Edward Alsworth Ross. Social Psychology: An outline and source book. New York: Macmillan Co. We were unable to locate a edition of Ross's Social Psychology.
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Edward Alsworth Ross — was one of the founders of American sociology and is perhaps best remembered for his militant advocacy of melioristic sociology—a sociology dedicated to the cause of social reform. He was internationally known, also, as a sociological theorist. Orphaned when he was not yet ten years old, he was cared for by various relatives in Iowa and finally given a foster home with the Beach family in Marion, Iowa; he maintained close ties with Mrs.
Beach until her death. Following his graduation, he studied in Germany and at Johns Hopkins , where he received his ph. After teaching for one year at Indiana University and then at Cornell, Ross joined the faculty at Stanford University in as a full professor of administration and finance.
Leland Stanford , the widow of the founder of Stanford University , repeatedly urged David Starr Jordan , the president of that university, to dismiss Ross; Jordan interceded for Ross on several occasions but was finally forced to demand his resignation. In November Ross accompanied his enforced resignation with a public statement blaming Mrs.
Stanford for his ouster. Seven of his colleagues subsequently resigned in sympathy or were similarly dismissed. Public figures and publicists censured the university for dismissing a scholar because of his political views, and Ross, in the role of martyr, encouraged the public outcry. He continued his academic career first at the University of Nebraska and then, in , at the University of Wisconsin , where he taught until his retirement in The virtues of the past would survive if public opinion were guided by enlightened leaders, if legal sanctions were applied in a sophisticated manner, and if supernatural religion were abandoned.
Thus Ross sought to synthesize the old and the new, to infuse an impersonal industrial society with the idealized virtues of the face-to-face community in which he grew up. His sociological theory was allied to his ideology: in his Foundations of Sociology — , a collection of essays, he attacked conservative social Darwinism and tried instead to fashion a sociological theory that could be used to understand and reform American society. Morgan; and, with particular determination, he assaulted the mechanistic theory of Herbert Spencer.
Ross did accept two basic nineteenth-century concepts: organicism and positivism. However, he altered organicism by stripping it of its biological and physical implications and redefining it in social and psychological terms. He refocused the positivist approach on the study of social phenomena in small units, as the necessary basis for a valid science of society.
If Ross did not succeed in making organicism completely social or positivism completely operational, he must nevertheless be credited with communicating the need for a new definition of the subject matter and methodology of sociology. Foundations was an important work not only because it presented this new definition but also because it was the first book in American sociology to stress the importance of social processes as a sociological concept. Ross divided the social processes—the general and recurring phenomena that pervade the entire social order —into major categories and subcategories.
In , he described 11 major categories for example, cooperation and competition and 32 subcategories; by , he had reduced the major divisions to four association, domination, exploitation, and opposition.
However, Ross never arrived at a definitive number of processes, nor did he ever establish the exact nomenclature to describe them. He saw these processes as accounting for such phenomena as the power of the army, the structure of the family, the functioning of the church, and the nature of the government.
Social Control and Social Psychology delineated the formal and informal ways in which society constrains the behavior of the individual. Social Control is still valuable as a listing of the means society has to control the individual: custom and convention, legal and social sanction, religion and education. But the operation of social control is more complicated than it seemed to Ross in In his later years Ross recognized this and made an unsuccessful effort to remedy this failing; he never published this piece of work.
He was unable to explain in a manner satisfactory to modern, predominantly interactionist, social psychologists the mechanism by which external norms custom and convention, for example are internalized.
It was based on the Tardean imitation-suggestion theory and remained an academic best seller even when the Tardean theory itself was no longer accepted. Ross did not incorporate interactionist theories in his book, and this eventually led to its identification with an outmoded phase of social psychology that was concerned with mobs and panics, custom and convention.
Nevertheless, Social Psychology served to stimulate an interest in that discipline and pointed to the need in the academic curriculum for the separate study of social psychology. As a sociologist Ross faithfully served the cause of Progressivism, that outgrowth of the middle-class reform spirit which pervaded American life and thought in the first 15 years of the twentieth century.
In Foundations, his definition of the social processes mirrors the temper and values of Progressive America. In Social Control and in Social Psychology, Ross was preoccupied with the problem that confronted all Progressives: the preservation of both individual freedom and social stability in a mass society. Ross did not see social stability threatened by the breakdown of social tradition and of supernatural religion, as did European social psychologists like Le Bon and Sighele.
As a Progressive, he welcomed the dissolution of traditional institutions and rituals and even condoned an occasional mob action in the cause of social justice. Throughout his career Ross was interested in practical reforms both at home and abroad, and his Social Control and Social Psychology are filled with specific suggestions for the mitigation of social evils.
He did not hesitate to urge political leaders in foreign countries on every continent he visited them all to adopt American ways: to industrialize their economies and to democratize their political systems. Until he was a spokesman for Anglo-Saxon superiority. His nativ-ist syndrome included opposition to continued Japanese immigration to the United States in the s and to southern and eastern European immigration in the early decades of the twentieth century, a preoccupation with eugenics, and an obsession with differential fertility rates.
His nativ-ism reveals his limited faith in the power of social institutions to cure social evils. Reform needed the reinforcement of nativism if the virtues of nineteenth-century rural American life were to be restored or perpetuated. He could be both rigidly moral and shrewdly supple.
He was generous but not effusive, frugal but not penurious. Despite his Stanford reputation and two subsequent incidents involving academic freedom at Wisconsin, he was far from seeking entanglement in controversies. He took a rather detached view of institutions and organizations, being reluctant either to exercise authority or to be dependent upon the authority of others.
To be sure, he served two terms as president of the American Sociological Society and and was chairman of the sociology department at the University of Wisconsin from until With the exception of Lester F. Ward, whom Ross regarded intellectually and emotionally as a father figure, he rarely became involved in profound friendships or in taxing personal feuds, thus leaving himself free to pursue a productive as well as a lucrative career.
His introductory textbooks The Principles of Sociology, published in , and New-age Sociology, published in , were widely used. Ross is still a figure of consequence to his profession. As a reformer and, for a time, a creative social theorist, he deserves respect; as a writer and popularizer of sociology he has had few peers in the annals of American sociology.
New York : Macmillan. Especially valuable as a survey of contemporary sociological theory at an important juncture in the history of American sociology. New York and London: Macmillan. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. New York: Macmillan. New York: Century. Extensively used in translation by foreign-language newspapers as part of the Americanization program after the war.
A highly readable text used for many years throughout the country. New York: Appleton. New York and London: Apple-ton. Cooley, Charles H. In Charles H. Glencoe, III. Separate paperback editions were published in by Schocken. Hertzler, Joyce O. American Sociological Review — New York: McGraw-Hill.
Kolb, William L. Sumner, William G. New York: Dover. Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography. May 23, Retrieved May 23, from Encyclopedia. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
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A Mead Project source page
Edward A. Ross , in full Edward Alsworth Ross , born Dec. Ross was also a prolific writer whose flair for popular presentation greatly stimulated interest in social science research. He was an advocate of melioristic sociology—the application of the discipline to the ends of social reform. Ross received his B. He joined the faculty at Stanford University in as professor of administration and finance but became more interested in sociology. His political views he was an adherent of populism in U.
Edward Alsworth Ross Facts
Edward Alsworth Ross — was one of the founders of American sociology and is perhaps best remembered for his militant advocacy of melioristic sociology—a sociology dedicated to the cause of social reform. He was internationally known, also, as a sociological theorist. Orphaned when he was not yet ten years old, he was cared for by various relatives in Iowa and finally given a foster home with the Beach family in Marion, Iowa; he maintained close ties with Mrs. Beach until her death. Following his graduation, he studied in Germany and at Johns Hopkins , where he received his ph.
Edward Alsworth Ross
Edward Alsworth Ross , one of the founders of American sociology, is best remembered for his "Social Control. Edward A. Ross was born in Virden, Ill. His father was a farmer, and his mother a schoolteacher. At 20 Ross graduated from Coe College in Cedar Rapids, lowa; at 22, after two years as a teacher at the Ford Dodge Commercial Institute, he left for graduate study at the University of Berlin; and at 24 he received his doctorate in political economy at Johns Hopkins University. In Ross was appointed full professor at Leland Stanford University, where he remained until his celebrated dismissal, in , over the question of his right to speak out as a reformer on public issues.