The Last Classical, the First Modern: Pitirim Alexandrovich Sorokin and Social Mobility


DOI: 10.16917/sd.51247

OnlineFirst published on September 20, 2016

Year: Vol: Number:


A Russian sociologist, Sorokin produced his first major academic works during a harsh period that led to the fall of Tsarist Russia and the breakout of the Bolshevik Revolution. Then, after Sorokin immigrated to the United States, he led the establishment of a separate sociology department at Harvard University and wrote classical works on several subfields of the emerging sociology discipline, for example, on rural sociology and social stratification. One of his most important works is Social Mobility, which can be considered a product of Sorokin’s very personal biography that passed through Russian and US social layers. This major effort enables us to call Sorokin the last classical and the first modern sociologist. In Social Mobility, Sorokin analyzes social stratification from a multi-dimensional approach; he defines economic, political, and occupational stratifications as separate but interwoven. Sorokin also suggests a methodological alternative to the weakness of structural-functionalism by taking historicity into account in his analysis.

Sorokin • Social stratification • Economic stratification • Political stratification • Occupational stratification • Social mobility • Vertical mobility • Structural-functionalism

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