Robert Merton's Contribution To Sociology

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To fully understand what Robert K. Merton contributed to sociology. We must understand who he was, what he believed in, why he believed what he did and finally, why he argued against other sociologists. In this essay, I will be talking about Self Fulfilling Prophecies, Middle Range Theories, Manifest and Latent Functions and the Strain between Culture and Social Structure. Robert Merton, is one of America’s most significant social scientists. He was born on the 4th of July 1910 and died 23rd February 2003, aged 92. He developed theories on deviance, the concepts of self-fulfilling prophecy, role model and manifest function. Merton studied sociology in Harvard University and earned his doctorate degree in 1936. He then taught in Harvard for a further two years. He started in Columbia University in 1941 where after more than 30 years he became the University’s highest rank, University Professor in 1974. Merton then retired from teaching in 1984. He was awarded a National Medal of Science in 1994, the first sociologist to receive the award. Over 20 universities have awarded him with honorary degrees. Many in America but also many abroad. He is also credited as the creator of the focus group research award. Merton was passionate about social science. His interests lay in interactions and the importance between social and cultural structures and science. One of Merton’s contributions to sociology was the notion of “Self-Fulfilling Prophecy”. For Merton, he cited ‘Thomas

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