Show Less
Restricted access

The Columbia Circle of Scholars

Selections from the Journal (1930–1957)

Elzbieta Halas

The volume contains selections from Theodore Abel’s Journal of Thoughts and Events which he kept since 1930 for over fifty years. The autobiographical narration brings into focus the scholars who contributed most to the social thought of the 20th century. Abel lived his everyday life among the most outstanding scholars in the realm of social sciences of his time. It allows the rediscovery of the now-forgotten chapter of the development of sociology in the 1930’s and 1940’s in the vibrant context of the scholars’ social life. Abel’s Journal primarily shows the two decades of the intellectual history of the Department of Sociology at Columbia University. Abel’s Journal is a primary source for the reconstruction of the great methodological debate and conflict of paradigms of the practice of sociology, especially with the participation of the circle of sociologists to which Robert M. MacIver, Florian Znaniecki, Pitirim Sorokin, Robert Lynd, Paul Lazarsfeld, George Lundberg and Robert K. Merton belonged. It sheds light on the impact of MacIver who played a significant role in the exchange of ideas between European and American scholars and was an advocate of interpretive sociology.
Contents: Emigré scholars in the USA – European and American social sciences – Sociology between the wars – Columbia relations with the Chicago School – Interpretive sociology – Conflict of paradigms in sociology – Sociological tradition.