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PRINCIPLES OF SOCIOLOGY
EDWARD ALSWORTH ROSS, PH.D., LL.D.
DEAN OF THE HARVARD LAW SCHOOL
BUILDER OF SOCIOLOGICAL JURISPRUDENCE THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED
After a cataclysm which has destroyed in battle seven and a half million men and set civilization back at least a life time the world ought to be interested in the scientific study of human relations. Sociology was young what time the World War was incubating, but it is a satisfaction to recall her unregarded voice was ever lifted in protest against the dance toward the abyss. Nowhere in Europe was she so contemned as in Germany, where her few champions in the Universities were utterly browbeaten by the arrogant professors of Staatswissenschaften.
Sociologists follow the methods of Science but they are by no means content to seek Knowledge for her own sake. They are not ashamed to avow an over-mastering purpose and that is—to better human relations. They confess that they are studying how to lessen the confusion, strife and mutual destruction among men and to promote harmony and team work. A quaint idea- but after watching civilized humanity tear at its vitals for four and a quarter years one wonders if there may not be something in it!
The sociologists have been taken in by none of the evil doctrines which have brought the world to its present desperate plight. On the other hand, they listen with patience to those who really have at heart the amelioration of man's lot, but they accept no panacea. They do not pin their hopes of social progress to putting "God" in the Constitution, Sabbath protection, prohibition, collective bargaining, single tax on land values, syndicalism, public ownership, or guild socialism. Knowing that humanity must advance along many roads they keep their program broad.
This book I am offering has been a slow growth. Seventeen years have elapsed since I laid out the chapter scheme and began collecting material for it. It contains a system of sociology, i.e., the parts are fitted to one another and taken together they are intended to cover the field; but I do not put it forward as the system. While it is that organization of knowledge about society which helps me the most, no doubt other equally valid systems are