American Sociologist Quotes
When that power of the working class is once achieved, as it has been only in the Soviet Union, I am for maintaining it by any means whatever. Dictatorship is the obvious means in a world of enemies at home and abroad. I dislike it in principle as dangerous to its own objects. But the Soviet Union has already created liberties far greater than exist elsewhere in the world. They are liberties that most closely affect the lives of the people — power in the trade unions, in peasant organizations, in the cultural life of nationalities, freedom of women in public and private life, and a tremendous development of education for adults and children.
A fundamental problem in such studies stems from the long tradition that has regarded artistic productions as social facts. By regarding such productions as social facts the analyst is relieved of the burden of demonstrating what meanings these productions have for the artist and his audience. It is too frequently assumed that such meanings can be identified by a capable analyst, independent of the interpretations brought to such works by the artist or his audiences. In my judgement artist productions must be seen as interactional creations; the meanings of which arise out of the interactions directed to them by the artist and his audience.
Is a civilization naturally backward because it is different? Outside of cannibalism, which can be matched in this country, at least, by lynching, there is no vice and no degradation in native African customs which can begin to touch the horrors thrust upon them by white masters. Drunkenness, terrible diseases, immorality, all these things have been gifts of European civilization.
There are accepted definitions of Americanism. There is none of Americanization. The reason is not hard to find. There is in America a national impulse called Americanization, which was understood as a war necessity before it had developed in time of peace. It acquired a generalization before it had become specific. It was subjected to organization and committed to the achievement of results before it was a branch of knowledge fairly evolved and reduced to practice.
We use more discriminating intelligence when we buy a used car than when we buy a religion. Buying a used car you at least look underneath the hood, hit the tires, maybe take it to a mechanic to check it out. But in buying a religion you're supposed to wear these narrow blinders, so that if anybody disagrees you can block it out. It's basically, check your brains at the door when you join a religion.
The science of human nature belongs to people who are not afraid to live independent lives. They alone have the flexible access to experience which can bring human wisdom and strength into being, and once these assets exist, they will send forth their influence with an authority that cannot be resisted, unmindful of artificial man made boundaries, reaching anywhere in the world.
In general, growth is an intrinsic source of change with potentially unintended effects and some subunits are better positioned than others to protect themselves against such effects. Oligarchical tendencies are present in almost all membership-based organizations, such as unions and voluntary associations, and if unchecked, can lead to transformations. Organizations with diffuse goals or innovative leadership are sometimes able to survive the crisis of complementing their original mission by moving onto other goals.
The point is professionalization. Academics-in-training worry about whether they are yet, can ever be, or even want to be professional intellectuals of the kind they are changing themselves into. Second or third or fourth year graduate students have not taken binding vows. They may have second thoughts. Nor have they been finally chosen. They might flunk out. Their committee might turn their theses down. Who knows what might happen?
System theories have been applied to a wide spectrum of empirical cases and policy issues. Parsons and his followers, in particular, applied their systems theory to diverse empirical phenomena in sociology as well as in other disciplines: modernization, economics, politics, social order, industrialization and development, Fascism and McCarthyism, international relations, social change and evolution, complex organizations, health care, universities, religion, professions, small groups, and family as well as abstract questions such as the place of norms in maintaining social order both historically and cross-nationally. Marxian theory and dynamic system theories have also been applied to a spectrum of diverse empirical and policy subjects.