George Caspar Homans, one of America's leading intellectual figures, presents here his collected papers, covering twenty-three years of work, on the nature of sound theory in social science. Subjects addressed include social structure, power, distributive justice, ethnomethodology, and behaviorism, all issues of concerns as well as continuing professional controversy. Homans also offers social histories that deal with social organization, political design, and the behavior of men and women in a time of fierce ideological conflict. He concludes by developing his viewpoint on the rightful place of general theory within social science.
Homans' career has spanned many of the key periods in the development of twentieth century social science. His own work has been central to this process. He was the first and major sociologist to appreciate the sociologist implications of psychologists' work on learning and behavior theory. His contributions to modern sociology have had a major impact on the study of small groups, the problem of theory and methods of theory construction, and the study of basic characteristics of social behavior.
George Casper Homans is a professor of sociology emeritus, Harvard University. He has taught at the Universities of Manchester, Cambridge, and Kent. He is the author of Coming to My Senses: The Autobiography of a Sociologist, (Transaction, 1984); The Human Group; Social Behavior; along with numerous other works on social behavior and social theory.