Major Works by Robert K. Merton

Social Theory and Social Structure, Enlarged Edition, 1968 [1949], The Free Press: New York

From the Publisher:
Since its first publication in 1949, Social Theory and Social Structure has become established as a work of central importance in the social science.  Providing the most systematic outline of the theoretical foundations of functional sociology, it has been widely adopted and read by social scientist throughout the world.  The 1968 enlarged edition of this volume contains the complete 1957 edition and two new essays.  These essays, nearly 75 pages of new material, form an expanded introduction to the book.

The first, "On the History and Systematic of Sociological Theory," states the case for the distinctive functions of histories of sociological theory and formulations of currently utilized theory.  Professor Merton shows how the intellectual requirements for a history of sociological thought call for more than chronologically ordered synopses of sociological doctrine.

The second, "On Sociological Theories of the Middle Range," reviews the character and workings of this type of theorizing in the light of uses and criticisms that have developed during the past two decades.

Table of Contents:

Preface to the 1968 Enlarged Edition
Preface to the 1957 Revised Edition

Part I
On Theoretical Sociology

I. On the History and Systematics of Sociological Theory
II. On the Sociological Theories of the Middle Range
III. Manifest and Latent Functions
IV. The Bearing of Sociological Theory on Empirical Research
V. The Bearing of Empirical Research on Sociological Theory

Part II
Studies in Social and Cultural Structure

VI. Social Structure and Anomie
VII. Continuities in the Theory of Social Structure and Anomie
VIII. Bureaucratic Structure and Personality
IX. Role of the Intellectual in Public Bureaucracy
X. Contributions to the Theory of Reference Group Behavior (with Alice S. Rossi)
XI. Continuities in the Theory of Reference Groups and Social Structure
XII. Patterns of Influence: Local and Cosmopolitan Influentials
XIII. The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Part III
The Sociology of Knowledge and Mass Communications

XIV. The Sociology of Knowledge
XV. Karl Mannheim and the Sociology of Knowledge
XVI. Studies in Radio and Film Propaganda (with Paul F. Lazarsfeld)

Part IV
Studies in the Sociology of Science

XVII. Science and the Social Order
XVIII. Science and the Democratic Social Structure
XIX. The Machine, the Worker, and the Engineer
XX. Puritanism, Pietism, and Science
XXI. Science and Economy of 17th Century England

Bibliographical Note
Index of Names
Subject Index

On Social Structure and Science, The University of Chicago Press: Chicago

From the Publisher:
Robert K. Merton is unarguably one of the most influential sociologists of his time. A figure whose wide-ranging theoretical and methodological contributions have become fundamental to the field, Merton is best known for introducing such concepts and procedures as unanticipated consequences, self-fulfilling prophecies, focused group interviews, middle-range theory, opportunity structure, and analytic paradigms. 

This definitive compilation encompasses the breadth and brilliance of his works, from the earliest to the most recent. Merton's foundational writings on social structure and process, on the sociology of science and knowledge, and on the discipline and trajectory of sociology itself are all powerfully represented, as are his autobiographical insights in a fascinating coda. Anchored by Piotr Sztompka's contextualizing introduction, Merton's vast oeuvre emerges as a dynamic and profoundly coherent system of thought, a constant source of vitality and renewal for present and future sociology.

Table of Contents: 

1: The Uses and Abuses of Classical Theory 
2: Theoretical Pluralism 
3: On Sociological Theories of the Middle Range 
4: Specified Ignorance 
5: Paradigms: The Codification of Sociological Theory 
6: Paradigm for Functional Analysis in Sociology 
7: Manifest and Latent Functions 
8: Social Dysfunctions 
9: Paradigm for Structural Analysis in Sociology 
10: The Role-Set 
11: Sociological Ambivalence 
12: Social Structure and Anomie 
13: Opportunity Structure 
14: Socially Expected Durations 
15: The Unanticipated Consequences of Social Action 
16: The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy 
17: Paradigm for the Sociology of Knowledge 
18: The Rise of Modern Science 
19: Insiders and Outsiders 
20: The Ethos of Science 
21: Science and the Social Order 
22: The Reward System of Science 
23: Multiple Discoveries in Science 
24: The Matthew Effect, II 
Coda: A Life of Learning 
Publications by and about Robert K. Merton: A Select Bibliography 
Name Index 
Subject Index 

Sociology: General Sociology 
Philosophy of Science 

On the Shoulders of Giants: A Shandean Postsript, 1965, The Free Press: New York

From the Publisher:
With playfulness and a large dose of wit, Robert Merton traces the origin of Newton's aphorism, "If I have seen farther, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." Using as a model the discursive and digressive style of Sterne's Tristram Shandy, Merton presents a whimsical yet scholarly work which deals with the questions of creativity, tradition, plagiarism, the transmission of knowledge, and the concept of progress. 

"This book is the delightful apotheosis of donmanship: Merton parodies scholarliness while being faultlessly scholarly; he scourges pedantry while brandishing his own abstruse learning on every page. The most recondite and obscure scholarly squabbles are transmuted into the material of comedy as the ostensible subject is shouldered to one side by yet another hobby horse from Merton's densely populated stable. He has created a jeu d'esprit which is profoundly suggestive both in detail and as a whole."--Sean French, Times Literary Supplement 

Return to Robert K. Merton's Functional Analysis

Dr. Elwell's Home Page