Om Robert K. Merton
Robert K. Merton (1910-2003) was one of the most influential sociologists of the twentieth century, producing clear theories and innovative research that continue to shape multiple disciplines. Merton's reach can be felt in the study of social structure, social psychology, deviance, professions, organizations, culture, and science. Yet for all his fame, Merton is only partially understood. He is treated by scholars as a functional analyst, when in truth his contributions transcend paradigm.Joining twelve sociologists with major reputations in the field, Craig Calhoun launches a thorough reconsideration of Merton's achievements and inspires a renewed engagement with sociological theory. Merton's work addresses the challenges of integrating research and theory. It connects different fields of empirical research and speaks to the importance of overcoming the sharp divisions between allegedly pure and applied sociology. Merton realized the value of sociological methods that respect the institutional analysis of science and knowledge. By bringing together different aspects of his work in one volume, Calhoun illuminates the truly interdisciplinary- and unifying-dimensions of Merton's approach. He also advances the intellectual agenda of an increasingly relevant area of study.