Thrice Told: Narratives of Sociology's Relation to Social Work

Patricia Lengermann and Gillian Niebrugge

in Sociology in America

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print March 2007 | ISBN: 9780226090948
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226090962 | DOI:
Thrice Told: Narratives of Sociology's Relation to Social Work

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  • Comparative and Historical Sociology


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There are three narratives of the relation of sociology to social work: a natural history, a social history, and a critical history. These stories are told by sociologists, historians of social science, and social workers, but the division among them is not by discipline but by interpretation. This chapter concerns both the content of these narratives and the fact of their coexistence. It suggests that an interpretation of these three stories can be used to link the first decades of sociology in the United States to the form of the profession in America today. The existence of these multiple narratives shows much about sociology's still contested and divided identity and purpose.

Keywords: United States; sociology; natural history; social history; critical history

Chapter.  21464 words. 

Subjects: Comparative and Historical Sociology

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