New Book: Chicago Sociology

AHP readers may be interested in a recent book on the history of sociology at the University of Chicago: Chicago Sociology by Jean-Michel Chapoulie. Foreword by William Kornblum. Translated by Caroline Wazer. The book is described as follows:

Known for its pioneering studies of urban life, immigration, and criminality using the “city as laboratory,” the so-called Chicago school of sociology has been a dominant presence in American social science since it emerged around the University of Chicago in the early decades of the twentieth century. Canonical figures such as Robert Park, Everett Hughes, Howard S. Becker, and Erving Goffman established foundational principles of how to conduct social research.

This groundbreaking book on the development and influence of the Chicago tradition, first published in 2001, became an immediate classic in France, where Chicago sociology has exerted significant appeal. Drawing on deep archival research and interviews with members of the tradition, Jean-Michel Chapoulie interrogates evidence with a historian’s eye and recognizes the profound effects that culture, society, and the economy have on individuals and institutions. His study is a fine-grained and panoramic portrait of the complex and interlocking factors that gave rise to the research interests and methodologies that characterized the Chicago tradition in the 1920s and that contributed to rises and falls in its predominance in American sociology over the following decades. Now revised and available for the first time in English, Chicago Sociology provides a unique perspective on the history of social science in the twentieth century. A foreword by William Kornblum places Chapoulie’s work in context and addresses recent critical challenges to the Chicago school and its origins.

Table of Contents

Part I. Sociological Research in Its Institutional Context
1. The Initial Development of Sociology at the University of Chicago, 1892–1914
2. William Isaac Thomas, The Polish Peasant in Europe and America, and the Beginnings of Empirical Academic Sociology
3. Park, Burgess, Faris, and Sociology at Chicago, 1914–1933
4. Research at the University of Chicago, 1918–1933
5. American Sociology, the Sociology Department, and the Chicago Tradition, 1934–1961
Part II. Paths of Research
6. Hughes, Blumer, Studies on Work and Institutions, and Fieldwork
7. From Social Disorganization to the Theory of Labeling
8. Research in the World: The Study of Race and Intercultural Relations, 1913–1963
9. On the Margins of the Chicago Tradition: Nels Anderson and Donald Roy
Afterword to the English translation of La tradition sociologique de Chicago: How Should the History of the Social Sciences Be Written?
Appendix: Remarks on Research Methods

About Jacy Young

Jacy Young is a professor at Quest University Canada. A critical feminist psychologist and historian of psychology, she is committed to critical pedagogy and public engagement with feminist psychology and the history of the discipline.