Tracing the evolution of French sociology from the early twentieth century to the present day, this insightful book brings to the fore the renowned origins but relatively slow development of the discipline in France. Divided into four chronological sections it focuses on the social changes and institutional transformations that have impacted on the history of sociology in France as it relates to both higher education and research. In doing so, it draws attention to three major features of French sociology: the imbalance between theory and method caused by its philosophical roots, the difficulty of locating it in relation to other disciplines, and the close links between sociology and political thought and action.
Philippe Masson is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Nantes, France.
Cherry Schrecker is Assistant Professor at the University of Lorraine, France.
1. French sociology before 1945: philosophy, institutions and politics
2. American influence and the development of disciplines (1945-1963)
3. The development and institutionalisation of sociology as an academic discipline (1963 - 1980)
4. Questioning the old models and bringing in the new (1980 to the present)
Conclusion: from present to future?
"This is a really useful book; anglophone readers need to know more about French sociology, and the focus on the period since 1945 allows space for some recent history commonly neglected. It takes empirical work seriously, includes sociology outside academia, and places French sociology against its broader social background, showing that factors ranging from the traditional structure of university disciplines to the felt needs of those working on the government Plan have played formative roles at different developmental stages. This should inform comparison, and perhaps encourage more of us to scale the language barrier." - Jennifer Platt, University of Sussex, UK