Critiques of Research in the Social Sciences: An Appraisal by Herbert Blumer

By Herbert Blumer

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By Herbert Blumer

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Read or Download Critiques of Research in the Social Sciences: An Appraisal of Thomas and Znaniecki’s The Polish Peasant in Europe and America PDF

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Additional resources for Critiques of Research in the Social Sciences: An Appraisal of Thomas and Znaniecki’s The Polish Peasant in Europe and America

Sample text

Social becoming, like natural becoming, must be analyzed into a plurality of facts, each of which represents a succession of cause and effect. " One has to resolve social becoming into primary or basic factors between which one can ascertain cause and effect relations. This, the authors • Vol. 1, 43 • Vol. I, 36 have done. They declare that "attitudes" and "values" are the basic data of social becoming. It is necessary to make this clear; for these two terms and the relation between them constitute the foundation for their whole scheme and undertaking.

As is our control of the material world, resulting from the study of the laws of physical reality. Now we are ourselves primarily interested in these problems, but we are convinced of the necessity of approaching these and other social prob­ lems by isolating given societies and studying them, first in the totality of their objective complexity, and then comparatively. The present study • Vol. II, 1 1 18-19 was not, in fact, undertaken exclusively or even primarily as an ex­ pression of in terest in the Polish peasant (although our selection of this society was influenced by the question of immigration and by other considerations), but the Polish peasant was selected rather as a convenient object for the exemplification of a standpoint and method outlined in the methodological note forming the first pages of the present volume.

2o One other point should be mentioned here that is impor­ tant to the problem of social control. This point, as we shall see later, is also a significant item in the scheme of social theory which the authors develop. The point can be best given in their own words: We have assumed throughout this argument that if an adequate tech­ nique is developed it is possible to produce any desirable attitudes and values, but this assumption is practically justified only if we find in the individual attitudes which cannot avoid response to the class of stimula­ tions which society is able to apply to him.

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