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Robert King Merton…read more

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Robert King Merton (July 4, 1910 ­ February 23, 2003) born in Philadelphia was a
distinguished American sociologist. He spent most of his career teaching at Columbia
University, where he attained the rank of University Professor. In 1994, Merton won
the National Medal of Science for his contributions to the field and for having
founded the sociology of science .
Many of Merton's childhood experiences formed a basis for his theory of social
structure, particularly the reference group. He started his sociological career under the
guidance of George E. Simpson at Temple University in Philadelphia (1927­1931). He
worked as a research assistant to Simpson on a project having to do with race and
media, introducing him to sociology. Under the leadership of Simpson, Merton
attended the ASA annual meeting, where he met Pitrim A. Sorokin, the founding chair
of the Harvard University Sociology Department. Merton then applied to Harvard
and went to work as a research assistant to Sorokin (1931­1936).…read more

Slide 3

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Merton's Middle-range
· Role model
· Self-fulfill prophecy
· Theory of deviant behavior
· Unintended consequences
· Anomie
· Reference…read more

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A video on Merton's theory of Anomie…read more

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Criticisms of Merton's theory of Anomie :
1. Ignores social control ­ labelling theory
2. Overlooks "crime in suits"- Conflict theory
3. Doesn't explain conformity- Bonding theory
4. Overlooks social interactions and group processes ­
Subculture theory…read more

Slide 6

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Merton , along with other sociologists had
published many books such as :
· Adult education in Transaction
· American social trends
· Becoming an EX
· Book of social science quotations
· Character and social structure
· Class Fertility Trends in Western Nations…read more


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