Time and Tide in Sociology

  • Charles Turner
Part of the St Antony's Series book series (STANTS)


Hermínio Martins’ 1974 essay on Time and Theory in Sociology was a general survey of a field still dominated by functionalism and its legacies, its opponents and rival schools. The problem of temporality was shown to be either neglected by or endemic to functionalism, but doubts were expressed about its rivals’ treatment of it. The present essay asks whether a comparable general survey today would offer a radically different vision of the state of sociological theory. It suggests, tentatively, that it might. Sociological theory 40 years ago still allowed itself to be haunted by the idea that sociology was a science. Hence it was ‘inflationary cognitivism’ that was functionalism’s greatest challenge. Today, as the attraction of conceptual rigour has waned, the most notable development in theory is ‘inflationary substantivism’.


  1. Anderson, P. 1979. Lineages of the Absolutist State. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  2. Andreski, S. 1972. Social Sciences as Sorcery. London: Andre Deutsch.Google Scholar
  3. Baldamus, W. 1972. The Role of Discoveries in Social Science. In The Rules of the Game, ed. T. Shanin. London: Tavistock.Google Scholar
  4. ———. 1976. The Structure of Sociological Inference. London: Martin Robertson.Google Scholar
  5. Beck, U. 2008. World at Risk. Cambridge: Polity.Google Scholar
  6. Boltanski, L., and L. Thévenot. 2006. On Justification. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press..Google Scholar
  7. Douglas, M. 1992. Risk and Blame: Essays in Cultural Theory. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Elias, N. 1987. The Retreat of Sociologists into the Present. Theory, Culture and Society 4 (2): 223–247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gellner, E. 1964. Thought and Change. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.Google Scholar
  10. ———. 1998. Nations and Nationalism. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  11. Giddens, A. 1971. Capitalism and Modern Social Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. ———. 1986. The Constitution of Society. Cambridge: Polity.Google Scholar
  13. Habermas, J. 1984. Theory of Communicative Action, Volume I. London: Heinemann.Google Scholar
  14. ———. 1987. Theory of Communicative Action, Volume II. Cambridge: Polity.Google Scholar
  15. Koselleck, R. 2004. Futures Past: On the Semantics of Historical Time. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Luhmann, N. 1993. Risk: A Sociological Theory. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  17. Mann, M. 1986. The Sources of Social Power, Vol. I. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. ———. 1993. The Sources of Social Power, Vol. II. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Martins, H.G. 1974. Time and Theory in Sociology. In Approaches to Sociology: An Introduction to Major Trends in British Sociology, ed. John Rex. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  20. Merquior, J.G. 1991. Foucault. London: Fontana.Google Scholar
  21. Musil, R. 1979. The Man Without Qualities, Vol. I. London: Picador.Google Scholar
  22. Oakeshott, M. 1983. On History and Other Essays. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.Google Scholar
  23. Pocock, J.G.A. 1972. Politics, Language and Time: Essays on Political Thought. London: Methuen.Google Scholar
  24. Ricoeur, P. 1990. Time and Narrative. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  25. Sennett, R. 2009. The Craftsman. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  26. ———. 2013. Together. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  27. Weber, M. 1949. Objectivity in Social Science and Social Policy. In The Methodology of the Social Sciences. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles Turner
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WarwickCoventryUK

Personalised recommendations