an interview with Don Martindale

 

Martindale and Mohan, ‘An Interview with Don Martindale’ – International Social Science Review’

 

Posted here as a PDF file:

Perspectives of a Contemporary Critical Realist: An Interview with Don Martindale

By Don Martindale and Raj P. Mohan

International Social Science Review

Vol. 58, No. 3 (summer 1983), pp. 142-154

Don Martindale was a professor of sociology at the University of Minnesota. Raj P. Mohan was a professor of sociology at Auburn University.

Martindale makes personal observations about and comparisons between sociologists such as Sorokin, Talcott Parsons, Robert Merton, and C. Wright Mills which some scholars may find interesting.

 

— posted by Roger W. Smith

     August 2021

a telling criticism

 

 

[C. Wright Mills’s] The Sociological Imagination … was a collection of literary essays–some brilliant, others pedestrian-that permitted the profession to engage in the sort of self-analysis that too few people in the sociological positivism of the 1950s were prepared to engage in. True enough Pitirim Sorokin made a similar effort [in his Fads and Foibles in Modern Sociology and Related Sciences], but it was so laden with moral judgments and psychological mysticism that it could not penetrate to the heart of the issues raised by the dominant tendencies toward empiricism. Sorokin in his own distinct way, like [Talcott] Parsons, became captive to generalizations that were so rich in tautology and platitudes that we forgot how often devoid they were in specific reference points. [italics added]

 

— Irving Louis Horowitz, “C. Wright Mills, 1916-1962: Bright Lights and Dark Shadows,” Contemporary Sociology, Vol. 41, No. 4 (July 2012), pg. 415

 

 

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What I would be inclined to say is that the late Irving Louis Hortwitz, a distinguished American sociologist, made an excellent point — in this article about C. Wright Mills — about Pitirim A. Sorokin’s shortcomings as a scholar and writer. True, it was only a passing remark.

Horowitz was a student of Mills at Columbia University and edited two posthumous collections of Mills’s work. Note that he also found fault with the writings of Sorokin’s nemesis Talcott Parsons!

 

 

— Roger W. Smith

   April 2019