The term functionalism has come to describe an eclectic mix of social theory and methodological approaches to culture.In many ways, it is a useful and fruitful term to describe a variety of approaches that share a common theme: the notion that culture is constructed through the interactions of individuals and their communities, and that the individual's contribution to culture is a form of knowled...
Duke University sociology professor Eric Sperling has spent the last few years writing an essay titled “The Hidden History Of Duke University’s Sociology.”
In it, he explores Duke’s “great” history, and explains why the university should be remembered for what it is not, instead of what it could be.
“Duke’s sociology is the stuff of legends, of fairy tales,” Sperled writes in the piece.
“It is not just the best sociology department in the world, it is also the best in the history of higher education.”
Sperling explains the University’s history by focusing on the “truly amazing” aspects of Duke.
“This is a university where, in my humble opinion, no one else in the country has ever been, in all of its history, better at teaching people to think and be better at being human beings.”
Duke has never been a school of great thinkers.
In fact, it has never had a single well-respected academic, nor one that could even be described as “socially intelligent.”
But the university’s “culture of excellence” has made it a place where “students who study sociology, anthropology, and African-American studies will have the best experience in the entire university.”
Suffice to say, Sperlin’s essay is a must read for all Duke students, and is worth reading in full.