Smelser, Neil Joseph

Smelser, Neil Joseph

▪ American sociologist
born July 22, 1930, Kahoka, Mo., U.S.

      American sociologist noted for work on the application of sociological theory to the study of economic institutions, collective behaviour, social change, and personality and social structure.

      Smelser was a Rhodes scholar at the University of Oxford from 1952 to 1954 and received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1958. He also studied at the San Francisco Psychoanalytic Institute and joined the University of California at Berkeley faculty, becoming a full professor of sociology in 1962. He was made associate director of the Institute for International Relations (1969–73, 1980–81).

      Besides serving on numerous national sociological-research boards and associations, he published his sociological theories in such work as Economy and Society (1956; with Talcott Parsons), Social Change in the Industrial Revolution (1959), Theory of Collective Behavior (1962), The Sociology of Economic Life (1963; 2nd ed. 1975), Essays in Sociological Explanation (1968), Sociological Theory: A Contemporary View (1971), Comparative Methods in the Social Sciences (1976), and The Changing Academic Market (1980; with Robin Content).

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Universalium. 2010.

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