The Origins of American Social Science
Cambridge University Press
Publication Date :
1 Jan 1991
Focusing on the disciplines of economics, sociology, political science, and history, this book examines how American social science came to model itself on natural science and liberal politics. Professor Ross argues that American social science receives its distinctive stamp from the ideology of American exceptionalism, the idea that America occupies an exceptional place in history, based on her republican government and wide economic opportunity. Professor Ross shows how each of the social science disciplines, while developing their inherited intellectual traditions, responded to change in historical consciousness, political needs, professional structures, and the conceptions of science available to them. This is a comprehensive book, which looks broadly at American social science in its historical context and to demonstrate the central importance of the national ideology of American exceptionalism to the development of the social sciences and to American social thought generally.