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ERIC Number: EJ878313
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Mar
Pages: 29
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0003-1232
When Robert E. Park Was (Re) Writing "The City": Biography, the Social Survey, and the Science of Sociology
Lannoy, Pierre
American Sociologist, v35 n1 p34-62 Mar 2004
Sociological production is a situated and embodied activity carried out by individuals inserted in actual social relations. Considering that this feature has an influence upon the content of scholarly literature and that it can be revealed in the scientific text itself, I propound a new interpretation of the writing process of Robert E. Park's "The City," the famous paper he published initially in 1915. Customarily depicted as a manifesto for an autonomous urban sociology, I argue on the contrary that its general economy has to be linked to Park's biographical background. When he affiliated with the Sociology Department at the University of Chicago, Park was brought to teach a course on the social survey. "The City" was to be the academic expression of his point of view on the topic. Park's biographical encounters with some active promoters of the social survey approach are evidenced and their influence on his 1915 essay is carefully analyzed, showing notably that curious intellectual omissions in "The City" can be traced back to these previous encounters. Park's latter texts, and the 1925 revised version of "The City" in particular, are shown to provide the interwar sociologists with a peculiar narrative about the history of sociology: Park's predecessors are deliberately confined in a pre-scientific stage of the discipline and Park's original essay is presented as a seminal research program destined to be later fulfilled by the newly established urban sociologists.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois