The American Sociologist

, 22:165 | Cite as

Sociology as a discipline: Quasi-science and quasi-humanities

  • Mayer N. Zald


Sociologists, like other professionals and academic practitioners, have engaged in a collective project—“becoming a science.” This article traces the occupational and intellectual components of that project, focusing especially on the model of science employed, the limits of that model, and the limits of the science model in general. It is argued that sociology is a quasi-science and a quasi-humanities. Unfortunately, sociology has not systematically pursued its links to the humanities. The article argues for maintaining the empirical and explanatory thrust of the science model, while recognizing the extent to which concepts and theories are civilizationally embedded. The article ends with suggestions for systematically enriching sociology by closer links to the humanities.


Sociological Theory American Sociological Association Cultural Object Invisible College Collective Project 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Transaction Publishers 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mayer N. Zald
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyThe University of MichiganAnn Arbor

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