Early Sociology and the State of ‘Sociology’ in Britain in the Early Twentieth Century

  • Christopher T. HusbandsEmail author


If this book has any single overall message, it is that early sociology, as taught and practised at the London School of Economics, failed this test of Plato; its early practitioners did not set down any sort of marker to be followed by most of what followed and UK sociology of the late-twentieth and early-twenty-first centuries is hardly any sort of successor of LSE’s approach to the subject one hundred years earlier. LSE was, even then, merely one of several players in the story of early UK sociology, but, if one is willing to use a contemporary understanding of ‘higher education’, as education leading to a conventional university degree, it is indeed true that LSE may claim to have offered the first taught course in sociology in UK higher education, even if it was only a small part of that degree’s overall syllabus. Uninformed posterity can be remiss in its memory and construction of its past; there had been several, less well-known, earlier sociology courses in other environments, some affiliated to higher-education institutions, and LSE’s course was certainly not the ‘point zero’ of British sociology or of its teaching.

Supplementary material

462218_1_En_1_MOESM1_ESM.docx (13 kb)
Table W1.1 Recipients of Martin White Scholarships in Sociology, 1924 to 1944 (DOCX 13 kb)


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Emeritus Reader in SociologyLondon School of Economics and Political ScienceLondonUK

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