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A new and innovative account of British sociology's intellectual origins that uses previously unknown archival resources to show how the field's forgotten roots in a late nineteenth and early twentieth-century debate about biology can help us understand both its subsequent development and future potential.
List of Illustrations
- Political Economy, the BAAS and Sociology
- Francis Galton and the Science of Eugenics
- Patrick Geddes' Biosocial Science of Civics
- L. T. Hobhouse's Evolutionary Philosophy of Reform
- The Origins and Growth of the Sociological Society
- The End of Biological Sociology in Britain
Chris Renwick is Lecturer in Modern History at the University of York, UK.
"This is a ground-breaking intellectual history of British sociology."
– Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences
"Renwick's recovery of the dynamic origins of British sociology represents a most welcome addition to contemporary social thought well beyond the historical details. The book will be of considerable interest for both historians of science and sociologists, especially those at the graduate level interested in the connection between biology and science."
– Canadian Journal of Sociology
"Renwick's book is clearly written [and] well documented [...] As Steve Fuller correctly says in his Foreword, "This is history of science at its best.""
– Contemporary Sociology
"By highlighting important historical relations between the projects of political economy, eugenics-biometrics, botany and zoology, Herbert Spencer's social philosophy, social reformism and journalism, and the longstanding search for a science of sociology, Renwick's book makes an important contribution to the interpretive aspect of the nineteenth-century problem."
– Ether Wave Propaganda, blog