Znaniecki’s Key Insight: The Merger of Pragmatism and Neo-Kantianism
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University of Illinois
Publication date: 2007-09-21
Polish Sociological Review 2007;158(2):133–144
Znaniecki is difficult to classify theoretically, which may be why his ideas and writings have been neglected. He is a central and perhaps the central figure in American sociological theory. This is because he clarified the sense in which the social is symbolic. In addition his pioneering analysis of ethnic prejudice and racism makes him a central figure in the American reform tradition. The key to understanding his theoretical power is in his having fused or merged neo-Kantianism and pragmatism. This paper explains how Znaniecki achieved this highly creative feat and what consequences it led to.
Thanks are due to Hans Bakker, Clark McPhail and Guy Oakes for helpful comments on an earlier draft.