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International Sociological Association
Research Committee on History of Sociology RC08
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Published in pdf ISA Bulletin number 30, year 1982
Prepared by Kurt Jonassohn
ISA Executive Secretary 1974-1982

Origins

Even though the Committee was constituted only in December, 1971, it is possible to detect the interest to analyze sociology's development itself in Congresses previous to 1970.

Papers discussed at a plenary session of the 4th World Congress of Sociology in Amsterdam, September 1959, were centered in a systematic and critical account of the development of modem sociology, examining in diverse contexts (countries) the social and intellectual influences which affected its form and content.

They were published in the "Transactions of the Fourth World Congress of Sociology", Vols. I: "Society and Sociological Knowledge" (12 papers), and vol. III: which includes a paper of Robert K. Merton: Social Conflict over Styles of Sociological Work".

In the ''Transactions of the 6th World Congress" (Evian, 1966), it is possible also to read a paper by Edward Shils, on "The Trend of Sociological Research".

Executive and Members

After its foundation in December, 1971, the Committee had its first, provisional board, consisting of the following persons:

Chairman: Igor S. Kon (USSR)
Vice-Chairman: Pietro Rossi (Italy)
Secretary: Steven Lukes (Great Britain)

The new Board, elected in Toronto (August, 1974) included initially 16 persons:

President: Stephen Lukes (G.B.) -alternate deleg.-
Vice-Presidents: Igor S. Kon (USSR), Lewis A. Coser (USA)
Secretary: David Earl Sutherland -replaced in December '76 by Robert A. Jones, both from USA
Other Executive Committee Members: Mogens Blegvad (Denmark), Alexei Bogomolov (USSR), Werner Cahnman (USA), Vernon K. Dibble (USA), Artemis Emmanuel (Greece)-delegate, Franco Ferrarotti (Italy), Anthony Giddens (England), Jon Jordachel (Rumania), Allesandro Pizzorno (Great Britain), Dietrich Rueschemeyer (USA), Jerzi Szacki (USA), Irving M. Zeitlin (Canada).

In December 1976, David E. Sutherland became part of the Ex. Committee, after leaving the office of Secretary. The Secretaryship of the Committee passed to Professor Robert A. Jones of the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, who launched the Newsletter of the Research Committee.

After the World Congress held in Uppsala in 1978, all officers were re-elected to their posts by mail ballots between October and December of 1978. In November 1980, Mohamed Cherkaoui (France) became the new Secretary of the Committee.

The following figures by country show the development of the membership:

 

May 77

Oct. 78

Spring 79

Fall 80

USA

36

64

85

47

Canada

10

9

15

7

England

5

7

9

10

Australia

1

2

3

4

GFR

3

6

3

4

Denmark

1

1

1

2

Poland

1

1

1

2

France

O

3

1

4

ltaly

2

1

1

0

Greece

1

1

0

1

Japan

1

0

1

1

Belgium

0

1

1

1

The Netherlands

0

1

2

1

Austria

1

0

0

0

Mexico

0

0

1

1

USSR

0

0

1

1

Bulgaria

0

0

1

1

Israel

0

0

0

1

TOTAL

62

97

126

88

(countries)

(11)

(12)

(15)

(16)

On Wednesday, October 8, 1975, on the initiative of the Fondation Maison des Sciences de l'Homme, a meeting was held for the purpose of establishing a Groupe d'Etudes Durkheimiennes. This group affiliated in 1977 with the Committee. In November, 1977, it edited its first Bulletin of Information (in French), and the second issue appeared in June, 1978.

The Committee on the History and epistemology of the Sciences of Man, of the Social Science History Association, also became an affiliated member of the Committee in 1977.

The third affiliated group was the International society for the Sociology of Knowledge, in October 1977. They publish their own Newsletter.

The fourth affiliated group was the Committee on Sociological History, based in New York. About ten of its members were also members of the Research Committee by the time this group joined the RCHS (1977-78).

Meetings

The first meeting of the Committee took place during the 8th World Congress of Sociology, held in Toronto. The program developed on this occasion was the following:

S.1: Cross-National Influences in the Development of Sociology (7 papers).
S.2: Cross-National Influences in the Development of Sociology (5 papers).
S.3: Cross-National Influences in the Development of Sociology (6 papers).
S.4: Other papers; General discussion of work in the History of Sociology (2 papers).

A Conference on the History and Theory of the Social Science was held at Balliol College, Oxford University, on July 22-24, 1977, in conjunction with the then newly-formed Committee on the History and Epistemology of the Sciences of Man of the Social Science History Association. There were 35-45 historians, sociologists and anthropologists attending the 6 sessions of the meeting:

S.1: Approaches to the History of Sociology (3 papers).
S.2: The Development of Social Science Techniques (2 papers).
S.3: Early sociology in the United States (2 papers).
S.4: French Sociology (2 papers).
S.5: Austrian and German Sociology (2 papers).
S.6: Plenary Session and Summing up.

For the 9th World Congress of Sociology in August, 1978, the final program of the Committee was:

S.1: Major Traditions in the History of Sociology I (Weber) (3 papers).
S.2: Major Traditions in the History of Sociology II (Durkheim) (7 papers).
S.3: Major Traditions in the History of Sociology III (Durkheimians) (12 papers).
S.4: Sociology in Other Countries (3 papers).
S.5: Major Traditions in the History of Sociology IV (2 papers).
S.6: Historical Relations of Sociology with Other Disciplines (3 papers).
S.7: Methodological Approaches to the History of Sociology (5 papers).

(The Program of the Congress is somewhat different to this one, but we supposed this is a more exact one because it was edited by the same Committee in July 1978)

The International Society for the Sociology of Knowledge, affiliated with the Research Committee, also held sessions during the 9th World Congress of Sociology in Uppsala, where 42 papers were presented:

S.1: Current Status and Critical Problems of the Sociology of Knowledge (13 papers in two sub-sessions)
S.2: Methodological Issues in the Sociology of Knowledge (10 papers in two sub-sessions).
S.3: The Growth of Knowledge: Social Context and Social Determinants (11 papers in two sub-sessions).
S.4: Sociology of the Intellectual (8 papers).

A conference was sponsored by the Research Committee in Paris, July 3-5, 1980, at the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme. The program included the following topics and papers:

S.1: Marxism and the History of the Social Sciences (5 papers).
S.2: Weber and the History of the Social Sciences (2 papers).
S.3: British Social Thought and the History of Social Sciences (2 papers).
S.4: Durkheim, the Durkheimians and the History of Social Sciences (6 papers).
S.5: The History of the Social Sciences in the United States (4 papers).

Publications

  • The only publication of the Committee is the Newsletter, which appears twice a year, starting in 1976 and edited by Robert A. Jones, who published it for some four years. Since 1980 it is being edited at the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme. At ISA, the following numbers are available:

Vol.2, Nº1 (winter, 1977)
Vol.2, Nº2 (spring, 1977)
Vol. 2, Nº 3 (summer, 1977)
Vol.2, Nº4 (fall, 1977)
Vol.3, Nº1 (winter, 1978)
Vol.3, Nº2 (spring, 1978)
Vol.3, Nº3 (summer, 1978)
Vol.3, Nº4 (fall, 1978)
Vol.4, Nº4 (winter, 1979)
Vol.4, Nº2 (spring, 1979)
Vol.4, Nº 3 (summer, 1979)
Vol.4, Nº4 (fall, 1979)
Vol.5, Nº1 (spring, 1980)
Vol.5, Nº2 (fall, 1980)
Vol.6, Nº1 (winter, 1981)

  • David Earl Sutherland: "On the Migration of Sociological Structures, 1933-1941: A Forgotten Episode in the History of American Sociology and a Case Study in the Sociology of Sociology", in: Margaret S. Archer (ed.): Problems of Current Sociological Research, a special volume of Current Sociology, Vol. XXII, Nº 1/3 (1974)
  • Donald G. McRae: "Toward a History of Sociology: A discussion Paper". In: Margaret S. Archer (ed.): Current Research in Sociology, published on the occasion of the 8th World Congress of Sociology, Mouton, 1974.

 

 

 

 
2014-03-05
International Sociological Association
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