Orthodoxy, Heterodoxy, and Hierarchy: “Mainstream” Sociology and Its Challengers

Craig Calhoun and Jonathan VanAntwerpen

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:
Orthodoxy, Heterodoxy, and Hierarchy: “Mainstream” Sociology and Its Challengers

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This chapter begins with a retrospective construction and invocation of the category of “mainstream sociology,” with special attention given to the heroes of the insurgents, Mills and Gouldner. It then turns to the era of postwar expansion most frequently associated with the rise and dominance of the so-called mainstream, discussing the figures Bourdieu referred to as the Capitoline triad—Parsons, Merton, and Lazarsfeld—and continuing with a broader view of the postwar elite, including especially developments at the University of Chicago. Next, it presents a critical consideration of the discourse of mainstream sociology. Throughout, the chapter is engaged with the interplay of hierarchy, diversity, orthodoxy, and heterodoxy within postwar American sociology.

Keywords: American sociology; mainstream sociology; Mills; Gouldner; Capitoline triad; Lazarsfeld

Chapter.  19544 words. 

Subjects: Comparative and Historical Sociology

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