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Additional info for Critiques of Research in the Social Sciences: An Appraisal of Thomas and Znaniecki’s The Polish Peasant in Europe and America

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8 By attitude we understand a process of individual consciousness which determines real or possible activity of the individual in the social world. Thus, hunger that compels the consumption of the foodstuff; the work­ man's decision to use the tool; the tendency of the spendthrift to spend the coin; the poet's feelings and ideas expressed in the poem and the reader's sympathy and admiration; the needs which the institution tries to satisfy and the response it provokes; the fear and devotion manifested in the cult of the divinity; the interest in creating, understanding, or applying a scientific theory and the ways of thinking implied in it­ all these are attitudes.

Such uniformities of reaction to social influences as can be found constitute a problem in themselves. . If the members of a certain group react in an identical way to certain values, it is because they have been socially trained to react thus . . "23 Their general reaction against this type of knowledge is indicated by the following passage: . . social science cannot remain on the surface of social becoming where certain schools wish to have it float, but must reach the actual " Vol. I, 7 28 Vol.

26 These kinds of knowledge are regarded by the authors as deficient. They believe their own methodological scheme pro­ vides the approach necessary for securing knowledge which is genuinely scientific. It is of importance in this analysis of Thomas and Znan­ iecki's work to note that they have not given any "laws of social becoming" that stand the test of their own specified requirements, such as that of making a conscientious search for negative instances. In fact, it must be pointed out that there is a marked paucity, even, of proposed laws, despite the fact that, as we shall see, they are working with an abundance 24 Vol.

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Critiques of Research in the Social Sciences: An Appraisal of Thomas and Znaniecki’s The Polish Peasant in Europe and America by Herbert Blumer


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