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Robert K. Merton: Sociology of Science and Sociology as Science (A Columbia / SSRC Book) Hardcover – September 7, 2010

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Editorial Reviews


Craig Calhoun and his colleagues delve into the vast depths of Robert K. Merton's relatively unfamiliar writings, including those that are unpublished, and present us with an astonishingly complex and germane vision of sociological inquiry.

(Margaret R. Somers, University of Michigan)

This collective work is a carefully crafted redescription of the intellectual 'travels and adventures' of one of the most influential sociologists of the twentieth century. Following Robert K. Merton's definition of serendipity, the reader will find unanticipated observations yielding an unanticipated kind of new knowledge. The book succeeds brilliantly in integrating the multifaceted yet deeply interconnected sociocognitive and semantic strands of the Mertonian oeuvre. With exceptional clarity, untapped conceptual resources for contemporary and future sociology are rendered visible.

(Helga Nowotny, president, European Research Council)

American sociology over the past century probably owes more to Robert K. Merton than to any other scholar. He taught whole generations of us how to see the world sociologically, think about it sociologically, and study it sociologically. The essays that make up this book, opening with the masterful introduction by its editor, Craig Calhoun, approach Merton from a number of different vantage points, and together they provide a striking intellectual portrait of this very special person.

(Kai Erickson, Yale University)

In this stimulating and informative volume, leading sociologists explain the range and lasting significance of Robert K. Merton's research for contemporary social science. An important read for those who want to build on the shoulders of giants without reinventing the wheel.

(Michele Lamont, Harvard University)

About the Author

Craig Calhoun is president of the Social Science Research Council and University Professor of the Social Sciences at New York University. He received his doctorate at Oxford University and is the author of eight books and the editor of many more. His work has been translated into over a dozen languages, and his most recent publication is Nations Matter: Culture, History, and the Cosmopolitan Dream.


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