Merton, Robert K (1910–2003)

Published on Jan 1, 2015
· DOI :10.1016/B978-0-08-097086-8.61245-X
Christian Fleck4
Estimated H-index: 4
(University of Graz)
Over the period of three quarters of a century, Robert K. Merton demonstrated an impressive productivity as a sociologist of different specialties. First and foremost, he contributed to sociological theory and is the founder of the sociology of science. He also contributed to the sociology of knowledge, organization theory, deviant behavior, mass communications; and the professions and less broadly recognized fields of sociological semantics, and the sociology and history of ideas. The broad range of subject matters he studied and his close reading of former contributions to sociology resulted in Merton's identifying and labeling such social phenomena as the self-fulfilling prophecy, unanticipated consequences, focus groups, and role models, among a great many others. Given this wide spectrum of conceptual and empirical contributions and Merton's plea for middle-range ambitions in theory building, he will continue to be a sociologist of consequence.
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