The Chicago School Diaspora Epistemology and Substance

by Jacqueline Low (ed.), Gary Bowden (ed.)

The Chicago School Diaspora Epistemology and Substance When the University of Chicago was founded in 1892 it established the first sociology department in the United States The department grew rapidly in reputation and influence and by the 1920s graduates of its program were heading newly formed sociology programs across the country and determining the direction of the discipline and its future research Their way of thinking about social relations revolutionized the social sciences by emphasizing an empirical approach to research instead of the m

Publisher : McGill Queen s University Press

Author : Jacqueline Low (ed.), Gary Bowden (ed.)

ISBN : 9780773542655

Year : 2013

Language: en

File Size : 6.06 MB

Category : Used Textbooks

the chicago school diaspora

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The Chicago School Diaspora
Epistemology and Substance
Edited by
jacqueline low and gary bowden

McGill-Queen’s University Press
Montreal & Kingston • London • Ithaca

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©  McGill-Queen’s University Press 2013
isb n
isb n
isb n
isb n

978-0-7735-4265-5 (cloth)
978-0-7735-4266-2 (paper)
978-0-7735-8969-8 (ep df )
978-0-7735-8970-4 (ep ub)

Legal deposit fourth quarter 2013
Bibliothèque nationale du Québec
Printed in Canada on acid-free paper that is 100% ancient forest free
(100% post-consumer recycled), processed chlorine free
Publication of this book is generously supported by the Department of
Sociology and the Faculty of Arts, University of New Brunswick, and by
a University of New Brunswick Busteed Publication award.
McGill-Queen’s University Press acknowledges the support of the Canada
Council for the Arts for our publishing program. We also acknowledge the
financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book
Fund for our publishing activities.

Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication
The Chicago School diaspora: epistemology and substance / edited
by Jacqueline Low and Gary Bowden.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Issued in print and electronic formats.
ISB N 978-0-7735-4265-5 (bound). – IS BN 978-0-7735-4266-2 (pbk.). –
ISB N 978-0-7735-8969-8 (ep df ). – IS BN 978-0-7735-8970-4 (ep u b )
1. Chicago school of sociology – History.  2. University of Chicago. 
Department of Sociology – Influence – History.  3. Sociology – Illinois –
Chicago – History.  4. Sociology – United States – History.  I. Low,
Jacqueline, 1964–, author, writer of introduction, editor of compilation 
II. Bowden, Gary Lee, 1953–, author, writer of introduction, editor
of compilation
hm463.c55 2013
301.0973

c 2013-906407-9
c 2013-906408-7

This book was typeset by Interscript in 10.5/13 Sabon.

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Contents

Introduction: The Chicago School as Symbol and
Enactment 3
Gary Bowden and Jacqueline Low
section i  (re)visiting the chicago school(s)
1 Hull-House and the Chicago Schools of Sociology:
Public and Liberation Sociology on Race, Class, Gender,
and Peace, 1892–1920  29
Mary Jo Deegan
2 Was There a Black Chicago School?  47
Roger A. Salerno
3 Chicago’s Proclivity to Qualitative Sociology: Myth or
Reality? 61
David A. Nock
4 After the Barren Search for Laws  79
George Park
section ii  mead and goffman: key thinkers
of the chicago school diaspora

5 Finding G.H. Mead’s Social Ontology in His Engagement
with Key Intellectual Influences  93
Antony J. Puddephatt
6 Mending Mead’s “I” and “Me” Distinction  110
Gary A. Cook

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vi Contents

7 Working the Chicago Interstices: Warner and Goffman’s
Intellectual Formation  126
Greg Smith and Yves Winkin
8 Reading Goffman: On the Creation of an Enigmatic Founder  150
Isher-Paul Sahni
section iii  the chicago school diaspora:
urban ecology

9 Nels Anderson and the Chicago School of Urban Sociology  169
Rolf Lindner
10 Flop Houses, Fancy Hotels, and “Second-Rate Bohemia”:
Zorbaugh’s The Gold Coast and the Slum and the Gentrification
Debate 178
Mervyn Horgan
11 Urban Sociology in Poor Cities of Africa and the Middle East:
A New Methodology Inspired by Robert E. Park’s Urban
Ecological Approach  199
Thomas K. Park, Luis Cisneros, Edward Nell,
and Mourad Mjahed
12 Tourist Zones, Emotional Buttons, and the
Ubiquitous Beggar  210
Gary Bowden
13 Constructions of Public and Private Spheres in the Soviet
Communal Apartment: Erving Goffman’s Notion of
Territories of Self  223
Defne Över
14 Urban Imagery, Tourism, and the Future of New Orleans  238
Mark Hutter and DeMond S. Miller
section iv  the chicago school diaspora:
boundaries, constructions, and claims
15 Hassidim Confronting Modernity  255
William Shaffir
16 What Is “Genius” in Arts and “Brain Drain” in Life Science?  272
Izabela Wagner

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Contents vii

17 Situating The Hobo: Romancing the Road from Vagabondia
to Hobohemia  287
Jeffrey Brown
18 Constructing Stockholm Syndrome: A Definitional History  307
Antony Christensen, Benjamin Kelly, Michael Adorjan,
and Dorothy Pawluch
section v 

the chicago school diaspora:

new directions

19 Aristotle’s Theory of Education: Enduring Lessons in
Pragmatist Scholarship  325
Robert Prus
20 Symbolic Interaction and Organizational Leadership:
From Theory to Practice in University Settings  344
Scott Grills
21 The Emperor Has No Clothes: Waning Idealism and the
Professionalization of Sociologists  357
Jacqueline Low
22 Formal Grounded Theory, the Serious Leisure Perspective,
and Positive Sociology  366
Robert A. Stebbins
Contributors 381
Index 385

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the chicago school diaspora

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introduction

The Chicago School as Symbol
and Enactment
gary bowden and jacqueline low

A cursory review of the literature on sociology at the University of
Chicago reveals its startling magnitude. According to Abbott (2007),
one of the tradition’s most noted historians, close to 2,000 scholarly
items have been written about Chicago sociology.1 This dwarfs the
amount written about sociology at other institutional locations and
rivals the volume written about major theorists or theoretical traditions (cf. Abbott 1999; Becker 1999; Bulmer 1984; Carey 1975;

1  There is considerable variation in the terms used to discuss Chicago sociology.
Thus, in this chapter and in the section introductions to follow, we use “Chicago
sociology” (or “sociology at the University of Chicago”) to refer to the entire corpus of sociological work done at the University of Chicago. We use “Chicago
School sociology” (or “Chicago School”) when writing of the ideas, individuals,
and practices people associate with a particular subset of Chicago sociology. We
use the latter inclusively, to incorporate both individuals and work done within the
Department of Sociology and the contributions of scholars, such as G.H. Mead,
who were at Chicago but not in the Sociology Department. Moreover, we treat this
term as a label that incorporates both a social structural object (i.e., the individuals, ideas, and practices of scholars interacting at the University of Chicago at a
particular point in time) and a cultural object (i.e., the meaning imposed onto that
social structural object by individuals separated from it in time, space, or both).
Finally, we use “the Chicago School tradition” (also “heritage” or “legacy”) to
incorporate both Chicago School sociology and the ideas and practices associated
with scholars who see their work as a continuation of Chicago School sociology.

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4

Gary Bowden and Jacqueline Low

Chapoulie 2001; Deegan 1988; Faris 1967; Fine 1995; Harvey 1987;
Shore 1987; Turner 1988).
In contributing to this literature, we document the intellectual
breadth of the Chicago School heritage and its continued vitality
among scholars, most of whom are not formally associated with the
University of Chicago. All of the chapters in this volume are the
product of individuals who see themselves and their work as centrally informed by key thinkers and key insights associated with the
Chicago School tradition. The volume is organized to highlight the
variety of ways in which these scholars build upon and make use of
that tradition. Our aim is to shed light on the paradoxical character
of Chicago School sociology, which is conventionally represented as
a coherent entity (i.e., “the Chicago School”) despite the fact that
there is little scholarly consensus about its intellectual core. Finally,
via our concept of the Chicago School Diaspora, we contribute to an
understanding of the process whereby individuals select from and
find meaning in figures and ideas they associate with the Chicago
School tradition.
the distinctive character of the chicago school
of sociology

What is the Chicago School of Sociology? Becker (1999, 3–4) lists
five elements, some or all of which are characteristically associated
with the concept: (1) in the early 1900s, the founders, particularly
W.I. Thomas and George Herbert Mead, created a coherent and
cohesive scheme of sociological thought capable of guiding research;
(2) in the 1920s and 1930s, a second generation at Chicago, fuelled
by the energy of Robert Park and Ernest Burgess, undertook a vast
empirical research program based on that vision; (3) in the late
1930s and 1940s, a third generation, trained by Park and Burgess
and led by Everett Hughes and Herbert Blumer, developed what is
now labelled symbolic interactionism; (4) after World War II, a
group of graduate students trained by Hughes and Blumer, labelled
by Fine (1995) as a “Second Chicago School,” used the ideas of symbolic interactionism and the practice of field research to create a
substantial body of work that remains vital to this date; and (5) as
Becker (1999, 4) notes, the story holds that “all of these people were
the carriers of a common theoretical tradition which flowed from
the vision of Park and the philosophy of Mead, was nourished by the

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Introduction 5

theoretical profundities of Blumer and the research ingenuity of
Hughes, and was responsible for two great bursts of theoretically
integrated ‘Chicago School’ work, first in the late 20s and 30s, and
again after the Second World War.”
Three features of the above narrative, features that form the fault
lines among various interpretations of the School, require explicit
identification. First, the account treats the Chicago School as a social
structural object – that is, a specific set of individuals interacting in a
particular location and producing a coherently meaningful set of
works. Second, the account renders the School as consisting of several
generations of scholars associated with the department over a period
of half a century. Third, throughout the account is the assumption of
an overall coherence that binds the various contributions of these
individuals together. Thus, the later generations of Chicago School
sociologists stood on the shoulders of giants (the earlier generations)
in order to come up with a unifying theoretical / methodological paradigm (symbolic interactionism). However, not all scholars accept this
account and instead contest the assumptions of the unity of the
Chicago School, the chronological span, the relative importance of
particular thinkers or chronological periods, and whether or not the
School should be defined solely in social structural terms.
To illustrate, Abbott’s (1999, 4–33) historiography identifies three
phases in the writing about the Chicago School. The first phase,
beginning with the use of the label by Bernard in 1930 and culminating in the works of Faris (1967) and Carey (1975), condensed the
image of the thing to be studied and gave it a name: the Chicago
School of Sociology. These works identified the individuals associated
with the Chicago School, described their methods and interaction,
and generally distinguished Chicago School sociology from other
things, such as sociology as a whole, sociology at Columbia, the social
welfare tradition, and so on. The second phase, exemplified in the
writings of Matthews (1977), Rock (1979), Lewis and Smith (1980),
and Bulmer (1984), gave comprehensive, if mutually inconsistent,
historical interpretations to the object. For Rock, as for Lewis and
Smith, the Chicago School was understood primarily in terms of
social psychology and / or interactionist theory. In contrast, the interpretations of Matthews and Bulmer emphasized the study of social
organization, particularly in terms of fieldwork and the ecological
tradition associated with Park and Burgess, in combination with
social psychology. While the fault line between scholars who defined

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Gary Bowden and Jacqueline Low

the Chicago School in terms of social psychology and those who
emphasized social organization is the most dramatic, there are similar
divisions within each stream. Thus, for example, both Mead and Park
are virtually absent from Lewis and Smith’s (1980) social psychology–tinged rendition of the core of the Chicago School, while Rock
(1979) argued that Park, as the conduit of Simmelian formalism, had
an important role in the development of symbolic interactionism.
Works from Abbott’s third historiographical phase, represented in the
writings of Deegan (1988; this volume), Smith (1988), and Lindner
(1996; this volume), re-embedded the Chicago School in larger traditions: the social reform movement for Deegan, the tradition of social
critique for Smith, and the tradition of urban newspaper reportage
for Lindner. Abbott (1999, 30) summarizes the trajectory of the historiography as having gone from “they were new” to “they had many
precursors.”
Significantly, the label “Chicago School” was not a member’s concept. The term was not used at the University of Chicago in the
1920s (Cavan 1983, 408), and its meaning was not clearly delineated until decades later. As Abbott (1999, 34–79) has shown, it was
during departmental debates in the 1950s over the meaning of the
tradition that the concept coalesced into a distinct object among
Chicago faculty. Buffeted by a variety of internal and external pressures (e.g., tensions between the department and upper administration; the emergence of Parsonian sociology and the related ascendency
of Harvard; McCarthyesque inquiries into the activities of some
department members), the department undertook an intensive
period of self-reflection aimed at reclaiming its previous glory. These
battles between departmental members in the early 1950s defined
Park’s legacy for the department. In this sense, the first Chicago
School was a creation of Fine’s (1995) Second Chicago School. These
battles underscore the dual nature of the resulting label: the Chicago
School exists both as a social structural entity (consisting of particular individuals embedded in a particular social context and producing specific work that had particular consequences) and as a cultural
object (with particular meanings that scholars attach to it).
Contemporary scholarship in the Chicago School tradition is not
located in Chicago. The connection to Chicago is historic and symbolic. Structurally, the Chicago School tradition has gone through
­several phases. It began in Chicago and spread, initially through the
employment of Chicago graduates, to peripheral centres at other

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