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Title: The British sociological tradition in the interwar years (1920-1940)
Author: Rocquin, Baudry
ISNI:       0000 0004 7230 2163
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis argues that there was a strong tradition of British sociological thought that developed in the interwar years (1920-1940) at the LSE but also outside universities under the guise of 'public sociology', 'social surveys' and 'the sociological imagination'. Sociology was seen here specifically as a democratic, reflexive discipline supposed to entail change by individuals and fostered by philanthropy as opposed to the French, academic and ex cathedra approach of collective institutions fostered by the State. It was especially under the heading of 'new anthropology' that Radcliffe-Brown and Malinowski developed their own version of it, and social anthropology is still remembered today as the 'real', most successful school of British sociology, paradoxically. Both strands represent the British sociological tradition at its best and the thesis concludes that despite two different names (Durkheim's sociologie and Malinowski's 'modern anthropology') and contexts (that of a Republic versus that of an Empire), both sciences shared a similar humanistic concern for European modernity and for the preservation of societies. This uncovers the world-enriching specificities of Britain to world sociology (the birth of a public sociology, the tradition of the social survey and the development of the sociological imagination) that only became apparent after WWII. This thesis is thus an original contribution to the field which sheds a brand new light on an old problem thanks to 1) a comparative approach between Britain and France which has never been attempted before 2) taking into account not only the institutional history but also the intellectual history and sociological ideas 3) drawing on previously unused material such as book reviews from the journal l'Année sociologique and interwar textbooks to study the reception of British sociology in France 4) finding the contours of its specific national tradition 5) extending our knowledge of the discipline in the interwar years.
Supervisor: Gildea, Robert Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available