Sociology in Britain in the Twentieth Century: Differentiation and Establishment

Martin Bulmer

in British Sociology Seen from Without and Within

Published by British Academy

Published in print November 2005 | ISBN: 9780197263426
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734298 | DOI:

Series: British Academy Occasional Papers

Sociology in Britain in the Twentieth Century: Differentiation and Establishment

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Two books, one written by Chelly Halsey (2004) and the other by Jennifer Platt (2003), raise some very stimulating questions about the development of sociology in twentieth-century Britain, but they do not exhaust those questions. This chapter raises what seem to be significant questions stimulated by the two books and by the two-day conference held at the British Academy in May 2004. While there are reasons for disappointment about the history of British sociology in the twentieth century, there are still concrete achievements to celebrate, much distinguished individual scholarship to admire, and a number of salient issues to pursue. This chapter discusses who should write the history of sociology, who count as sociologists, the political embeddedness of sociology, whether sociology is characterized by its methods, the direction of sociology and its aims as an academic discipline, and what sources should be used for the history of sociology.

Keywords: Britain; sociology; history; British Academy; Chelly Halsey; Jennifer Platt; sociologists; methods; sources

Chapter.  6478 words. 

Subjects: Social Research and Statistics

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