A figure whose wide-ranging theoretical and methodological contributions have become fundamental to the field, Merton is best known for introducing such concepts and procedures as unanticipated consequences, self-fulfilling prophecies, focused group interviews, middle-range theory, opportunity structure, and analytic paradigms. He defined the interrelationship between social theory and empirical research, advancing a structural-functional approach to the study of society and creating the concepts of manifest and latent function and dysfunction. “I am not a role model,” Barkley proclaimed in the half-minute spot. He served as associate director of the university’s Bureau of Applied Social Research (1942–71), which had opened under the direction of Paul Lazarsfeld one year before Merton’s arrival. The two men’s work was complementary: Lazarsfeld combined quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, along with his logic of concept clarification, and thereby influenced Merton’s orientation to historical studies. The term role model generally means any “person who serves as an example, whose behavior is emulated by others. It provided the intellectual foundation for Merton‘s attempt to develop a macro-level explanation of rates of norm violating behaviour in American society. Robert K. Merton was born July 4, 1910 and died February 23, 2003. We were interested in the influential concepts in the book (e.g.,“self-fulfilling” or He retired from teaching altogether in 1984. He changed his name at the age of 14 to Robert Merton, which evolved out of a teenage career as an amateur magician as he blended the names of famous magicians. Definition of Self-Fulfilling Prophecy in Sociology, Manifest Function, Latent Function, and Dysfunction in Sociology, The Life of Talcott Parsons and His Influence on Sociology, The Major Theoretical Perspectives of Sociology, Anthony Giddens: Biography of British Sociologist, Sociological Explanations of Deviant Behavior, Social Theory and Social Structure (1949), On The Shoulders of Giants: A Shandean Postscript (1985). http://www.asanet.org/footnotes/mar03/indextwo.html. He spent most of his career teaching at Columbia University, where he attained the rank of University Professor. Their academic collaboration, from 1941 to 1976, strengthened the standards of training for the social sciences. There are many norms in this theory. Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers. Robert K. Merton, in full Robert King Merton, original name Meyer Robert Schkolnick, (born July 4, 1910, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.—died February 23, 2003, New York, New York), American sociologist whose diverse interests included the sociology of science and the professions, sociological theory, and mass communication. In this Book. Robert King Merton (born Meyer Robert Schkolnick; 4 July 1910 – 23 February 2003) was an American sociologist who is considered a founding father of modern sociology, and a major contributor to the subfield of criminology. ", Calhoun, C. (2003). In his first work in the sociology of science, Science, Technology and Society in Seventeenth Century England (1938), he studied the relationship between Puritan thought and the rise of science. He was the first sociologist to receive the award. Merton’s version of functionalism has been particularly influential. A while back, I offered a basic concepts post that discussed the four norms identified by sociologist Robert K. Merton [1] as the central values defining the tribe of science. When faced with strain, people have five ways to adapt: 1. He is also credited as the creator of the focus group research method. Merton and other functionalists … Abstract Over the period of three quarters of a century, Robert K. Merton demonstrated an impressive productivity as a sociologist of different specialties. Robert K. Merton was one of the most influential 20th-century sociologists. Robert King Merton (born Meyer Robert Schkolnick; 4 July 1910 – 23 February 2003) was an American sociologist. Britannica Kids Holiday Bundle! Notable contributions include his work on the concept of anomie in relation to social structure, his development of Weber's conception of bureaucracy, and his pioneering w… By Frank W. Elwell . Robert K. Merton (RKM) (Merton, 1968). Book Description: Offers a comprehensive perspective on knowledge production in the field of sociology. Additional Information. Robert K. Merton is part of G.I. Robert K. Merton. This book was to lay down a manifesto for socio-logical analysis in the immediate postwar period, and retains a major impact seventy years later. Robert K. Merton. Concepts and the Social Order: Robert K. Merton and the Future of Sociology. Nearly 30 years ago, in a 1993 Nike commercial, professional basketball legend Charles Barkley fired the first shot at the “role model” concept popularized by Columbia University sociologist Robert K. Merton in the aftermath of the 1960s counterculture movement. Best known for developing theories of deviance, as well as the concepts of "self-fulfilling prophecy" and "role model," Robert K. Merton is considered one of America's most influential social scientists. Within Functionalism, the most significant criticisms come from Robert K. Merton (1968). Robert K. Merton was born in 1910s. While at the Bureau of Applied Social Research, he began using focused interviews with groups to obtain reactions to such things as films and written materials. The worst economic disaster America had ever seen. Robert K. Merton (1910-2003) is one of the classical writers who have significantly shaped the intellectual and institutional development of the social sciences throughout his lifetime. Dr. Merton expanded on the work of French sociologist Émile Durkheim on anomie with his theory on deviance and social strain. He edited Qualitative and Quantitative Social Research (1979), containing papers in honour of Paul Lazarsfeld, and Sociological Traditions from Generation to Generation (1980). d. Edwin Lemert. Robert Merton, pursued a version of Parsons’s functionalism, but did so in a much more critical way. Merton was also one of the pioneers of modern policy research, studying things such as housing projects, the use of social research by the AT&T Corporation, and medical education. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. The Blackwell Dictionary of Sociology. ... As has been previously shown, some of Merton’ s concepts are commonly applied . His work shaped the discipline for more than a half century. Robert K. Merton was born Meyer R. Schkolnick in Philadelphia into a working class Eastern European Jewish Immigrant family. Late in his life, he penned a number of autobiographical articles that brought a sociological framework to bear on the development of his work over time. Updates? …proposed by the American sociologist Robert K. Merton, suggests that criminality results from an offender’s inability to attain his goals by socially acceptable means; faced with this inability, the individual is likely to turn to other—not necessarily socially or legally acceptable—objectives or to pursue the original objectives by unacceptable means.… In 1994 Merton became the first sociologist to receive a National Medal of Science. Talcott Parsons (1902- 79) and Robert K. Merton (1910-2003), who each drew extensively on Durkheim, were two of its most prominent adherents. Robert K. Merton has 48 books on Goodreads with 8676 ratings. Concepts and the Social Order. Anomie in the simplest terms is a … ROBERT K. MERTON Harvard University T HERE persists a notable tendency in sociological theory to attribute the malfunctioning of social structure primarily to those of man's imperious biological drives which are not adequately restrained by social control. Moreover, it is a tribute to the scope of Merton's work and the influence Merton has had on the work and life of sociologists around the world. In 1948, Merton used the term "self-fulfilling prophecy" in an article. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. Merton attended Temple College for undergraduate work and Harvard for graduate work, studying sociology at both and earning his doctorate degree in 1936. This volume offers scholars of sociology and allied areas the fruits of an international conference on the contributions of the eminent Robert K. Merton. 1968), Merton developed a theory of deviant behaviour based on different types of social adaptation. This situation would provide the contexts for work and crime which Merton would theorise on in his work ‘Social Structure and Anomie‘ in 1938. ed. Robert K. Merton's Self-Fulfilling Prophecy . Robert K. Merton is a sociologist who was also known as the “father of sociology”. He helped create many different theories such as aniome, social structure as well as the different modes of individual adaption. Throughout his career, more than 20 universities awarded him honorary degrees, including Harvard, Yale, Columbia, and Chicago as well as several universities abroad. Robert King Merton (July 4, 1910 – February 23, 2003) was a distinguished American sociologist. In Social Theory and Social Structure (1949; rev. In 1994 he was awarded the National Medal of Science for his contributions to the field and for having founded the sociology of science. America experienced The Great Depression from 1929 to 1939. Johnson, A. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. He framed his discussion of this concept with symbolic interaction theory, which states that, through interaction, people bring about a shared definition of the situation in which they find themselves. 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