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British Sociology Seen from Without and Within$
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A H Halsey and W G Runciman

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780197263426

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197263426.001.0001

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A View from Europe

A View from Europe

(p.131) 10. A View from Europe
British Sociology Seen from Without and Within
Colin Crouch
British Academy

The history of sociology can be likened to the history of the Habsburg Empire, which claimed to have legitimate sovereignty over the whole of Europe but eventually became a discontented jumble of margins. In the same way, Talcott Parsons tried to claim that sociology was the empress of the social sciences; economics, political science, and the others being allocated their places within its realm. But sociology could not match the tougher, tighter theoretical structures of political science, economics, psychology, and even possibly anthropology. It became an internally divided subject, cultivating the margins. There is a field called neo-institutionalism in which an increasing amount of good research is being done and which is challenging some of the orthodoxies of the neo-classical economics and neo-liberal political science which have come to dominate the intellectual world since the decline of Keynesianism in the 1970s.

Keywords:   Europe, sociology, economics, political science, history, Talcott Parsons, neo-institutionalism

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