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Nov 28

Among many other fields and topics were deviance theory, organizations, and middle-range theory. The sociologist George E. Simpson took him on as a research assistant in a project on race and the media and introduced him not only to sociology but to Ralph Bunche and Franklin Frazier. Merton took up conjuring and other magic partly through taking his sister�s boyfriend as a �role model� (to borrow a phrase literally his own). He was a self-aware performer, but the product was not tricks or trivia. [25], With his study of the Matthew effect, Merton showed how the social system of science sometimes deviated structurally from the ethos of science, in this case by violating the norm of universalism:[6] a few top scientists enjoying large chunks of awards, grants and jobs, and the spread and distribution of resources and recognition among scientists being highly skewed. He was 92. Merton. These theories must be constructed with observed data in order to create theoretical problems and to be incorporated in proposals that allow empirical testing. He marked up their manuscripts with a myriad of editorial corrections enhanced by his collection of rubber stamps to highlight a good idea with a light bulb or to underscore something for special attention with a pointed finger. We have not known, and will not soon know a greater master of language in our ranks. After completing these, Merton went on to graduate from Harvard with an MA and PhD in sociology. Years ago, George described to me, with great delight, the sparkle that Merton brought to his class by his questions and his comments. Remembering Robert K. Merton He remained intellectually active until the end of his life, a witty and engaged presence at conferences, energetic in using email to stay in touch with an extraordinary range of contacts,and still writing. ", 1938. Merton. [9] As a student at South Philadelphia High School, he was a frequent visitor to nearby cultural and educational venues, including the Andrew Carnegie Library, the Academy of Music, the Central Library, and the Museum of Arts. Of course, as Merton showed, discoveries once well known could be forgotten, leading to rediscoveries, especially by the young. For example, poverty may benefit the rich because they are allowed to maintain more of their wealth, but it certainly does not benefit the poor who struggle. ", This publication made Merton well known among, 1942. Robert K. Merton wieder aufgenommen, um das Phänomen des glücklichen Zufalls zu erläutern. Unlike the functionalist theorisation proposed by Parsons, Merton proposes a choice that puts in particular evidence the relationship that the researcher should assume in the direction of a pragmatic choice of the instruments methodology it uses. As with others, it was his ultimate gift. One defining characteristic of Bob was his enduring precocity. the legacies of T alcott Parsons and Robert K. Merton in the social science literature. Many more important books and articles appeared through the next several decades, enriching the literature in social theory, the sociology of science, social psychology, and a wide range of other topics. He was an inspirational teacher and editor, and with his students, such as James S. Coleman and Seymour Martin Lipset, among many others who would become leading figures in the field, he helped to build and legitimate the field of sociology in America. This was just one of his theories which gained prominence amongst Social Science circles and beyond. Their influence can be attributed to the fact that, in addition to having the virtues of clarity and sheer intellectual creativity, his writings were addressed to working sociologists, providing an interpretation of the craft and tools for its improvement. [13], In 1993 Merton married his fellow sociologist and collaborator, Harriet Zuckerman. With the passing of Robert K. Merton, we have lost the premier sociologist of the 20th century. Merton continued to address the relationship between the first appearances of ideas and the occasions when they begin to have more serious influence, noting how many basic scientific advances were anticipated by �prediscoveries� that failed to change the way scientists thought. It is indeed a loss. This generated some wonderful case studies and much airing of peccadilloes, but only the Mertonian view offered any coherent explanation of the magic of science itself.

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