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Title: The rise of empirical social research : some aspects of the development of the social sciences at the University of Chicago 1915-1930.
Author: Bulmer, Martin Ivan Alan
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 1981
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The development of the social sciences at the University of Chicago in the period between 1915 and 1930 played a significant part in the rise of empirical social research. This thesis examines these developments with particular reference to sociology and, to a lesser extent, political science, by considering the methods of social research employed at this period and the ways in which social science research was institutionalised in the university. The pre-eminent place of the Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago in the history of early American sociology is established briefly. The research methods of W.I. Thomas and F. Znaniecki's classic work The Polish Peasant in Europe and America are then,discussed. There follows a detailed examination of the methods of empirical inquiry used in the field studies supervised by R.E. Park and E.W.Burgess, and carried out mainly by graduate students in the Department of Sociology. The extent of interest in quantitative methods at this period is then considered. The influence of J.A. Field, E.W. Burgess, W.F. Ogburn and S.A. Stouffer is documented, and it is shown how much quantitative work was done by Chicago sociologists. cInterest in such methods was fostered by parallel developments in political science (under the guidance of C.E. Merriam), in psychology (notably by L.L. Thurstone) and in economics (by H. Schultz). The organisation and institutionalisation of social science research in the (University of Chicago) Local Community Research Committee, established in 192), is then documented for the period 192)-30. The creation of this interdisciplinary and interdepartmental body, which received support from the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial and other sources, marked a significant change in the place of empirical social research in the American university in the twentieth century.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History