Robert E. Park, Sociology

To Park, individual self-concepts, goals, and status all contributed to the various forms of society, forms Park believed could be understood in social scientific terms. He was instrumental in drawing sociology away from a normative and often overtly prescriptive analysis of society toward a more objective methodology. This did not, however, lead Park to advocate abandoning earlier efforts to actively intervene and reform society, and he himself participated in such efforts. To avoid the proscriptive approach he criticized in others, he emphasized “the conception of the relativity of the moral order” that was implicit in the work of John Dewey and George Herbert Mead.

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