Robert King Merton Research Paper by elbeasel

Robert King Merton
An introduction to the life, works, influences, theories and insights of Robert King Merton, the founding father of American sociology.
# 95026 | 2,549 words | 10 sources | MLA | 2007 | US
Published on May 14, 2007 in Sociology (Theory) , Criminology (General)

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This paper explores the important works of Robert King Merton, one of the most influential structural-functional sociologists of all time. It discusses his background and life and then goes on to discuss his insights and theories and how they influenced sociological thinking. The paper also discusses some of the critics views on Merton's work.

Table of Contents:
Background And Influences
Key Contributions

From the Paper:

"In "Theories of The Middle Range", Robert Merton wrote "Perhaps sociology is not yet ready for its Einstein because it has not yet found its Kepler (Clark 83)." Einstein is easily recognizable as the pioneer of modern physics, but Kepler's work four hundred years earlier made Einstein's greatest discoveries possible. This analogy posed by Merton is particularly apt, because Merton's influence on sociology may be as important to later sociologists as Kepler's work was for Einstein. From a relatively meager beginning, Merton became one of the most respected sociologists, contributing a body of work that includes coining such phrases as the "self fulfilling prophecy" and "role model". In addition to these common phrases, Merton's work is the foundation for the modern fields of sociology and criminology."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Calhoun, Craig et al. "Remembering Robert K. Merton." SSRC- Social Science Research Council Volume 4, Item 2-301 Mar 2003 12-23. 04 Apr 2007 <>.
  • Clark, Jon. Robert Merton: Consensus and Controversy. IV. Bristol, PA: The Falmer Press, 1990.
  • Coser, Lewis (1977). Masters of sociological thought. Long Grove, Illinois: Waveland Press, Inc..
  • Holton, Gerald. "Robert K. Merton." Proceedings Of The American Philosophical Society Volume 148. No 148.01 Dec 2004 506-517. 04 Apr 2007 <>.
  • Hughes, Michael, and Carolyn Kroehler. Sociology The Core. 7th. New York, NY: McGraw Hill, 2005.

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