The Social Misconstruction of Reality: Validity and Verification in the Scholarly Community

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Yale University Press, Jan 1, 1996 - History - 289 pages
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In this provocative book Richard F. Hamilton examines the social determinants of knowledge, focusing on three well-accepted but erroneous social theories and looking closely at the ways social misconstructions originate and thrive.
Hamilton finds that despite critiques by historians, some scholars continue to believe Max Weber's claim that a strong linkage between Protestantism and worldly success led to the rise of the capitalist West. Similarly, many academics still argue the discredited view that the German lower middle class voted overwhelmingly for the Nazis. Foucalt's flawed interpretation of the "birth of prison" and other disciplinary concepts in modern society finds wide acceptance in many academic circles, despite a lack of serious empirical support. In each of these three cases, the author assesses the logic and empirical accuracy of the accepted theory and alternative theories, and he investigates the social processes giving rise to misconstructions.
  

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User Review  - thcson - LibraryThing

A solid book on academic misjudgement. The author examines the evidence behind three famous theses (including Weber and Foucault) and finds that they are based more on guesswork than on research. He ... Read full review

Contents

Mozarts Poverty Wellingtons Epigram
21
Hitlers Electoral Support
107
The LowerMiddleClass Thesis
146
The Disciplinary Society
171
Some Problems of Intellectual Life
197
Social Misconstruction Validity and Verification
217
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About the author (1996)

Richard F. Hamilton is professor of sociology and political science at Ohio State University.

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