Chapter

A View from Europe

Edited by Colin Crouch

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.5871/bacad/9780197263426.003.0010

Series: British Academy Occasional Papers

A View from Europe

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The history of sociology can be likened to the history of the Habsburg Empire, which claimed to have legitimate sovereignty over the whole of Europe but eventually became a discontented jumble of margins. In the same way, Talcott Parsons tried to claim that sociology was the empress of the social sciences; economics, political science, and the others being allocated their places within its realm. But sociology could not match the tougher, tighter theoretical structures of political science, economics, psychology, and even possibly anthropology. It became an internally divided subject, cultivating the margins. There is a field called neo-institutionalism in which an increasing amount of good research is being done and which is challenging some of the orthodoxies of the neo-classical economics and neo-liberal political science which have come to dominate the intellectual world since the decline of Keynesianism in the 1970s.

Keywords: Europe; sociology; economics; political science; history; Talcott Parsons; neo-institutionalism

Chapter.  1671 words. 

Subjects: Social Research and Statistics

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