A Scottish Contribution to Marxist Sociology?

  • Andrew Skinner


The Scottish contribution to what are now known as the ‘social sciences’ has often been noted, not only by economists and historians, but especially by sociologists. Albion Small produced a study of Adam Smith and Modern Sociology as early as 1907, building on an established German tradition, to be followed, amongst others, by W. C. Lehmann’s Adam Ferguson and the Beginnings of Modern Sociology (1930). Gladys Bryson, influenced to a considerable extent by the work of sociologists such as Small and Franklin Giddings, published two important articles in 1932 and 1939, respectively,1 prior to the appearance of her main contribution, Man and Society: The Scottish Inquiry of the Eighteenth Century (1945). This (rather underrated) work, while explicitly building on the findings of others, broke some new ground in commenting on the contributions of a ‘Scottish group’ or ‘school’ whose members were part of a close-knit community. The contributions to which Professor Bryson referred include the subject area of psychology as well as of sociology —both of which are shown to have been deployed in the treatment of history, ‘the absorbing interest’ of the period. This distin-guished tradition was continued with the later works of Lehmann, on Kames and Millar,2 not to mention Professor Macrae’s Ideology and Society (1961).3


Eighteenth Century Historical Materialism Moral Sentiment Materialist Conception Commercial Stage 
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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew Skinner

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