Sociology Department . He proclaimed that Randy might be the smartest person he had ever met—a surprising admission since my colleague tended to see himself as this "smartest person." ... “Levi-Strauss' Structural History.” Pp. Steven Loyal in ‘Bourdieu and Collins on the Reproduction of Elites’ returns to analysing macro processes, again focusing on Collins’s credential society, but this time comparing it with Bourdieu’s work in the sociology of education, and especially his book The State Nobility. Collins is currently Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. Some society journals require you to create a personal profile, then activate your society account, You are adding the following journals to your email alerts, Did you struggle to get access to this article? These studies emphasise the role emotions, rituals and routine encounters play in social life. Collins has not only penned several works about sociology and its history, but he is also responsible for a novel about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous detective character, Sherlock Holmes. Read more. Randall Collins is Dorothy Swaine Thomas Professor of Sociology at University of Pennsylvania. During one of his self-inflicted "private scholar" phases after he resigned from the University of Virginia (to end the cross-country commute and be with his wife and children), he began teaching at UCR occasionally, then for a year, and to my delight, he joined our faculty full time in 1985. By Jonathan Turner, University of California-Riverside and University of California and originally published in Footnotes, Volume 39, Number 7. In addition, he read papers from scholars from all over the world; he gave many talks on and off campus; he participated in public debates (mostly with me) for the benefit of our graduate students; and in general, Randy created an intellectual synergy and dynamism that is rare. The first section briefly reviews Collins’s main books and assesses their impact on social science. To reduce its myriad complexities to causal order requires theory on another level of analysis. 109-132 in Sociology Since Midcentury: Essays in Theory Cumulation. We have a truncated view of what William James is about. His first academic job at the University of Wisconsin, first promoted at the University of California-San Diego, then professor at the University of Virginia, senior professor at the University of California-Riverside, and most recently, endowed Chair at the University of Pennsylvania. View or download all content the institution has subscribed to. The classical tradition of theory in sociology moves in three distinct directions: the Marxian, Weberian, and Durkheimian. I cannot remember when we first met, but I had heard of him before I had read his work. A few famous lines: “the saddle-back of the present”; the world is “a blooming, buzzing confusion” (he meant, … Belknap Press. By continuing to browse His work has been highly influential within and outside sociology. Even though he commuted from San Diego a day or two a week, we still managed to have many discussions, often with graduate students, about issues pertaining to sociological theory. This enormous book, based on over 30 years of painstaking research, traces the rise and decline of different intellectual traditions throughout the world over the thousands of years of human history. Nevertheless, his theory fails to address the importance of nationalism, especially as it operates in small states or those with an absence of geo-political dominance. Randall Collins is Dorothy Swaine Thomas Professor of Sociology at University of Pennsylvania. In the last paper Randall Collins thoughtfully reflects and responds to the ideas and arguments of all these papers, pointing to developments and misunderstandings in his impressive oeuvre. Rather, Collins (1975) draws on the work of Weber, Durkheim, and Goffman to argue that symbolic goods and emotional solidarity are … Randall Collins is arguably one of the world’s leading social theorists and probably the most prominent American sociologist. The e-mail addresses that you supply to use this service will not be used for any other purpose without your consent. He has always been present in his capacity to get others, including me, to think about the issues. Lean Library can solve it. 1002-1019. He does this in order to discuss the similarities and differences between the two with respect to explaining the reproduction of elite social strata, and in order to demonstrate their respective explanatory strengths and weaknesses. We team taught several courses in a point-counterpoint format—even one with more faculty than students. His research interests include migration, sociological theory, sociology of knowledge, and historical sociology. Also in process are a series on what produces charismatic leaders, and on how sociological processes generate creativity in literature and science. He presents a theory of social interaction on the … Randall Collins:A Smart and Influential TheoristProfessor Randall Collins has had a remarkable career. Hence the nation-state, as the dominant form of organisational power in modernity and the only institution capable of monopolising the legitimate use of violence over a specific territory, becomes the key power player in the geopolitical arena. Hence this special issue aims to go further in order to explore different aspects of Collins’s work, including his theories of violence, interaction ritual chains, credential society, conflict sociology, nationalism, geo-political change and his sociology of emotions among others. The most successful networks combine effective and relatively centralised organisational structures with clearly articulated and active intellectual positions involved in continuous debates with competing intellectual networks, as was the case with the ancient Greek and Chinese schools of thought or the networks of scholars in the Islamic world between the 8th and 13th centuries. New York: Academic Press. Google Scholar. He also developed an analytical framework that proved highly successful in predicting the fall of the Soviet Union long before anybody could have contemplated this possibility. Impressed and intrigued, I eagerly bought and read Conflict Sociology: Toward an Explanatory Science (1975) and began to think that my colleague might be right. Randy is certainly one of the most cited sociologists ever, and he has published an enormous body of work. Hence by zooming in on the different intellectual traditions and on the ways new interpretative frameworks are generated, Collins devised a unique theory of intellectual change that explores not only how new knowledge is created but also how and why some theories gain influence while others remain invisible. It is all of a piece: what Randall Collins calls ‘forward panic’. Collins represents the exception here. Collins, Randall. This absence is especially evident in his failure to account for contemporary macro changes entailing the rise of populism. What emerges from this history is a social theory of intellectual change, one that avoids both the reduction of ideas to the influences of society at large and the purely contingent local construction of meanings. The strongest contemporary advocate of conflict theory is Randall Collins. Nevertheless, there is a fundamental lacuna in his analysis in that it overstates the importance of emotional energy in (re)producing a hierarchical social order since many interactions involve individuals lacking charisma and emotional energy, and the link between these micro processes and the macro status groups struggling over collective goods is missing. at Harvard 1963 (where he studied with Talcott Parsons); M.A. Weblinks The book challenges the conventional views that associate violence with morally flawed individuals by conceptualising violent acts as situational … Randall Collins:A Smart and Influential Theorist. For example, his novel concepts and ideas, such as the interaction ritual chains, forward panic, credential society, and the micro-foundations of macro-sociology, among many others, have had a wide application across many disciplines including political science, international relations, security studies, anthropology, history, geography, criminology, psychology, nationalism studies and sociology. 1986. And yet, argues sociologist Randall Collins, they and much else in our social lives are driven by a common force: interaction rituals. Randall Collins (born July 29, 1941) is an American sociologist who has been influential in both his teaching and writing. One of the key arguments advanced is that most individuals are adverse to, and incompetent at, violence in face-to-face contexts. And yet, argues sociologist Randall Collins, they and much else in our social lives are driven by a common force: interaction rituals. He has taught in many notable universities around the world and his academic works have been translated into various languages. Randy’s most recent books—Interaction Ritual Chains (2004) and Violence: A Micro-Sociological Theory (2008) and his in-progress book on Time-Dynamics of Conflict—all attest to the continuity in his theoretical approach since Conflict Sociology was first published (and republished this year by Paradigm Press). According to Barnes, Weber’s shift from focusing on status groups to class analysis in order to explain social processes that took place in the last two centuries was both unnecessary and mistaken: rather, class conflict should be reconceived as status group struggle. As violent episodes break everyday routine activities and as such disrupt collective ritual cooperation, they create tension and emotional discomfort. Over the decades, the conceptualization of interaction rituals has expanded considerably beyond its early Goffman and Durkheim roots into a more general theory of emotions and interaction processes from which all other socio-cultural formations are ultimately driven. For Collins the vibrancy of a particular intellectual network entails external debates, dialogues and disagreement but also internal social dynamics with shifting patterns of stratification and solidarity. Please read and accept the terms and conditions and check the box to generate a sharing link. He has taught in many notable universities around the world and his academic works have been translated into various languages. The book challenges the conventional views that associate violence with morally flawed individuals by conceptualising violent acts as situational responses. His Durkheimian focus on symbols and rituals as well as Weberian foregrounding of geo-politics integrates a macro and micro focus, which examines nationalism in terms of effervescent time-bubbles and has been of tremendous significance for the study of nationalism. 3718 Locust Walk . 6-3/8 x 9-1/4 inches. New York: Academic Press, 1974, pp.56-61. Sharing links are not available for this article. For Collins violent encounters generate similar human responses that are characterised by confrontational tension and fear. Collins’s next highly influential book, The Credential Society: A Historical Sociology of Education and Stratification (1979), advanced further the argument about the conflictual nature of social relations. Randall Collins traces the movement of philosophical thought in ancient Greece, China, Japan, India, the medieval Islamic and Jewish world, medieval Christendom, and modern Europe. A Global Theory of Intellectual Change. Sociological theory, social conflict, economic and network sociology, micro-sociology/social interaction, sociology of … 3. In Contemporary Populist Politics through the Macroscopic Lens of Collins’ Conflict Theory, Ralph Schroeder argues that although Collins is a leading historical sociologist, especially evident in his early macro-oriented work focusing on conflict, he fails to tie together and explain the interplay between the various strands of his thinking centred on economic change, the role of geo-politics and social movements. He has written on migration in Ireland, the work of Anthony Giddens from a sociology of knowledge point of view, and Norbert Elias. This work introduces the early elements of his famous "interaction rituals," which Randy argues are the driving force of the micro, meso, and macro social orders. Credentialism and educational inflation are any of a number of related processes involving increased demands for formal educational qualifications, and the devaluation of these qualifications. Collins, Randall. Related Subjects. Google Scholar. Interaction Ritual Chains is a major work of sociological theory that attempts to develop a "radical microsociology." Social structures are inseparable from the actors; creating social organization Marxian theory as a “starting point” Social Stratification Collins criticizes the great theories of stratification (Marx and Weber) Collins, Weber and phenomenology Collins used Marx and Weber as In Western society, there has been increasing reliance on formal qualifications or certification for jobs. In addition, the ideas that underpin Collins’s macro-sociology of violence have also found their more popularised application in his recently published two volume novel Civil War 2 (2018). Weberian Sociological Theory. He argued that Randall Collins is best-known for his path-breaking books that have defined several fields of sociology, including Conflict Sociology: Toward an Explanatory Science (1975), The Credential Society (1979), Weberian Sociological Theory (1986), Theoretical Sociology (1988), The Sociology of Philosophies: A Global Theory of Intellectual Change (1998), Interaction Ritual Chains (2004), Violence: A Micro-Sociological Theory (2008), and Napoleon Never Slept: How Great Leaders Leverage Social Energy (2015) (with Maren McConnell). Randall Collins traces the movement of philosophical thought in ancient Greece, China, Japan, India, the medieval Islamic and Jewish world, medieval Christendom, and modern Europe. His books include Interaction Ritual Chains (Princeton) and The Sociology of Philosophies: A Global Theory of Intellectual Change. Military organisations have also devised different weapon systems that can be navigated collectively and, in this way, can maintain a degree of group solidarity that would stimulate collective war efforts. Examining the experiences of American and British soldiers in wars from the 1860s onwards, Mann points instead to the role of coercive military organisation and fear and loathing in explaining the persistence of military non-fire, rather than moral qualms. Collins’s micro focus on emotional energy in face-to-face interactions, drawn from Durkheim and Goffman’s foregrounding of rituals and the existence of Weberian status groups on a macro level, however, allows the discipline to fend off such unwarranted attacks. Collins is currently Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. in psychology at Stanford (1964); and Ph.D. at University of California, Berkeley (1969), where he studied with Herbert Blumer, Erving Goffman, and Reinhard Bendix. There have been many lunches, dinners, parties, hikes, car rides, and sailing trips where we continued to talk sociology. Collins, Randall (1990b): Stratification, Emotional Energy and the Transient Emotions, in: Theodore D. Kemper (Hg. Randall Collins In the popular misconception fostered by blockbuster action movies and best-selling thrillers—not to mention conventional explanations by social scientists—violence is easy under certain conditions, like poverty, racial or ideological hatreds, or family pathologies. In methodological terms Conflict Sociology challenges hard positivism and relativist interpretivism, arguing that sociological research can still generate cumulative knowledge without adopting the science-driven paradigm. For more information view the SAGE Journals Article Sharing page. It would seem that he has done all that at an academic can do, but I cannot imagine that he is finished. Professor Randall Collins has had a remarkable career. He received a B.A. Short. Eschewing interpretivist visions of the sociological project, Collins is an unabashed advocate of positivism and attempts, in his theoretical work, to formulate "generalized, causal, empirical explanations" for … This product could help you, Accessing resources off campus can be a challenge. Credentialism and educational inflation are any of a number of related processes involving increased demands for formal educational qualifications, and the devaluation of these qualifications. Thus, Collins demonstrates how empirical studies on state formation and social stratification have fostered development of sociological knowledge over time. A CONFLICT THEORY OF SEXUAL STRATIFICATION' RANDALL COLLINS University of California, San Diego Employment discrimination against women is explained as the result of a distinc-tive system of stratification by sex. Randy has founded the two major theory journals in our discipline, served on the editorial board of just about every major journal, elected to chair several ASA sections, elected president of the Pacific Sociological Association and to ASA Council, received honorary doctorates, elected as a fellow to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, received the ASA’s Distinguished Scholarship Award for his truly monumental The Sociology of the Philosophies, lectured all over the world, and, not surprisingly, had seen many of his books translated into diverse languages. And now, he is the 102nd President the American Sociological Association, an honor that seemed (to me) almost inevitable for several decades. A theory of Alzheimer’s . "Offering a wealth of observations...Randall Collins's overall theory is neat: violence is not easy, hence relatively rare. Such a sociological absence, he argues, was reinforced by scholars of nationalism who were for the most part non-sociologists. The level of interpersonal interaction is all-inclusive; by the same token, it is highly abstract. And yet, argues sociologist Randall Collins, they and much else in our social lives are driven by a common force: interaction rituals. 36, No. In the last two decades Collins has focused much of his attention on micro-sociology. New York: Academic Press, 1974, pp.56-61. These and many other organisational developments were introduced to overcome the universal confrontational tension and fear that is triggered by violent encounters. For more information view the SAGE Journals Sharing page. The book attempted to question the conventional understandings of education as a fair and successful vehicle of social mobility as well as the functionalist idea that increases in the number of highly educated graduates reflected greater demand from the expanding social system. However, it is in Collins’s book on violence that this theory has received the most comprehensive application. He is a leading contemporary social theorist whose areas of expertise … Thus, I cannot think of anyone more deserving of the presidency of ASA than Randall Collins. Thus, in Max Weber: A Skeleton Key (1985), the Weberian Sociological Theory (1986), and Macro-History: Essays in Sociology of the Long Run (1999), and many articles and book chapters published in this period, Collins advances a conflict and status-centred analysis of social relations. Hence most human beings are reluctant to engage in violent encounters, and when compelled to take part in such violent situations they are usually inept or even paralysed by fear. Collins compares and contrasts the patterns of intellectual networks from ancient China, India, Japan, and Greece, to medieval Islamic, Jewish and Christian scholastic traditions, to more recent intellectual development within the schools of philosophy in Europe. In Violence: A Micro-Sociological Theory (2008) Collins shows how even the most individualist forms of violence, such as assassinations, suicide bombings or sniper shootings, entail a substantive degree of ritualism and collective interaction. Bits and pieces are famous: The James-Lange theory that you feel afraid because you run away, not vice versa. Collins argues that global intellectual change advances according to a very similar pattern with a handful of philosophical schools (no more than six at the time) dominating public attention. In addition, he has held many visiting positions at elite universities and institutes in the United States and around the globe. Create a link to share a read only version of this article with your colleagues and friends. What emerges from this history is a social theory of intellectual change, one that avoids both the reduction of ideas to the influences of society at large and the purely contingent local construction of meanings. Randall Collins. Siniša Malešević is a full professor/chair of Sociology at University College, Dublin. It has been a distinct honor and pleasure to be Randy’s friend for more than 30 years and, for 12 years, his colleague at University of California-Riverside (UCR). Sex, smoking, and social stratification are three very different social phenomena. Sex, smoking, and social stratification are three very different social phenomena. It is a compelling argument." Thus, what marks Randy’s intellectual achievements is not just their volume and obvious brilliance, but also their influence on generations of sociologists all over the world. Google Scholar. For Collins these chains are critical for the production and maintenance of group solidarity, and as such they can be measured empirically: the degree of intergroup solidarity can be determined in part by exploring the intensity of collective attachments to specific group symbols. 109-132 in Sociology Since Midcentury: Essays in Theory Cumulation. 15 maps, 57 line illustrations, 2 tables . We seek the contours of situations, which shape the emotions and acts of the individuals who step inside them. It is a false lead to look for types of violent individuals, constant across situations. I had an often-loud dialogue with Randy, just as many others around the globe have used Randy’s ideas to stimulate their work in a more silent dialogue. You can be signed in via any or all of the methods shown below at the same time. His most recent books are Bourdieu’s Theory of the State: A Critical Introduction (Palgrave, 2017) and State Power and Asylum Seekers (Palgrave, 2018, with Steve Quilley). The fundamental bases of sexual stratification are human sexual drives in conjunction with male physical dominance. Instead, Collins develops a wider theory of conflict that incorporates Weber, Marx, Durkheim and Goffman. Wiesbaden: Springer VS, 245-259. (From Randall Collins, Conflict Sociology. The level of interpersonal interaction is all-inclusive; by the same token, it is highly abstract. He has taught in many notable universities around the world and his academic works have been translated into various languages. This assertion, he argues, draws on S.L.A. As you know, Marx was centrally concerned with class and the dialectics of capitalism. Armies have also utilised new technologies to extend the distance between the soldiers that shoot at each other so as to prevent the traumatic emotional responses of individuals experiencing the act of killing and injuring others. Thesis Eleven Pty, Ltd., SAGE Publications, Introduction to special issue: The sociology of Randall Collins, Emotion, interaction and the structure-agency problem: Building on the sociology of Randall Collins, Grounding nationalism: Randall Collins and the sociology of nationhood, Weininger, EB, Lareau, A, Lizardo, O (eds) (. How does the “Marxist” approach differ from the Functionalist approach? In this period Collins also published several influential books focusing on the wider theoretical developments within sociology, including Sociology since Mid-century: Essays in Theory Cumulation (1981), Sociological Insight: An Introduction to Non-obvious Sociology (1982), Three Sociological Traditions (1985) and Theoretical Sociology (1988). Find out about Lean Library here, If you have access to journal via a society or associations, read the instructions below. Collins, Randall (1990a): Conflict Theory and the Advance of Macro-Historical Sociology. Please check you selected the correct society from the list and entered the user name and password you use to log in to your society website. His books include Interaction Ritual Chains (Princeton) and The Sociology of Philosophies: A Global Theory of Intellectual Change. Marshall’s flawed empirical fieldwork in which soldiers refrained from firing on their enemies. In his paper ‘Statuses and Status Groups’, Barry Barnes acknowledges the explanatory importance that Collins attributes to Weberian status groups. On the other hand, our third conflict theorist, Randall Collins, is much less concerned with orienting his work around Parsons’s project. Collins argues that the educational system is not built to teach specific skills but to inculcate specific middle-class values that favour the status quo, thus providing popular justification for the existing economic and political monopolies within US society: ‘the rise of a competitive system for producing abstract cultural currency in the form of educational credentials has been the major new force shaping stratification in twentieth-century America’ (Collins, 1979: 94). Here, if you have the appropriate software installed, you can be a challenge neat: is! Emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania ever, and MA and PhD from Berkeley ( in Sociology Since Midcentury Essays. Cited sociologists ever, and Historical Sociology a truncated view of what william James Whole-Body. Theory Cumulation Collins demonstrates how empirical studies on state formation and social stratification are three different... 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