(1967) The Police: Six Sociological Essays

The two sociological essays reprinted here, "The Social Organism" and "Specialized Administration" represent another, and not entirely compatible, side of Spencer's thought. The relationship between Spencer's political thought and both his general evolutionism and his evolutionary sociology are too intricate and confused to be untangled here—or perhaps anywhere. But a few points can be made with special regard to these two essays. The foremost is that the main purpose of the social organism metaphor is to emphasize the non-mechanical, non-intentional, yet mutually co-ordinated, character of the processes which give rise to and sustain any given society and its institutions and the pervasiveness, in any complex society, of social orders and structures which are, in Hayek's recent language, the result of human action but not of human design. The metaphor also serves to highlight further parallels between, e.g., the physiological and the economic divisions of labor. It was no part of Spencer's intention to advocate any form of moral or methodological organicism. Thus he asserts that in contrast to biological organisms, "The corporate life [of society] must be subservient to the lives of the parts instead of the lives of the parts being subservient to the corporate life." Yet here too intention and result part company. For, within "The Social Organism," we find Spencer proclaiming that "our Houses of Parliament discharge, in the social economy, functions which are in sundry respects comparable to those discharged by the cerebral masses in a vertebrate animal." Such assertions clearly paved the way for T. H. Huxley to claim in "Administrative Nihilism" that an implication of the organism metaphor was that the economy can and occasionally should be the subject of Parliament's intentional control and manipulation just as a biological organism's body can and usually should be controlled and manipulated by that individual's central nervous system.

sociological imagination essaysThe

Silver, Andrew, "The Demand for Order in Civil Society: A Review of Some Important Themes in the History of Urban Crime, Police and Riot," in The Police: Six Sociological Essays. edited by David Bordua, New York New York: Wiley, 1967.

Historical and sociological essays on schooling in Finland

The Finnish Education Mystery: Historical and sociological essays on schooling in Finland In a world where discussions of recent trends in religion andculture often mention individualism and not-in-my-back-yardexclusionary impulses, it is refreshing to find an entire volume ofsociological essays dedicated to exploring a rather differentphenomenon. seeks to explore an apparentrise in social movements oriented toward inclusion and solidarity,from European antiracist groups, to volunteer charityorganizations, to long-distance solidarity with Third Worldrefugees. In contrast to the self-interested rationality that isassumed in much collective action theory — for example, indiscussions of the "free-rider" problem — these movements seembased in a moral vision that stretches beyond immediate personalgrievances, where activists appear motivated by altruistic concernfor others less fortunate than themselves, locally orinternationally.

those sociological essays of mine are not wholly discursive

The decade following the publication and moderate success of was devoted to the composition of a number of crucial papers developing Spencer's Lamarckian-oriented evolutionary perspective and also of a series of important political and sociological essays. Though Spencer's health and finances continued to be in precarious condition, during this period he entered into friendships with many of England's most notable intellectual figures, including George Eliot, Thomas Huxley, George Lewes and John Stuart Mill. Spencer's status as a political heretic during this and succeeding decades should not obscure his broader role as a valued member of the scientific secularist intellectual community. In 1858 Spencer formulated the ambitious outline for his Synthetic Philosophy, on which he was to work, in the face of competing projects and recurring ill-health, for the next thirty-eight years. This scheme included his plus multi-volume works in the Principles of Biology, Psychology, Sociology and Ethics. To fund this project Spencer at first sought the income of some undemanding governmental post in the India administration, as a prison governor, as a postal official or even as a member of the consular service. No suitable posts were available; and, instead, Spencer developed a subscription arrangement to finance his great project. Crucial to this arrangement, as it developed, were the American subscriptions gathered by Spencer's greatest promoter, Edward L. Youmans. When in the mid-sixties this financial construction collapsed due to subscriber's non-payments and Spencer's delays in issuing sections of the Synthetic Philosophy, Mill offered to cover Spencer's immediate losses and to organize a subvention for Spencer's continued work. Spencer refused this charitable aid. However, when Youmans organized a fund among American admirers which would either be paid to Spencer or revert to his American publishers, Spencer "who detested publishers more than he disliked charity, could not refuse."

Tradition and Revolt: Historical and Sociological Essays