part of periodic surges of

productive new technology, and in part of

working-class incorporation into consumer society.

Attempts to reformulate historical materialism

to take these trends into account remain haunted

by the failure of material existence to restructure

social consciousness in ways that generate revolutionary

struggle rather than social passivity.



Deriving from the German historismus, this concept

has two broad meanings. First, it refers to

the belief that social structures, events, and texts

should be understood within the context of their

historical formation and the social conditions

within which they arose. Every age and each

historical materialism historicism


historical situation, it is argued, can only be

understood in its own terms. The applicability of

the concept is usually restricted to the social sciences

and humanities. In contrast to an emphasis

on ahistorical universalist assumptions or nomothetic

forms of explanation, which are used in the

natural sciences, the focus is, as Friedrich Meinecke

(1862–1954) argues, on the essential individuality,

contingency, and uniqueness of social

phenomena. This has two implications: (1) since

events are unique and there is no independent

means for comparing phenomena, this implies a

form of relativism; (2) that in order to understand

social phenomena a form of empathetic, hermeneutical

understanding, or what W. Dilthey and

Max Weber call Verstehen, is required. For Karl

Mannheim in “Conservative Thought” in his Essays

on Sociology and Social Psychology (1952) the origins

of the term historicism, and a stress on historical

explanation, have their roots in the conservative

and Romantic reaction to the Enlightenment, especially

in Germany in which a dynamic historical

philosophy of life confronted a static philosophy

of reason.

Second, the term has been employed by Karl

Popper to designate explanations of the social

world which advocate fixed long-term laws of historical

development and argue for their predictability.

For Popper, the chief exponents of such a

misconceived view were Plato, Georg Wilhelm

Friedrich Hegel, Auguste Comte, Karl Marx,

Oswald Spengler (1880–1936), and Arnold Toynbee

(1889–1975). He argued that such views of historical

inevitability were imbued with totalitarian

overtones and were, in addition, unscientific.


Hochschild, Arlie Russell (1940– )

Hochschild received her undergraduate degree

from Swarthmore College and, in 1969, her PhD

in sociology from the University of California,

Berkeley. She joined the Berkeley faculty in 1971,

and is currently Professor of Sociology. She has

made significant contributions to the sociology

of the family and gender, and to social psychology.

In The Managed Heart (1983), she develops the

notion of emotional labor. According to Hochschild,

in the increasingly service-oriented economy

of the postindustrial world, more and more

occupations require that emotion be a part of the

service offered. Emotional labor demands that the

worker produce an emotional state in another

person, as workers in jobs from waiting tables to

flight attendants are increasingly called upon to

create good feelings in their customers. Moreover,

the employer increasingly exercises a great degree

of control over his/her employee’s emotions.

Hochschild has also explored the intersection of

work and women (see women and work), gender,

and family as an increasing number of American

women enter the workforce outside the home. In

The Second Shift (1989), she shows that women are

still responsible for housework and child-care, the

“second shift,” even if they work outside of the

home. In The Time Bind (1997), she demonstrates

that, often, family-friendly policies enacted by corporations

fail because people are becoming more

comfortable with their work life, finding home

life increasingly hectic. In particular women

have little “quality time” to spend with their families.

Hochschild’s most recent research documents

the difficult plight of immigrant care

workers in the United States. KENNETH H. TUCKER

Hoggart, Richard (1918– )

A lecturer in English at the University of Leicester

(1959–62) before gaining the Chair in English at

Birmingham University (1962–73), he founded the

influential Birmingham Centre for Contemporary

Cultural Studies in 1964. He left in 1971 to become

Assistant Director-General of UNESCO and

Warden of Goldsmiths College, University of

London (1976–84).

Hoggart’s origins betray and compromise much

about his position on the register of cultural

theory. His hometown was Leeds, and the

working-class districts of Chapeltown and Hunslet

supplied the data and inspiration for his most

famous book, The Uses of Literacy (1957). In its day,

this volume was a much-lauded work. Progressive

sections in both the media and the redbrick universities

regarded it as holding a set of refreshing

insights into working-class life, not least the injunction

to take working-class culture seriously.

Today, it is chiefly regarded as a somewhat nostalgic,

impressionistic, introspective study, that

retains its place in the canon for its historically

important, unapologetic insistence that workingclass

culture matters.

This is unjust. In founding the Centre for Contemporary

Cultural Studies at the University of

Birmingham with a self-ordained tripartite brief

to study the historical-philosophical, literary-critical,

and sociological aspects of culture, and

gaining private funding from Sir Allen Lane of

Penguin Books to finance the project, there is

reason to claim that Hoggart made a seminal contribution

to the development of Cultural studies,

especially in the two volumes of Speaking To Each

Other (1970 and 1972). Further, he turned the

Hochschild, Arlie Russell (1940– ) Hoggart, Richard (1918– )


rejection of the elitist view of Mathew Arnold and

F. R. Leavis – that culture is the best that can be

thought and done – into a cause ce´le`bre. Against

this, his revisionist approach sought to recognize

that important new cultural forms were emerging

around media culture and to honor the value of

non-elite cultures.

His work emphasized the policy dimension of

Cultural studies, for example in The Future of Broadcasting

(with Janet Morgan, 1982), British Council

and the Arts (with others, 1986), and The Idea of

Europe (1987). With deep roots in adult education,

Hoggart made a virtue of unostentatious, practical

criticism and forms of cultural theory

based in realistic involvement with society and

culture. This emphasis is now associated with

anti-theoretical overtones in his work.


Homans, George Caspar (1910–1989)

Between 1939 and 1941, Homans taught sociology

at Harvard, then served for four years as a naval

officer, and finally returned to Harvard where he

made significant contributions to exchange

theory in The Human Group (1950), Social Behavior:

its Elementary Forms (1961), Sentiments and Activities

(1962), and The Nature of Social Science (1967). He

became a full Professor of Sociology at Harvard

between 1955 and 1980. He was elected to the

National Academies in 1972. He was 54th President

of the American Sociological Association

and his presidential address was published as

“Bringing Men Back In” (1964) in the American

Sociological Review, in which he argued that social

phenomena are to be explained in terms of the

characteristics of individuals rather than social

structures. Homans developed a range of propositions

that draw on social psychology to examine

the ways in which individuals are connected to

social groups. These propositions (relating to success,

stimuli, values, satiation, and aggression)

explain how social exchange functions at the level

of the individual. Homans was critical of what he

regarded as the abstract sociological theory of his

day, and especially the work of Talcott Parsons,

because it could not be adequately tested by empirical

research. Homans insisted on the importance

of developing testable hypotheses that

explain basic social processes in small groups.


Horkheimer, Max (1895–1973)

For many years Horkheimer served as Director of

the Institute for Social Research and, with Theodor

Wiesengrund Adorno, Herbert Marcuse, and

others, helped develop the critical theory of society.

In “Traditional and Critical Theory” (1937

[trans. 1972]) in Critical Theory, Horkheimer argued

that “traditional theory” (which included modern

philosophy and science since Descartes) tended to

be overly abstract, objectivistic, and cut off from

social practice. Critical theory, in contrast, was

grounded in social theory and (Marxian) political

economy, carried out a systematic critique of

existing society, and allied itself with efforts to

produce alternatives to capitalism and bourgeois

society (then in its fascist stage in much of

Europe). The goal of critical theory is to transform

these social conditions and provide a theory of

“the historical movement of the period which is

now approaching its end.”

A collaborative work with Adorno, Dialectic of

Enlightenment (1947 [trans. 1972]), sketched out a

vision of history from the Greeks to the present

that discussed how reason and Enlightenment

became their opposite, transforming what promised

to be instruments of truth and liberation into

tools of domination. Under the pressure of societal

systems of domination, reason became instrumental,

reducing human beings to things and

objects and nature to numbers. While such modes

of abstraction enabled science and technology

to develop apace, they also produced societal

reification and domination, culminating in the

concentration camps that generated an instrumentalization

of death.

Horkheimer’s Eclipse of Reason (1947) presents a

popularized version of Dialectic of Enlightenment for

an English-speaking audience, and Critique of Instrumental

Reason brings together Horkheimer’s

key essays since the end of World War II. Some of

Horkheimer’s most important writings are collected

in Critical Theory (1972) and Between Philosophy

and Social Science (1993). DOUGLAS KELLNER


– see women and work.

housing classes

– see social class.

Hughes, Everett C. (1897–1983)

A Methodist minister’s son from small-town Ohio,

Everett C. Hughes rose to lead the “Second Chicago

School.” Like his mentor Robert Park, his primary

impact on sociology was by challenging and inspiring

graduate students. Inspired by Georg

Simmel, he specialized in dazzlingly insightful


Homans, George Caspar (1910–1989) Hughes, Everett C. (1897–1983)


The method Hughes preferred was “the intensive

penetrating look with an imagination as

lively and as sociological as it can be made.” He

directed his own sociological imagination to the

areas of work and professions, race relations (see

race and ethnicity), and such topics as social

movements, migration, and social institutions.

His sociological eye often reframed subjects in

subversive ways – for example, showing how psychiatrists

and prostitutes share the problem of distancing

themselves emotionally from situations

that are highly emotional to clients, or by spotlighting

the dark side of respectable occupations.

Hughes delighted in locating social facts in larger

contexts of meaning. His stream-of-consciousness

lectures sparkled with insights drawn from family,

fieldwork, and friendships. Participant observation

was the keystone of his research ingenuity.

He developed and passed on to devoted generations

of students, including Erving Goffman, a

range of techniques on how to do and to interpret

fieldwork. Symbolic interactionism stemmed from

the ideas of Hughes and his colleague Herbert


His academic works include French Canada in

Transition (1983), Where Peoples Meet: Racial and

Ethnic Frontiers (with Helen MacGill Hughes,

1981), Men and Their Work (1958), Education for the

Professions of Medicine, Law, Theology, and Social Welfare

(1973), and The Sociological Eye: Collected Papers

(1984). In 1994, Lewis A. Coser edited a selection of

his writings, On Work, Race, and the Sociological Imagination.


human capital

– see social capital.

Human Genome Project

– see genetics.

human needs

These have two related but different definitions.

One is grounded in psychology and the other in

sociology and social welfare. The difference in the

two perspectives is the unit of analysis. The psychological

approach to human needs focuses on

the individual and the sociological and social welfare

perspective attends to the needs of the family,

group, and society.

The task of psychology is to understand behavior

by linking it to the organism’s primary needs

and the environmental conditions relevant to

them. Other approaches have added to this line

of inquiry by concentrating on psychological

rather than physiological needs. In the 1950s

psychologists developed a model in terms of eight

levels. The first four are: physiological needs,

safety needs, belongingness and love, and esteem

needs. Once these needs are met, individuals seek

self-growth by addressing the next four levels of

needs: need to know and understand, aesthetic

needs, self-actualization, and transcendence. Selfactualized

people are characterized by: (1) being

problem-focused; (2) incorporating an ongoing appreciation

of life; (3) being concerned about personal

growth; and (4) having the ability to enjoy

peak experiences. The most recent psychological

work on human needs is self-determination

theory which defines needs as innate psychological

nutriments that are essential for ongoing

psychological growth, integrity, and well-being.

The psychological concept of human needs has

served as a means of organizing and integrating

a wide range of research related to social contexts,

motivational orientations, goals, healthy development,

high-quality performance, maintained

behavior change, and mental health.

The sociological and social welfare perspective

defines human needs in terms of what the family,

group, or society needs to enjoy a humane and

high quality of life and to have fundamental

human rights. These discussions are often

couched in terms of: avoiding violence and social

conflict (stability, security, and peace being desirable);

disparities between racial/ethnic groups,

sexes, or age cohorts; social justice; equal opportunity;

free trade; immigration; citizenship; taxes

and social welfare (redistribution of resources)

policies. The Coalition on Human Needs in the

United States, for example, is an alliance of national

organizations working together to promote

public policies that address the needs of lowincome

and other vulnerable populations, such

as children, women, the elderly, and disabled

people. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International

are two international human rights organizations

that monitor human rights abuses

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