Chapter

Years of Uncertainty 1976–2000

A. H. Halsey

in A History of Sociology in Britain

Published in print March 2004 | ISBN: 9780199266609
Published online April 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191601019 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199266603.003.0008
Years of Uncertainty 1976–2000

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The final quarter of the twentieth century brought, at first, institutional arrest, retrenchment, and reduced funding for both research and teaching. Then came the 1992 decision, paradoxically, by a Conservative government, to admit the polytechnics and other institutions of higher education to university status. Thus, there was a renewed and greater expansion of students and teachers of university sociology. In the meantime, the SSRC had been replaced by the ESRC after the Rothschild report.

Optimists now held that sociology was flourishing especially in the light of the feminist movement. The number of chairs rose to over 200.

Two views of sociology emerged. One is that sociology is a polysyllabic plague subverting the political order; the other is that sociology is a modern assemblage of theory and method with potential for the reform of imperfect society. The two views fight for supremacy.

Keywords: ESRC; ethnomethodology; fragmentation; marxism; policy advice; relativism; Rothschild

Chapter.  10838 words. 

Subjects: UK Politics

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