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For many years, Robert K. Merton taught a famous, year-long graduate course at Columbia called The Analysis of Social Structures. His lectures have been recalled for their dazzling intellectual effects by those who took the course, but none of these former students has described what Merton...
Focus groups became popular in social research in the 1980s. Robert Merton has pointed to the continuities and discontinuities between focus groups and the wartime use of ‘focused interviewing’ he and his colleagues developed at the Bureau of Applied Social Research. Using a variety of sources,...
The paper revisits and restates the Merton Theorem of American religious conservatism (Puritanism) and European fascism (Nazism) as functional analogues. The original formulation the Merton Theorem identifies and describes them as functional analogues in nativism or nationalism through exclusion...
This paper considers three types and levels of ignorance about the professions: expert, amateur, and professional. The empirical data comprise my own book about the professions, the Wikipedia article on that subject, and the 105 papers that cited my book in 2008. In these three I separate...
My first semester as a tenure-track faculty member at a mid-size university began ignominiously and suggested that my academic career might be short-lived. It began with a blistering memo that was stridently critical of the academic dean’s policy which led to being taken to the proverbial...
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