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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 a French Sociologist

A View from a French Sociologist

(p.106) (p.107) 8. A View from a French Sociologist
British Sociology Seen from Without and Within

Dominique Schnapper

British Academy

The French are not familiar with British sociology. As a first indicator, British sociology is hardly ever translated into French. In Britain, Anthony Giddens is the most cited and the most widely read British sociologist, along with Karl Marx, Max Weber, Emile Durkheim, and Talcott Parsons. British sociology is not well known and is rather uninfluential in France. On the one hand, its so-called ‘classical’ form, used by the 1950 generation, appears to many to be too rigorous and too marked by ‘positivism’. This type of sociology is therefore the object of criticism both on the continent and among young British sociologists. What is striking when reading British sociology is that British research has often been more rigorous than French research because it is based on fieldwork of an anthropological nature, an approach which French scholars have often been reticent about. Moreover, British researchers are more scathing, when it comes to criticism of their own nation, than their French counterparts.

Keywords:   Britain, sociology, France, Anthony Giddens, sociologists, research, Emile Durkheim

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