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Sociology Chicago School of Sociology
by
Mary Jo Deegan

Introduction

The Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago established an early intellectual and professional dominance in the discipline. Founded in 1892, it began the first graduate program in the profession, trained a large proportion of all doctoral students from 1892 until the early 1930s, and helped define the theory and methods of the profession for decades. The first chair of the department, Albion W. Small, was the founding editor of one of the leading journals, the American Journal of Sociology, in 1895, and he played a significant role in establishing the major professional organization, the American Sociological Society, in 1905 (this was renamed the American Sociological Association [ASA] in 1959). The story of the Chicago school of sociology (CSS) is complex because it encompasses almost a century of work with different powerful intellectuals claiming priority and leadership as well as a vast literature produced by scholars from Chicago and around the world. The CSS established textbooks, classic works outlining the boundaries and interests of the profession, a largely qualitative methodology supported by popular ethnographies, and specializations in several important areas of study, namely, immigration, urban sociology, juvenile delinquency, crime and deviance, race relations, women, and other concentrations. The common worldview emerges from John Dewey and, especially, George Herbert Mead. Both Mead and Dewey worked with a large network of academicians, students, activists, family, friends, and the community and educational organizations in which they implemented their ideas. This vast interconnecting group and associated institutions were anchored at the University of Chicago but included other people and academic institutions, such as William James at Harvard University in Boston and Charles H. Cooley at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Mead’s most important book for sociologists, Mind, Self and Society (Mead 1934), cited under General Works, CSS establishes the social nature of the self, thought, and community as a product of human meaning and interaction. Each person becomes human through interaction with others. Institutional patterns are learned in communities dependent on shared language and symbols. Human intelligence is vital for reflective behavior, and social scientists have a special responsibility to help create democratic decision making and political action, especially in the city. The scientific model of observation, data collections, and interpretation is fundamentally a human project. Sociologists can learn to take the role of others because this is how all humans learn to become part of society.

General Works, ECSS

Defining the boundaries of the Chicago school of sociology (CSS) is a constant, changing task. Over time, different people, books, and ideas are included and excluded, so knowing the date of the general writing combined with the eras included within it are important. Three eras of the CSS are included in this bibliography. I begin with the early CSS (ECSS) from 1892 to 1920. The Publications of the Members of the University of Chicago, 1902–1916 is an early overview of major writings in the ECSS and contains a list of who is included in it. Mead 1999 and Mead 2001 concentrate on play, education, comparative psychology, and the emergence of the self before 1910. William Thomas, George Herbert Mead’s student, wrote on similar topics, and Volkhardt 1951 constitutes a collection in which many of these studies are introduced.

  • Mead, George H. 1999. Play, school, and society. Edited and introduced by Mary Jo Deegan. New York: Peter Lang.

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    Play is central to Mead’s theory of social behavior. The child particularly is involved in play as the source of learning social meanings and roles. The school should support this playfulness and not be in debt to a business model of training young workers.

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  • Mead, George H. 2001. Essays on social psychology. Edited and introduced by Mary Jo Deegan. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books.

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    Mead’s earliest writings were collected in a book that made it into the final phases of production around 1910 but was not published. It was published for the first time in 2001. Mead’s transition from a comparative psychologist, studying both animal and human behavior, appears in various essays. Mead’s understanding of the unique social origins of behavior is found in these essays, which gradually move toward one social psychological perspective.

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  • Univ. of Chicago. 1917. Publications of the members of the University of Chicago, 1902–1916. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    This reference book provides many useful items, such as bibliographies for the early staff, lists of graduate students, and department information.

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  • Volkhardt, Edmund H., ed. 1951. Social behavior and personality: Contributions of W. I. Thomas to theory and social research. New York: Social Science Research Council.

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    As the subtitle states, this book is a collection of essays by Thomas and an assessment of his theories. The editor established the problematic authorship of Old World Traits Transplanted, which was written primarily by Thomas with the assistance of Herbert A. Miller. The book was reprinted in 1981 (Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1981).

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General Works, CSS

The Chicago school of sociology (CSS) from 1920 to 1940 was the first group to formally be referred to as the Chicago school of sociology. The definition of the CSS remains contested, and this debate began in 1920 when Robert Park and Ernest Burgess claimed that they were the first scientific sociologists at the University of Chicago and summarily announced that they were breaking from the work and ideas of their predecessors. This announcement was political and ignored the significant continuation between the “new” and the “old” sociology, referred to here as the CSS and the early CSS (ECSS), respectively. Especially important in this identifiable continuity is the fact that many followers of the CSS, including Park, Burgess, and Ellsworth Faris—the three faculty members who made up the CSS after 1920—were trained by the ECSS. Park, moreover, was profoundly influenced by John Dewey and W. I. Thomas, two members of the ECSS, and he joined the ECSS in 1913. Herbert Blumer (Blumer 1969), a student of Park, George Herbert Mead, and Burgess, joined the CSS in 1931. His first statements on symbolic interactionism, a major approach within the CSS, began in the late 1930s. From 1935 until approximately 1965 the faculty at the CSS consisted largely of students of the CSS, who continued and expanded the work of their mentors. Matthews 1977 and Rauschenbush 1979 are intellectual biographies of Park and the development of the CSS. T. V. Smith and Leonard White took part of the funding and planning of the CSS during the 1920s, and they summarize this interdisciplinary work (Smith and White 1929). Mead 1934 and Mead 1936 were published posthumously by Mead’s students, who collected lecture and class notes to produce works on Mead’s theory of human meaning and behavior that were widely distributed. Faris 1967 provides a compact overview and summary of the CSS. Shils 1980 constitutes a memoir of the author’s student years in the CSS and later work as part of the next generation.

  • Blumer, Herbert. 1969. Symbolic interactionism. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

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    The major premises of the Chicago school of social psychology reflected in the work of Blumer are established here, in which he coins the term symbolic interaction. His interpretation resulted in a continuing vision as well as a journal and an organization following this particular and popular interpretation.

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  • Faris, Robert E. L. 1967. Chicago sociology: 1920–1932. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    The major people and schools of thought defining Chicago sociology under the primary influence of Park and Burgess are summarized in this important little book. Many factual errors on people and dates are included, so it must be approached with a careful check on the information.

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  • Matthews, Fred H. 1977. Quest for an American sociology: Robert E. Park and the Chicago school. Montreal: McGill-Queens Univ. Press.

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    Park is the focus of this study of both his work and the origins of Chicago sociology between 1920 and 1932.

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  • Mead, George H. 1934. Mind, self and society. Edited and introduced by Charles Morris. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    This seminal text presents the stenographic, edited notes from Mead’s required course in advanced social psychology offered in the late 1920s. This course was required for all sociology students from approximately 1910 until Mead’s death in 1931.

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  • Mead, George H. 1936. Movements of thought in the nineteenth century. Edited and introduced by Merritt H. Moore. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    Student notes make up the text of this series of essays on the ideas shaping the 19th century and Mead’s thought. Mead recognized William James and John Dewey as major architects of “pragmatism.” Karl Marx’s ideas are also examined as well as changes in technology and social organization.

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  • Rauschenbush, Winifred. 1979. Robert E. Park: Biography of a sociologist. Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press.

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    Rauschenbush, Park’s graduate assistant, wrote an intimate view of Park’s life and ideas. She used correspondence and Park’s writings to follow his life from childhood to his work as a reporter and as a secretary to Booker T. Washington at the Tuskegee Institute to his academic career and founding role in the CSS.

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  • Shils, Edward A. 1980. The calling of sociology and other essays on the pursuit of learning. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    A number of essays on Chicago sociologists and overviews of specializations in the CSS are presented here by Shils, a member of the CSS and TCSS.

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  • Smith, T. V., and Leonard D. White, eds. 1929. Chicago: An experiment in social science. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    The first five years of the Local Community Research Committee are evaluated. The publications from this project, the names of researchers and assistants, and the subsequent occupations of students are listed.

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General Works, TCSS

The third Chicago school of sociology (TCSS) developed from 1940 to 1965. Arguably, there is a more contemporary era, a fourth CSS from 1965 to 1990, but scholarship on this possible school is lacking. Gary Fine was instrumental in claiming a third CSS (Fine 1995), although he questioned whether it should be called a second or third era. I call it a third era here. Disagreements about the place of symbolic interactionism (SI) and a separate CSS cannot be settled here, so this debate is noted. Fine 1995 consists of edited papers summarizing the different subfields in the TCSS and introduced the idea that TCSS marked a shift from the previous generation. A new approach within the TCSS, called “dramaturgy,” is developed in Goffman 1959, while Goffman 1974 introduces “frame analysis.” Plummer 1997 constitutes a compilation of major critiques of the different schools that emerged over time.

Textbooks and Book Series

The early Chicago school of sociology (ECSS) established a defining textbook as early as Small and Vincent 1894. An even more widely distributed textbook, Park and Burgess 1921, was adopted across the discipline in multiple editions between 1921 and 1945. More recently, anthologies, handbooks, and book series have defined the CSS and symbolic interactionism (SI) with changing members, new lists of fundamental texts, and new directions offered. Norman Denzin, for example, has produced a highly important journal, Studies in Symbolic Interaction, from 1976 to the present, in which connections between SI and postmodernism are explored. The latter theory has generated heated debate, however, and is not accepted by many SI advocates. Two journals, Symbolic Interactionism and the Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, continue to generate CSS and SI analyses that generally are more accepted by those scholars identifying with the majority of advocates for this perspective. These journals are contested, too, and should not be characterized as conservative or conforming to one standard. Faris 1937 is a popular textbook in which the social psychological approach of the CSS is integrated. Faris 1948 focuses on the social problems initiated by rapid social change using this interactionist framework. Stone and Farberman 1970, Manis and Meltzer 1978, and Deegan and Hill 1987 are compilations of classic and contemporary writings defining symbolic interaction, a popular branch of the CSS. Sandstom, et al. 2010 constitutes the most recent textbook analyzing society from this perspective. Lester Kurtz annotated a bibliography of major essays and books that helps navigate this huge literature (Kurtz 1984). In Lengermann and Niebrugge-Brantley 1998, the “women’s Chicago school of sociology” is integrated into the history of early women in the discipline.

  • Deegan, Mary Jo, and Michael R. Hill, eds. 1987. Women and symbolic interaction. Boston: Allen and Unwin.

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    Sex and gender are fruitfully studied as social processes here, especially as guided by the work of Jane Addams and George Herbert Mead.

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  • Faris, Ellsworth. 1937. The nature of human nature. New York: McGraw-Hill.

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    Faris, a member of the CSS, developed a textbook based on Mead’s social psychology. This text helped define the CSS between the 1930s and the 1950s. This textbook helped popularize these ideas, which were redefined by Herbert Blumer in his notion of SI beginning in the late 1930s and then culminating in 1969 with the more widespread adoption of the term.

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  • Faris, Robert E. L. 1948. Social disorganization. New York: Ronald.

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    This textbook focuses on the work of William Thomas, Robert Park, Ernest Burgess, and other members of the CSS and combines their writings with the work of Talcott Parsons and his structural functionalism.

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  • Kurtz, Lester R. 1984. Evaluating Chicago sociology: A guide to the literature, with an annotated bibliography. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    This annotated bibliography contains short essays on several hundred items on the CSS and its individual practitioners. It is now more than twenty-five years old and needs to be considered in light of its having emerged from a particular era.

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  • Lengermann, Patricia, and Jill Niebrugge-Brantley. 1998. The women founders: Sociology and social theory, 1830–1930. New York: McGraw-Hill.

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    This general textbook has a lengthy section on the “women’s CSS.” The relationships among the women, their methods, and selections of their writings are included.

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  • Manis, Jerome, and Bernard Meltzer, eds. 1978. Symbolic interactionism: A reader in social psychology. 3d ed. Boston: Beacon.

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    This popular set of readings includes classic essays defining symbolic interactionism from the perspective of Blumer.

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  • Park, Robert E., and Ernest W. Burgess. 1921. Introduction to the science of sociology. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    This classic textbook, the “green Bible,” legitimated the boundaries of the CSS and its major figures, including Albion W. Small, Faris, and Thomas. Different editions gradually changed the definition of the field and who was inside and outside of it. The 1925 edition was reissued in 1967 and is the “definitive” early version.

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  • Sandstom, Kent L., Daniel D. Martin, and Gary Alan Fine. 2010. Symbols, selves, and social reality. 3d ed. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

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    The most recent textbook summary of the Chicago school’s symbolic interactionist approach. The range of new theories and ideas are presented, with a strong summary of new definitions of the concept of the “self.” But Addams is not included as a founder, and few women or African Americans are included as experts. Sexism and racism are considered but not integrated into the perspective.

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  • Small, Albion W., and George E. Vincent. 1894. An introduction to the study of society. New York: American Book.

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    This is the first textbook of the CSS and it established a community focus, with both rural and urban sections and mapping of these settlements.

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  • Stone, Gregory, and Harvey Farberman, eds. 1970. Social psychology through symbolic interaction. Waltham, MA: Xerox.

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    This anthology establishes the readings and authors who define the CSS from 1892 until 1970 with an emphasis on the 1950s and the 1960s.

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Immigration

Chicago was the center of an influx of millions of immigrants from Europe to the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The city was impacted by myriad languages and cultures, which were constantly changing as new groups and cultures entered the city and formed new institutions and communities. Jane Addams (Addams 1905) spoke at the University of Chicago, where she defined immigration as a field of study neglected by scholars. This lacuna was filled by many early Chicago school of sociology (ECSS) studies, including Thomas and Znaniecki 1918–1920. Blumer 1939 appraises the impact of The Polish Peasant in Europe and America and declares the work the most important sociological study for more than twenty years. Other Chicago sociologists studied other immigrant groups and their distribution in Chicago. Veblen 1899 notes changes in class and leisure patterns in fin-de-siècle America. Lieberson 1980 presents a historical and more contemporary CSS position on immigration. Thomas, et al. 1921 signals some of the transitions in immigration after World War I.

  • Addams, Jane. 1905. Recent immigration: A field neglected by the scholar. University Record 9:274–284.

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    This convocation speech at the University of Chicago called for more academic analysis of the teeming population in Chicago that was changing the city and everyday life in it. Immigration soon became a priority topic for the ECSS.

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  • Blumer, Herbert. 1939. An appraisal of Thomas and Znaniecki’s The Polish peasant in Europe and America. Bulletin 44. New York: Social Science Research Council.

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    The multivolume The Polish Peasant in Europe and America was the most significant book in sociology for more than twenty years, according to Herbert Blumer.

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  • Lieberson, Stanley. 1980. A piece of the pie: Black and white immigrants since 1880. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.

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    This sweeping comparison of the opportunities of black and white immigrants documents patterns of both discrimination and equality.

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  • Thomas, W. I., Robert E. Park, and Herbert A. Miller. 1921. Old world traits transplanted. New York: Harper and Brothers.

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    This book constitutes a bridge between the ECSS and the CSS, combining the study of immigrants, social disorganization, and the rise of Robert Park and the decline of William Thomas. The book was reprinted in 1971 with the author as W. I. Thomas together with Robert E. Park and Herbert A. Miller (Montclair, NJ: Patterson Smith, 1971).

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  • Thomas, W. I., and Florian Znaniecki. 1918–1920. The Polish peasant in Europe and America. 5 vols. Vols. 1–2. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    Thousands of Polish immigrants were uprooted from villages and kin and transplanted to a tumultuous, modernizing city. Their life histories, captured in the correspondence exchanged between families in Poland and Chicago, became a methodological tool for studying everyday life. Institutional changes often resulted in new values and attitudes together with periods of chaos. Vols. 3–5. Boston: Richard G. Badger, 1919–1920.

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  • Veblen, Thorstein. 1899. The theory of the leisure class: An economic study of the evolution of institutions. New York: Macmillan.

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    The appearance of status symbols and conspicuous consumption radically changed the role of material goods and social class in the United States. As more people, especially women, had money to spend in a growing consumer culture, the use of objects to determine social class increased.

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Ethnographies and Qualitative Methods

Qualitative methods are a defining feature of the Chicago school of sociology (CSS) and this continues to be an established characteristic. Thomas and Znaniecki 1918–1920 (cited under Immigration) introduced the “life history document” in their groundbreaking study of the Polish peasant. Starting with the early CSS (ECSS), the work of the CSS in the 1920s and 1930s built on this heritage with a series of popular ethnographies. Anderson 1923, the first such effort, became a classic text. Each subsequent ethnography refined Robert Park and Ernest Burgess’s understanding of Chicago’s social mosaic. Chicago’s “natural areas” were literal pieces of a conceptual puzzle in Park and Burgess’s expanding analysis of the city as a social form. Zorbaugh 1929, for example, links Anderson’s “hobos,” who lived in “the rialto of the half-world,” with gangs in “little hell,” the latter studied by Frederick Thrasher (Thrasher 1927). Each core ethnography usually involved multiple methods (now called “triangulation”) and drew on Palmer 1928, developed under the guidance of Burgess. The large maps done for Chicago—the sociological laboratory— were organized in one room where students learned about methods, used census data, and coordinated their different interests and experiences. Creating a map was often a student assignment, and interpretation of the data was stressed. Rice 1931 identifies the methodology of the ECSS and CSS, and the author connects this work to European data collection methods. Whyte 1943 constitutes a study of young men hanging on a corner together in an identifiable urban pattern. Glaser and Strauss 1967 initiates a new TCSS methodology, “grounded theory,” which starts with observations and builds a theory from this empirical foundation. Deegan 2001 summarizes the pattern of CSS ethnographies from the earliest to the most recent. Chicago ethnographies are flourishing in many universities and being published by many presses, especially by the University of California Press and SAGE, which produce several qualitative methods books annually. Similarly, the Journal of Contemporary Ethnography continues to support and publish new ethnographic literature at a steady and prolific rate. New departments continue to emerge as institutional resources for ethnographies, and these vary by personnel and eras. Thus, the University of California–San Diego, the University of Georgia, the University of Nevada–Las Vegas, Syracuse University, the University of California–San Francisco, the University of Texas–Austin, the University of California–Berkeley, and the University of California–Los Angeles have been home to such enterprises.

  • Anderson, Nels. 1923. The hobo: The sociology of the homeless man. Introduction by Robert E. Park. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    This study of the “main stem” of the hobo district was vivid and detailed because Anderson had been a “hobo” for more than a year before studying with Park and Burgess. Anderson sympathized with this population and was far less judgmental than most people, including Park.

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  • Deegan, Mary Jo. 2001. The Chicago school of ethnography. In The handbook of ethnography. Edited by Paul Atkinson, Amanda Coffey, Sara Delamont, John Lofland, and Lyn Lofland, 11–25. London: SAGE.

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    “Core Chicago ethnographies” define the theory and practices of the CSS under the sponsorship of Park and Burgess. Some core ethnographies helped define specializations or schools with the CSS, such as studies of crime or the black family. The work of the third Chicago school of sociology (TCSS) was affected dramatically by the core ethnographies.

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  • Glaser, Barney, and Anselm Strauss. 1967. The discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research. Chicago: Aldine.

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    Grounded theory is a method to approach data collection with a minimal, if nonexistent, theory defining the topic to be studied. “Sensitizing concepts” emerge from the process and explanations of behavior are connected empirically to direct observations and immersion in the setting.

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  • MacLean, Annie Marion. 1899. Two weeks in department stores. American Journal of Sociology 4:721–741.

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    This is one of the earliest participant observation studies in the ECSS and the discipline. The work was undertaken in conjunction with the National Consumers’ League and had a political focus similar to contemporary “critical ethnography.”

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  • Palmer, Vivian M. 1928. Field studies in sociology: A student’s manual. Introduction by Ernest W. Burgess. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    This field manual taught many students how to do Chicago sociology in a systematic manner. Groups of students used the techniques together to study different groups, or “natural areas,” especially in Chicago. Map-making, ethnographies, and case studies played central roles in the training of sociology students.

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  • Rice, Stuart A., ed. 1931. Methods in social science: A case book. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    Different methodologies associated with specific figures, often associated with the CSS, are discussed in separate chapters. This book helped to clarify the positions, and it became a standard methodology text for many years.

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  • Thrasher, Frederick M. 1927. The gang: A study of 1,313 gangs in Chicago. Preface by Robert E. Park. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    “Social disorganization” in “interstitial areas” was reflected in the emergence of gangs in Chicago. Thrasher relied on the maps generated by the Local Community Research Committee to document the geographical and social distribution of gang activity in the city.

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  • Whyte, William Foote. 1943. Street corner society. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    This study of an Italian neighborhood documents its social organization and its association with social class. An informant was highly instrumental in the discovery of this social order, and many Chicago faculty created the theory and methods used to produce this account. Participant observation is defined as a “scientific” approach.

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  • Zorbaugh, Harvey Warren. 1929. The gold coast and the slum: A sociological study of Chicago’s near north side. Introduction by Robert E. Park. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    Chicago’s “gold coast and slum” abutted each other physically, but immense social distances existed such that the respective residents experienced great social distance and were not good neighbors to each other. Such “natural areas” were ecological “zones” sheltering different lifestyles and customs.

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Juvenile Delinquency

As crime increased in Chicago, the young age of the lawbreakers became evident. Chicago established the first juvenile court in 1899, with the considerable help of sociologists from Hull-House, the social settlement. Studying why youths became involved in crime was an important topic in the Chicago school of sociology (CSS), and institutions such as the Institute for Juvenile Research focused on the study of youthful criminals. The possibility of changing the behavior of these young rule breakers became central to the theory and findings of the CSS. The study of youthful criminal activities often overlaps with the study of crime in general, the next section of this bibliography. Breckinridge 1912 introduces the notion that urban children had particular behaviors, including the need to have youthful criminals treated differently from adult criminals. Clifford Shaw and Henry McKay (Shaw and McKay 1931; Shaw, et al. 1938; Shaw and McKay 1972) extensively studied for more than forty years a family of criminal brothers and the relationship among crime, youth, and the city. Bennett 1981 summarizes these and other CSS studies of juvenile delinquency. Emerging patterns of young Chicanos and Chicanas in the American city are observed in Horowitz 1983.

  • Bennett, James. 1981. Oral history and delinquency. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    The use of oral history as a methodology in the CSS is analyzed here with an emphasis on the work of Shaw and McKay.

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  • Breckinridge, Sophonisba, ed. 1912. The child in the city. Chicago: Department of Social Investigations, Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy.

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    The problems of the urban child were analyzed systematically here for the first time. Work with neighbors, playgrounds, social settlements, and the juvenile court were advocated. Viewing children and youth as flexible and educable instead of being hardened criminals to be punished was part of this community response.

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  • Horowitz, Ruth. 1983. Honor and the American dream: Culture and social identity in a Chicano community. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers Univ. Press.

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    Chicano youth, both male and female, combine cultural traits from Mexico and the United States while living in a Chicago neighborhood. Dreams of success combine with street violence to make an explosive mix.

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  • Shaw, Clifford R., and Henry D. McKay. 1931. Social factors in juvenile delinquency: A study of the community, the family, and the gang in relation to delinquent behavior for the National Commission on Law Observance and Enforcement. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office.

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    This classic statement on the origins of crime was part of a national study that helped shape our national understanding of the topic.

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  • Shaw, Clifford R., and Henry D. McKay. 1972. Juvenile delinquency and urban areas. Rev. ed., with a new introduction by James F. Short, Jr. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    The urban ecology model is employed here to analyze the distribution of crime according to environmental factors such as social class, housing, and peers.

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  • Shaw, Clifford R., Henry D. McKay, James E. McDonald, et al. 1938. Brothers in crime. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    Five brothers involved in criminal activities as a function of their family, neighborhood, gangs, prisons, and courts were interviewed over a period of years. This longitudinal study uses court records and other documents to show how the brothers followed a career and family business associated with crime.

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Crime and Deviance

The Chicago school of sociology (CSS) and the third CSS (TCSS) are noted for their analysis of serious crimes, including organized crime, and more unusual behaviors that may or may not be defined as criminal. Often, these latter activities have been defined as “deviant,” suggesting their tendency to break from behaviors usually defined as expected, tolerated, or “normal.” Deviance is often hard to determine and is subject to secretive actions, sometimes arrests, and often social disapproval. Crimes are defined by the legal system, so questions of prisons, courts, police, lawyers, and the law are important issues. Deviance may be defined by this same process, but the role of social service agents, mental health workers, and moral agents such as ministers, friends, and family members are also significant. Kellor 1901 introduces the topic of race and crime in an important set of articles of which one reference is included here. This was followed by Davis 1910, the author of which established a laboratory to study behaviors in one of the earliest female reformatories. Female deviance, both as criminals and as prostitutes, is the subject of Thomas 1923. John Landesco initiated the study of organized crime (Landesco 1929), partially because Chicago was one of its major centers in the United States. Reckless 1933 combines qualitative and quantitative methods to investigate a sweeping pattern of vice in Chicago that permeated the city. Sutherland 1937 then introduces an important method of studying crime using a first-person account of the life of a professional thief. Another surge of deviance studies occurred in 1963. Becker 1963 develops “labeling theory,” a major approach to the study of delinquency and deviance within symbolic interaction. Erving Goffman studied discrediting attributes, called “stigmas,” and broadened the scope of deviance (Goffman 1963).

  • Becker, Howard S. 1963. Outsiders: Studies in the sociology of deviance. New York: Free Press.

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    “Labeling theory,” a major approach to the construction of delinquency and deviance, is articulated in this text. Becker argues that it is the assignment of labels to rule-breaking behavior that leads to the category of deviance and not the behavior itself. Moral entrepreneurs specifically look for examples of such behavior to label as deviant.

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  • Davis, Katharine Bement. 1910. Reformation of women: Modern methods of dealing with offenders. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 36:37–42.

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    Davis led the women’s reformatory movement, documented the failure of the biological model to explain women’s criminality, and established a social laboratory for the study of women and crime based on the models generated by the early CSS (ECSS).

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  • Goffman, Erving. 1963. Stigma: Notes on the management of spoiled identity. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

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    Stigma as “discredited identity” profoundly changed the understanding of deviance from a universal, law-breaking standard to something negotiated, often hidden, sometimes discovered, and broad in its scope. This book moved deviance into a topic that was more cross-cultural, more socially defined, and less involved with the criminal justice system than earlier definitions of the subject.

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  • Kellor, Frances A. 1901. The criminal Negro. Arena 25 (January): 59–68.

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    The study of blacks and crime became a specialization in all the branches of the CSS. This series of articles documents the beginning of this interest and the environmental approach to crime and to race relations when many sociologists adhered to a more biological explanation. The series continues in the same volume: (February): 190–197; (March): 308–316; (April): 419–428.

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  • Landesco, John. 1929. Organized crime in Chicago. Chicago: Illinois Association for Criminal Justice.

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    Organized crime was little understood when this book appeared. It announced the emergence of a new type of criminal activity and organization that was especially powerful in Chicago. Because of the city’s high crime rate and violence, Landesco gained fame as an authority on a new social pattern that swept the country during Prohibition.

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  • Landesco, John. 1932–1933. Crime and the failure of institutions in Chicago’s immigrant areas. Journal of the American Institute of Criminal Law and Criminology 23:238–248.

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    The community origins of crime are explored here. The emphasis on the city, immigration, and the criminal justice system are characteristics of the CSS.

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  • Reckless, Walter C. 1933. Vice in Chicago. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    This complex and comprehensive book directly continued the work of the Chicago ethnographers and, in particular, the work of the Chicago Vice Commission. With five maps and seventy-eight tables, this quantitative, qualitative, and historical study was a tour de force in drawing on more than twenty years of research on a city infamous for its organized crime.

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  • Sutherland, Edwin H. 1937. The professional thief. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    The use of informants as the focus of analysis and a case study was central here. This methodology shows how the informant, a professional thief, entered into a life of crime and managed the occupational problems associated with it.

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  • Thomas, William I. 1923. The unadjusted girl: With cases and standpoint for behavior analysis. Boston: Little, Brown.

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    The “unadjusted girl” is important for the study of deviance, gender, case methods, and the life history document. This book established a natural history approach to the study of female deviance that previously had been loaded heavily with moral judgments about good and bad women.

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Race Relations, ECSS and CSS

The Chicago School of Race Relations (CSRR) sometimes includes studies of immigrant groups and immigration as well as the interactions between whites and people of color, but it increasingly stresses the African diaspora and former colonial relations. This shift occurred because immigrants from the Old World were increasingly defined as “white” groups. Using this more specific definition applied to people of color, the study of black–white interactions is particularly vital. The CSRR played an important role between 1930 and 1965 in training black men for the doctorate. These scholar/activists became faculty members in predominantly black academies and headed many civil rights groups, such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the National Urban League (NUL), and the Rosenwald Fund. This tradition continues today, and contemporary ethnographies of black communities remain gripping and popular both in the profession and in the wider society. Reuter 1918 analyzes the unique patterns of the mulatto in the United States. The Chicago Commission on Race Relations, through the work of the Chicago Urban League, undertook the first major analysis of an urban race riot using a team of investigators (Chicago Commission on Race Relations 1922). Frazier 1932 and Frazier 1949 open up study of the Negro family in Chicago and the United States, although interpretation of such study has led to considerable controversy. Johnson 1934 documents how many of the economic and political patterns of the plantation system remained until the 1930s. Similarly, Doyle 1937 analyzes Jim Crow patterns of etiquette and class relations in the South. Everett Stonequist picks up some of the themes of Reuter in a book (Stonequist 1937) on the marginal man. Oliver Cox was a strong critique of this early Chicago school of sociology (ECSS) and CSS work. In his major contribution, Cox 1964, he studied capitalism as a world system, although his stellar work here was recognized widely only through a later work, Hunter 2000.

  • Chicago Commission on Race Relations. 1922. The Negro in Chicago: A study of race relations and a race riot. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    This important policy study examines the 1919 Chicago race riot, its roots in community and institutional problems, and its possible creative response to prevent another outbreak of racial violence. The multiple topics of urban areas, race, crime, and collective behavior are visible. The study was conducted in conjunction with the Chicago Urban League.

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  • Cox, Oliver C. 1964. Capitalism as a system. New York: Monthly Review.

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    The world as a unified, capitalist system with profits garnered and exploited by colonial powers and capitalists to the detriment of people of color was first brilliantly explicated by Cox.

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  • Doyle, Bertram. 1937. The etiquette of race relations in the South. Introduction by Robert E. Park. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    The “caste and class” approach to race relations is central here. The book describes yet another regional barrier to the melting pot process, namely, the legacy of Southern etiquette in the American South. Doyle showed the persistence of these demeaning rituals and the “social distance” that they maintained. Although society changed its formal laws, interpersonal segregation remained.

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  • Frazier, E. Franklin. 1932. The Negro family in Chicago. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    After World War I, Chicago was the focus of a major internal migration of black people from the South to the North. Frazier noted this urban pattern and contrasted it with the peasant experience of many black farmers from the South, repeating many themes from the immigration studies of Thomas and Znaniecki (cited under Immigration) of the ECSS.

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  • Frazier, E. Franklin. 1949. The Negro family in the United States. New York: Macmillan.

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    Frazier’s critical examination of family life and problems made this a controversial book when it appeared in 1949 and in the 1960s when it was used in the infamous Moynihan Report on black families, social problems, and the matriarchal control exercised by black women.

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  • Hunter, Herbert, ed. 2000. The sociology of Oliver C. Cox: New perspectives. Stamford, CT: JAI.

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    The innovative Cox was a critic of the Chicago school of caste and class and has been systematically misunderstood and miscategorized in terms of his ideas and relations to the CSS. He has been depicted as an outsider to the CSS instead of a graduate from the program.

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  • Johnson, Charles S. 1934. Shadow of the plantation. Introduction by Robert E. Park. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    This cultural analysis of the continuing institution of the plantation economy and resulting social statuses in the southern United States is a vital ethnography of life in the South after the emancipation of slaves. The author employs interviews and demographic information in this book, which is vital to the CSRR.

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  • Reuter, Edward Byron. 1918. The mulatto in the United States. Boston: Badger.

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    Reuter advances the theory that being biracial affords certain privileges in white America. Some biological biases appear, but generally this book is part of the ECSS and its challenge to racial discrimination.

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  • Stonequist, Everett V. 1937. The marginal man. Introduction by Robert E. Park. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.

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    “The marginal man,” associated with the work of Park, became a frequently used concept in the CSS. Stonequist examined the concept in depth and established it as significant in the study of race relations, immigration, and, to some degree, deviance, for at least two decades.

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Race Relations, TCSS

The third Chicago school of sociology (TCSS) reflects the many social changes that resulted in the modern civil rights movement. The primary text defining this new era and sociologists studying it is Myrdal 1944. The large staff employed in this analysis drew heavily from scholars trained in the CSS. A complex picture of Chicago race relations is drawn in Drake and Cayton 1945 in which the city’s historic association with Abolitionists, the Great Migration from the South to the North, black institutions, and urban problems surrounding housing, crime, and unemployment are analyzed. The tradition of Chicago ethnographies continued, especially reflecting the influence of Wilson 1978. The linkages among the early CSS (ECSS), CSS, and TCSS created a strong scholarly heritage. Horace Cayton reflected on his personal experience of race and class relations in Chicago and the CSS in Cayton 1970. Strickland 1966 documents the history of the Chicago Urban League, which was central to the CSS, especially in terms of public policy. Wacker 1983 examines the work and careers of many sociologists in the Chicago School of Race Relations (CSRR). William Wilson revived the work of the CSS into a third era and trained students in this approach (Wilson 1978). Dunier 1992 and Anderson 2000 extend the ethnographic race relations tradition in studying contemporary patterns of race in everyday, urban life. Deegan 2002 connects the sociology of race relations and gender in the three periods of the CSS with studies at Chicago’s social settlement, Hull-House.

  • Anderson, Elijah. 2000. Code of the street: Decency, violence, and the moral life of the inner city. New York: Norton.

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    Anderson continues the analysis of race and everyday life begun by early Chicago sociologists and combines it with the more recent work of William Wilson, part of the TCSS.

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  • Cayton, Horace. 1970. Long old road. Seattle: Univ. of Washington Press.

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    Cayton’s autobiography bluntly examined the many forces shaping his life as an academic African American and a community activist. His struggles with American race relations, alcohol, and internal conflicts document an important aspect of the CSS that is examined rarely.

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  • Deegan, Mary Jo. 2002. Race, Hull-House, and the University of Chicago: A new conscience against ancient evils. Westport, CT: Greenwood.

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    The CSS from 1892 until 1960 focused on the topic of black and white race relations. The Hull-House school of race relations from 1892 until 1920 complemented many of the early Chicago school efforts, although the former was more radical and egalitarian than the CSS.

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  • Drake, St. Clair, and Horace Cayton. 1945. Black metropolis. New York: Harcourt, Brace.

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    This comprehensive study of the black experience in Chicago became the baseline for its era as well as for changes that have occurred since then.

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  • Dunier, Mitchell. 1992. Slim’s table: Race, respectability, and masculinity. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    This study of a local Hyde Park restaurant details the lives of hard-working, stable African American males whose friendships contradict the stereotypes of this group as lazy and unemployed. These black working-class men met regularly at this restaurant, and the author reveals long-term friendship patterns and social organization.

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  • Myrdal, Gunnar. 1944. An American dilemma: The Negro problem and modern democracy. 2 vols. New York: Harper and Row.

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    Americans experienced a conflict between their attitudes and values concerning black–white relations. Democratic values found in the core documents of the American Constitution and Bill of Rights guarantee equality before the law and the right to the pursuit of happiness, but American segregation and state-sponsored racial discrimination made such values impossible to achieve. This “vicious circle” maintained a system of inequality. The book proved highly influential.

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  • Strickland, Arvarh E. 1966. History of the Chicago Urban League. Urbana: Univ. of Illinois Press.

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    The Chicago Urban League was important nationally and academically. Robert Park, Jane Addams, Charles Johnson, and many others were leaders in the study of race relations and organization efforts to ameliorate the effect of racism on the black community. It includes both the CSS and TCSS eras.

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  • Wacker, R. Fred. 1983. Ethnicity, pluralism and race: Race relations theory before Myrdal. Westport, CT: Greenwood.

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    Wacker explores the ideas of Park, Thomas, and Horace Kallen and the students of the CSRR. Through extensive interviews the careers of many scholars in the CSRR are documented. The work of Gunnar Myrdal 1944 is also examined.

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  • Wilson, William Julius. 1978. The declining significance of race. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    This controversial text analyzes the increasing importance of race in the black community. An “underclass” of blacks remains at the bottom of the class hierarchy and experiences limited educational opportunities as well as suffering from the systematic effects of racism.

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Urban Sociology

The city as a sociological laboratory was explored through many Chicago school of sociology (CSS) studies. A unique approach to the study of the city was created by means of mapping urban patterns, studying neighborhoods and communities, identifying urban organization, and conducting qualitative analysis through interviews, participant observation, and ethnographies. The early CSS (ECSS) studied the city, but Robert Park and Ernest Burgess, especially when they wrote with Roderick McKenzie, made this a focus of their work and that of their students. Many core ethnographies discussed earlier could be seen as urban studies, too, and the overlap between these topics is considerable. Park, et al. 1925 made the first major CSS statement on the city and natural areas, which was a crucial part of the core ethnographies developed by students at Chicago. The “human ecology” model and mapping population patterns were significant developments here. Amos Hawley brought together the many characteristics of this approach and called it a theory of community structure (Hawley 1950). Wirth 1938 captures the vitality of the city as a way of life. Burgess and Bogue 1964 constitutes a set of significant writings by CSS sociologists on the study of the city, as does Hauser and Schnore 1965. Suttles 1968 and Short 1971 document the continuing structure of different urban areas. William Kornblum conducted an ethnographic study of a blue-collar community, bringing the urban focus to the third CSS (TCSS) (Kornblum 1974).

  • Burgess, Ernest W., and Donald J. Bogue, eds. 1964. Contributions to urban sociology. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    Many classic studies and authors are identified here, and this overview is a good introduction to the CSS up to 1964.

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  • Gans, Herbert. 1982. The urban villagers: Group and class in the life of Italian Americans. New York: Free Press.

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    Boston’s West End with its strong working class community of Italian Americans served as the focus of the study. Urban renewal destroyed the neighborhood and was shown to be a political process and not a scientific improvement. Originally published in 1962.

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  • Hauser, Philip M., and Leo Schnore, eds. 1965. The study of urbanization. New York: Wiley and Sons.

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    This overview of urban sociology emphasizes and critiques many of the CSS approaches to the study of the city.

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  • Hawley, Amos. 1950. Human ecology: A theory of community structure. New York: Ronald.

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    This classic statement of “human ecology” presents its premises and major architects, namely, Park, Burgess, and MacKenzie. The ideas of society as organic are traced to Introduction to the Science of Sociology, authored by Park and Burgess in 1921.

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  • Kornblum, William. 1974. Blue collar community. Foreword by Morris Janowitz. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    Participant observation of a working class community in South Side Chicago is the focus of this ethnography. The author worked in a steel mill and analyzed both ethnicity and political involvement.

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  • Park, Robert E., Ernest W. Burgess, and Roderick D. McKenzie. 1925. The city. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    The city is composed of natural areas with different groups and institutions corresponding to these sections. The ecological model of their appearance and subsequent growth or decline is applied. The city is divided into “zones of emergence” with characteristic patterns associated with urban growth and decline over time.

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  • Short, James F., Jr. 1971. The social fabric of the metropolis: Contributions of the Chicago school of urban sociology. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    The historical development of the urban approach of the CSS with a chronological assessment is presented in this important overview of the field.

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  • Suttles, Gerald D. 1968. The social order of the slum. Preface by Morris Janowitz. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    Slums are often characterized as chaotic and disorganized. The book presents the counterargument that slums have a strong social order that makes sense of everyday life.

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  • Wirth, Louis. 1938. Urbanism as a way of life. American Journal of Sociology 44:1–44.

    DOI: 10.1086/217913Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This seminal article showed how people in urban areas mingle, interact, and are often anonymous but vital and diverse. This viewpoint contradicted studies describing city life as crushing and destructive.

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Women, ECSS

Female faculty and the study of women provided central perspectives and issues in the early Chicago school of sociology (ECSS). Two major texts, Abbott 1910 on women’s paid labor and Thomas 1907 on sex and society, are now classics. Taft 1915, a study of the women’s movement using the work of George Herbert Mead as the author’s theory, is fundamental to the study of women in this era. A separate institution, the social settlement Hull-House, anchored the work of female sociologists. Separate academic institutions within the Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago also provided a home for women. These divisions included the Household Administration, the Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy, the University of Chicago Social Settlement, and the Extension Division. All these administrative groups hired female sociologists. The Residents of Hull-House 1895 sets precedents in the study of many important ECSS areas, for example, immigration, the city, ethnographies, and mapping. Addams 1910 identifies many of the people and social movements surrounding the ECSS. In Talbot and Rosenberry 1931, the authors recall their work for women’s higher education at the University of Chicago and throughout the country. Deegan 1978 calls this female group the “women of the Chicago school.” Addams 1909 connects play, youth, urban studies, and class in an early community study. Deegan 1988 makes the first connection among Jane Addams, Hull-House, and the CSS.

  • Abbott, Edith. 1910. Women in industry. New York: Macmillan.

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    This classic text examines gender and occupations over a wide range of industries. Its data provided a comparative base for this topic over the next century.

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  • Addams, Jane. 1909. The spirit of youth and the city streets. New York: Macmillan.

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    Drawing on the CSS approach to play, Addams examines children, the city, and juvenile delinquency as emergent processes.

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  • Addams, Jane. 1910. Twenty years at Hull-House. New York: Macmillan.

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    This classic American autobiography defined the social settlement movement, the Hull-House school of sociology (HHSS), and the emergence of the modern city of Chicago as a result of massive immigration. These all became major areas of study for the CSS.

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  • Deegan, Mary Jo. 1978. Women in sociology, 1890–1930. Journal of the History of Sociology 1:11–34.

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    A questionnaire survey of women trained before 1930 was sent to all women listed in the American Sociological Association directory in 1975. The crucial work of the “women of the Chicago school” was immediately apparent and documented here. The positions of women in marginal divisions within the Department of Sociology and the end of the early period of relative openness toward women as colleagues were established.

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  • Deegan, Mary Jo. 1988. Jane Addams and the men of the Chicago school, 1892–1920. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books.

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    Addams was part of the ECSS, and her influence on it was profound. She was a major applied sociologist and led dozens of female sociologists in undertaking their work and shaping their ideas. Her pacifism during World War I led to her condemnation by most male sociologists as a result.

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  • Residents of Hull-House. 1895. Hull-House maps and papers. New York: Crowell.

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    This groundbreaking study established many of the areas of interest in the CSS, including the methodology of mapping the distribution of social characteristics, the study of immigrants, the role of arts and crafts in everyday life, and the social settlement movement. Mapping played a central role in the core ethnographies as well as an important role in the theory of social ecology.

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  • Taft, Jessie. 1915. The woman movement from the point of view of social consciousness. Minasha, WI: Collegiate.

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    The demand for a new public role and consciousness of social issues interpreted through women’s experiences is explicated here. The work of the ECSS is applied to the situation of women’s changing expectations and sets the foundation for a gendered interpretation of Chicago pragmatism.

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  • Talbot, Marion, and Lois Kimball Mathews Rosenberry. 1931. The history of the American Association of University Women. Cambridge, MA: Houghton Mifflin.

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    The American Association of University Women (AAUW), a professional organization, helped build a national network of educated women. Talbot, a central figure in the ECSS, was one of the founders of the AAUW and instrumental in the social movement of women into higher education.

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  • Thomas, W. I. 1907. Sex and society: Studies in the social psychology of sex. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    The study of sex and gender was integral to the early work of the Chicago school of sociology. In this series of essays Thomas moves over time from a social Darwinist approach to a more relative understanding of how gender is created.

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Women, CSS and TCSS

The progressive work of the early Chicago school of sociology (ECSS) on women significantly diminished with the rise of the CSS after 1920. Frances Donovan, writing on saleswomen, was the only female sociologist to publish in the core Chicago ethnography series (Donovan 1929). This pattern of discrimination continued through the next two eras and is only slowly changing in contemporary work from graduates and faculty at the University of Chicago. In Deegan 1995 and Deegan 2006, the author analyzes the long ostracism of women as subjects and colleagues as part of “the deep structure of discrimination at the university.” Katherine Bement Davis (Davis 1929), a graduate of the University of Chicago and part of the ECSS, wrote an important study of sexuality now recognized as a founding document in homosexuality studies. MacLean 1930 demonstrates how the author shaped her correspondence students and they shaped her during her three decades of teaching sociology at Chicago. Marlene Dixon was the first woman in the history of sociology at Chicago to be hired in a tenure-track position and also the first to be dismissed from one (Dixon 1976).

  • Davis, Katherine Bement. 1929. Factors in the sex lives of twenty-two hundred women. New York: Harper and Row.

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    Female sexuality is shown to be inclusive of many forms of expression that are incorporated in normal behavior. This study preceded many other studies of sexuality and is seen by some scholars as part of the historical foundation for queer theory.

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  • Deegan, Mary Jo. 1995. The second sex and the Chicago school: Women’s accounts, knowledge, and work, 1945–1960. In A second Chicago school?: The development of postwar American sociology. Edited by Gary A. Fine, 322–364. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    Women continued to hold a second-class status within the CSS, which began in its earliest days and was accentuated post–World War I and again post–World War II. Only the rise of the second wave of feminism led to a significant, only partially successful, challenge of the TCSS.

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  • Deegan, Mary Jo. 2006. The human drama behind the study of people as potato bugs: The curious marriage of Robert E. Park and Clara Cahill Park. Journal of Classical Sociology 6:101–122.

    DOI: 10.1177/1468795X06061288Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The CSS, led by Park, claimed to constitute a break from applied sociology and the alliance between female sociologists and club women. Park, however, continued to work with applied sociology and was married to a nationally powerful club woman, Clara Cahill Park, who challenged his claims of scientific neutrality. Available online by subscription.

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  • Dixon, Marlene. 1976. Things which are done in secret. Montreal: Black Rose.

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    Dixon was the first woman to hold a tenure-track position in the CSS, but she soon lost her position as a result of her political, antiwar activities in the 1960s. She subsequently lost her position at McGill University and then documents how politically active professors are ousted from the academy.

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  • Donovan, Frances. 1929. The saleslady. Introduction by Robert E. Park. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    This study was the only Parkian monograph focused on social changes affecting women and the new woman who entered modern areas of paid labor. Park judged the book not to be an academic work, but he surmised that it would sell and, perhaps, inspire other “insider” books by occupational practitioners.

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  • MacLean, Annie Marion. 1930. Conveying personality at long range. In Proceedings of the University Extension Association. Vol. 15. Edited by Annie Marion MacLean, 130–132. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

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    MacLean adapted the progressive education model of the CSS to her three decades of teaching through correspondence courses. She argued that the teacher–student interaction is the same through long distance as it is face-to-face. Both the instructor and the student bring their personalities to the project.

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  • Talbot, Marion. 1935. More than lore. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    The gendered relations in the ECSS and CSS are documented here by the first and only dean of women at the University of Chicago. She shows how the initial openness toward woman as faculty and students decreased over time with sociologists sometimes playing a major role in the process.

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Other Specializations

Numerous areas of specialization emerged at Chicago in addition to the primary ones noted here. The significance of each area is contested, and different adherents advance their reasons for selecting a particular topic as vital to the Chicago school of sociology (CSS). Faris and Dunham 1939 brings an important perspective. Park 1952 specializes in the study of collective behavior, which also has its adherents, but the legacy of the study of mobs and riots has been neglected more and more in favor of less emotional and more stable collective activities such as social movements. Population and demography, the quantitative study of large groups and their distribution, have a long history at the University of Chicago, but their quantitative focus has defined them often as outside the qualitative focus of the CSS. Policy studies also have a long-established literature, but they are problematic because of the long debate in the CSS on applied versus scientific methods. The third CSS (TCSS), led by the work of Morris Janowitz (Janowitz 1952), emphasized political sociology and disconnected itself from the radical and liberal political sociology conducted through the early CSS (ECSS). Many of the core ethnographies have been reprinted and are available now to new readers and in the classroom. Janowitz took an especially active role in this process by editing the Heritage of Sociology series. The importance of this effort is noted in Smith 1988. In many ways—in terms of the broad scope of the series, its support for past and the then-present Chicago graduates, and its stature within the discipline—Janowitz created a series modeled after the original sociological series sponsored by Robert Park, Ernest Burgess, and Ellsworth Faris. He continued to teach this tradition in his classes until his retirement in the early 1980s, training new cohorts of Chicago sociologists in the process. The introductions to these reprints often summarize the book’s reception, audiences, and role in sociology and occasionally the larger society. Cavan 1928 is a study of the diary of a woman who committed suicide, combining the study of gender, the city, and qualitative methods into an innovative approach. Hughes 1940 extends Park’s earlier focus on newspapers into study of the popular human interest stories. Stouffer 1949 introduces military sociology into the TCSS, which was later continued through the work of Janowitz and his students. Carey 1975 explores the multiple dimensions of the CSS, which are broader than the usual area of specializations. Diner 1980 documents social reform leaders in Chicago, including many members of the ECSS, during the Gilded Age, the Populist Era, and the Progressive Era.

  • Carey, James T. 1975. Sociology and public affairs: The Chicago school. Beverly Hills, CA: SAGE.

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    The CSS reacted to social trends; had a vibrant theoretical view; encouraged excellence in teaching, research, and public service; and had multidimensional ties and interests.

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  • Cavan, Ruth Shonle. 1928. Suicide. Preface by Ellsworth Faris. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    Both quantitative and qualitative analyses are used to sensitively document the suicides of two women. The author reprinted large selections from the diaries of two women who killed themselves. Although Cavan does not explicitly draw on gender, her perspective was supportive to women and displayed her female standpoint.

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  • Diner, Steven J. 1980. A city and its universities: Public policy in Chicago, 1892–1919. Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press.

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    Chicago’s role in American public policy, with a clear emphasis on the contributions from the members of the ECSS, is documented here. The supportive urban, business, and academic milieus helped elaborate this powerful planning.

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  • Faris, Robert E. L., and H. Warren Dunham. 1939. Mental disorders in urban areas. Introduction by Ernest W. Burgess. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    The first chapter summarizes and reviews many of the core Chicago ethnographies sponsored by their teachers, fellow students, colleagues, and even a father. They explicitly connect quantitative and qualitative analyses into a unit of analysis.

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  • Hughes, Helen MacGill. 1940. News and the human interest story. Introduction by Robert E. Park. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    News differs from other types of information, such as rumor, gossip, or propaganda. Newspapers are part of popular culture, together with movies and popular literature. Newspapers worldwide actively change how events are chronicled and remembered. The “human interest story” is an especially influential medium of change in this context.

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  • Janowitz, Morris. 1952. The community press in its urban setting. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    Janowitz heavily used the ECSS and CSS authors and writings to analyze newspapers and urban life. He extended this perspective into the midcentury experience.

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  • Park, Robert E. 1952. Society: Collective behavior, news and public opinion, and sociology and modern society. Edited by Everett Hughes. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    Classic writings on these topics by Park, a leader in these CSS areas of specialization.

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  • Smith, Dennis. 1988. The Chicago school: A liberal critique of capitalism. London: MacMillan.

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    The CSS, especially with regard to politics and policy, is examined here from 1892 until the late 1980s. The role of Janowitz is included for the first time as a major figure and shows the extension of the CSS into the 1980s. The connections between European thought and the CSS are presented as well.

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  • Stouffer, Samuel A. 1949. The American soldier. 2 vols. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.

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    This massive two-volume study of World War II and its effects on the soldiers during and after the conflict defined military sociology for many years. Although contemporary popular writers often depict this “good war” as being a positive force for those who served, the more complex costs of this sustained, national violent engagement are analyzed more carefully and with greater complexity here.

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Contemporary Controversies and New Directions

Chicago sociology remains a dynamic area of scholarship and debate. Contemporary controversies and new directions revolve around the possibility of having a school of thought in one institution, the eras in which it started and stopped, the networks included or excluded, and the roles of racism, sexism, capitalism, disciplinary politics, and the legitimation of ideas and practices. Abbott 1999 suggests the CSS cycles through time with new patterns in different eras, while Gouldner 1970 argues that its legacy has been destructive. Reynolds and Meltzer 1973, Lewis and Smith 1980, and McPhail and Rexroat 1979 provide three ways to define different branches within the Chicago school of sociology (CSS). Some scholars, such as Martin Bulmer (Bulmer 1984) and Lee Harvey (Harvey 1987), both from England, question the history and boundaries of the CSS and offer new personnel and influences to explain the CSS. Debates are ongoing over the years it encompasses: Did it start in 1892 with the beginning of the department? Did it start in 1920 with the rise to power of Robert Park and Ernest Burgess? Did it end in 1932 when Park officially left the department? Is there another school from 1945 until 1960? Is there yet another school from 1960 to the present? A debate concerning the demise of both the CSS and qualitative methods has waged since the 1920s. Quantitative researchers continually announce the irrelevance of qualitative methods, yet studies using interviews, case studies, autobiographies, and so forth have been popular throughout the life of the discipline. Survey researchers have been adept at obtaining government funding, but the continual audience for qualitative research, the relative independence of the CSS from the control of capitalists and politicians, and its creative use of imagination continue to supply both new scholars and new topics of interest.

  • Abbott, Andrew D. 1999. Department & discipline: Chicago sociology at one hundred. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    The author affirms the CSS as having been influential in the discipline for more than a century, and he challenges contemporary ideas and practices, which are more mathematical and statistical in their emphasis. New forms of the CSS are emerging.

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  • Bulmer, Martin. 1984. The Chicago school of sociology: Institutionalization, diversity and the rise of sociological research. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    The origins of quantitative sociology are located primarily in the Department of Political Science and the Department of Economics at the University of Chicago. The quantitative work of the early CSS (ECSS), especially by women, is ignored, and a white male history located outside the Department of Sociology is placed in the position of honor.

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  • Gouldner, Alvin W. 1970. The coming crisis of Western sociology. New York: Basic Books.

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    This critique emphasizes the problems within the CSS and the third CSS (TCSS). The CSS and symbolic interactionism (SI) are attacked as undermining the macrosociological understanding needed to approach global issues and problems. Although most Marxists agree, few have written about it since Gouldner. Gouldner presents a multilevel attack, also including structural functionalism as a weak theory, that served as the center of debate and study.

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  • Harvey, Lee. 1987. Myths of the Chicago school of sociology. Aldershot, UK: Gower.

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    “Untruths,” or myths, of the CSS that are examined here are that the CSS was ameliorative, that qualitative methodology predominated, that the CSS was atheoretical and empirical, that George Herbert Mead was a central figure, and that the power of the CSS declined after 1935 as well as the fact that the CSS ever existed.

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  • Lewis, J. David, and Richard L. Smith. 1980. American sociology and pragmatism: Mead, Chicago sociology, and pragmatism. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    The authors developed a deeply contested position that John Dewey and William James were nominalists and Mead was a realist. Such a division was not supported by Dewey and Mead, and many sociologists heartily rejected it. Lewis and Smith present a detailed analysis to support their thesis, nonetheless, and it remains an unresolved issue.

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  • McPhail, Clark, and Cynthia Rexroat. 1979. Mead vs. Blumer: The divergent methodological perspectives of social behaviorism and symbolic interactionism. American Sociological Review 44:448–467.

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    Mead is presented as more methodologically precise than Herbert Blumer, with the latter’s naturalistic method.

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  • Reynolds, Larry T., and Barnard N. Meltzer. 1973. The origins of divergent methodological stances in symbolic interactionism. Sociological Quarterly 14:189–199.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1533-8525.1973.tb00853.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The different methodologies use by symbolic interactionists can be traced to their associations with either the qualitative University of Chicago or the quantitative University of Iowa.

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LAST MODIFIED: 02/06/2012

DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780199756384-0007

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