Contemporary articles citing Ross D (1991) Origins Am Social Sc

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Abend, G. 2006. "Styles of Sociological Thought: Sociologies, Epistemologies, and the Mexican and Us Quests for Truth." Sociological Theory. 24:1 1-41. Link
Both U.S. and Mexican sociologies allege that they are in the business of making true scientific knowledge claims about the social world. Conventional conceptions of science notwithstanding, I demonstrate that their claims to truth and scientificity are based on alternative epistemological grounds. Drawing a random sample of nonquantitative articles from four leading journals, I show that, first, they assign a different role to theories, and indeed they have dissimilar understandings of what a theory should consist of. Second, whereas U.S. sociology actively struggles against subjectivity, Mexican sociology maximizes the potentials of subjective viewpoints. Third, U.S. sociologists tend to regard highly and Mexican sociologists to eagerly disregard the principle of ethical neutrality. These consistent and systematic differences raise two theoretical issues. First, I argue that Mexican and U.S. sociologies are epistemologically, semantically, and perceptually incommensurable. I contend that this problem is crucial for sociology's interest in the social conditioning of scientific knowledge's content. Second, I suggest four lines of thought that can help us explain the epistemological differences I find. Finally, I argue that sociologists would greatly profit from studying epistemologies in the same fashion they have studied other kinds of scientific and nonscientific beliefs.

Steinmetz, G. 2004. "Odious Comparisons: Incommensurability, the Case Study, and ``small N's'' in Sociology." Sociological Theory. 22:3 371-400. Link
Case studies and ``small-N comparisons'' have been attacked from two directions, positivist and incommensurabilist. At the same time, some authors have defended small-N comparisons as allowing qualitative researchers to attain a degree of scientificity, yet they also have rejected the case study as merely ``idiographic.'' Practitioners of the case study sometimes agree with these critics, disavowing all claims to scientificity. A related set of disagreements concerns the role and nature of social theory in sociology, which sometimes is described as useless and parasitic and other times as evolving in splendid isolation from empirical research. These three forms of sociological activity-comparative analysis, studies of individual cases, and social theory-are defended here from the standpoint of critical realism. In this article I first reconstruct, in very broad strokes, the dominant epistemological and ontological framework of postwar U.S. sociology. The next two sections discuss several positivist and incommensurabilist criticisms of comparison and case studies. The last two sections propose an understanding of comparison as operating along two dimensions, events and structures, and offer an illustration of the difference and relationship between the two.

TOBIN, WA. 1995. "Studying Society - the Making of Recent Social Trends in the United-states, 1929-1933." Theory and Society. 24:4 537-565. Link

Mohr, JW & V Duquenne. 1997. "The Duality of Culture and Practice: Poverty Relief in New York City, 1888-1917." Theory and Society. 26:2-3 305-356. Link

Gross, N. 2003. "Richard Rorty's Pragmatism: a Case Study in the Sociology of Ideas." Theory and Society. 32:1 93-148. Link

Breslau, D. 2003. "Economics Invents the Economy: Mathematics, Statistics, and Models in the Work of Irving Fisher and Wesley Mitchell." Theory and Society. 32:3 379-411. Link
The ``embeddedness'' of economic life in social relations has become a productive analytical principle and the basis of a penetrating critique of economic orthodoxy. But this critique raises another important, social and historical question, of how the economy became ``disembedded'' in the first place - how the multitude of transactions designated (somewhat arbitrarily) as economic were abstracted from the rest of social life and reconstituted as an object, the economy, which behaves according to its own logic. This article investigates the social sources of some innovations in economic thought that contributed to the emergence of the economy, particularly statistical indicators and mechanical models. By examining the redefinitions of the object of economic research developed by Irving Fisher and Wesley Mitchell in the 1890s and the first decades of the twentieth century, I argue that the abstraction of the economy from the remainder of social life was a strategy linked to the position of these innovators within the field of economics, conceived as a social structure. Possessing a specialized scientific cultural capital, but lacking upper class background, contacts, and dispositions that characterized the founders of academic economics, Fisher and Mitchell elaborated new definitions of their discipline's object of study, and a new type of economic expertise.

Gross, Neil & Ethan Fosse. 2012. "Why Are Professors Liberal?." Theory and Society. 41:2 127-168. Link
The political liberalism of professors-an important occupational group and anomaly according to traditional theories of class politics-has long puzzled sociologists. This article sheds new light on the subject by employing a two-step analytic procedure. In the first step, we assess the explanatory power of the main hypotheses proposed over the last half century to account for professors' liberal views. To do so, we examine hypothesized predictors of the political gap between professors and other Americans using General Social Survey data pooled from 1974-2008. Results indicate that professors are more liberal than other Americans because a higher proportion possess advanced educational credentials, exhibit a disparity between their levels of education and income, identify as Jewish, non-religious, or non-theologically conservative Protestant, and express greater tolerance for controversial ideas. In the second step of our article, we develop a new theory of professors' politics on the basis of these findings (though not directly testable with our data) that we think holds more explanatory promise than existing approaches and that sets an agenda for future research.

Fourcade, Marion & Rakesh Khurana. 2013. "From Social Control to Financial Economics: the Linked Ecologies of Economics and Business in Twentieth Century America." Theory and Society. 42:2 121-159. Link
This article draws on historical material to examine the co-evolution of economic science and business education over the course of the twentieth century, showing that fields evolve not only through internal struggles but also through struggles taking place in adjacent fields. More specifically, we argue that the scientific strategies of business schools played an essential-if largely invisible and poorly understood-role in major transformations in the organization and substantive direction of social-scientific knowledge, and specifically economic knowledge, in twentieth century America. We use the Wharton School as an illustration of the earliest trends and dilemmas (ca. 1900-1930), when business schools found themselves caught between their business connections and their striving for moral legitimacy in higher education. Next, we look at the creation of the Carnegie Tech Graduate School of Industrial Administration after World War II. This episode illustrates the increasingly successful claims of social scientists, backed by philanthropic foundations, on business education and the growing appeal of ``scientific'' approaches to decision-making and management. Finally, we argue that the rise of the Graduate School of Business at the University of Chicago from the 1960s onwards (and its closely related cousin at the University of Rochester) marks the decisive ascendancy of economics, and particularly financial economics, in business education over the other behavioral disciplines. We document the key role of these institutions in diffusing ``Chicago-style'' economic approaches-offering support for deregulatory policies and popularizing narrowly financial understandings of the firm-that sociologists have described as characteristic of the modern neo liberal regime.