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ERIC Number: ED146092
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Apr-1
Pages: 21
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Incrementalism, Rather than Innovation: Introductory Sociology Texts 1894-1975.
Brown, Ruth Murray
The most frequently chosen textbooks for introductory sociology courses are analyzed. The study reveals that sociology texts change through incrementation rather than through innovative thinking or by rational decisions as to the best way to present sociology to students. Sociology students are not considered in textbook selection; rather, professors tend to use books similar to the ones that they have used before. This survey of the 25 best selling textbooks concludes that successful authors follow the path laid before them. Once a concept becomes established in a text, it is likely to remain; the persistence of these traditional concepts means that the exposition of the text is not grounded in empirical research. However, the fault lies not with authors and publishers, but with those who choose and use the books. Since most professors prefer to use books similar to the ones that they have used before, it is not surprizing that the books do not reflect current research interests of sociologists or the latest information on the topics covered. The author suggests that a text be devised based on empirical knowledge and that a definition of sociology reveal itself as the student learns. References include a list of the textbooks analyzed. (KC)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the Southwestern Sociological Association (Dallas, Texas, March 31-April 2, 1977)