The sociology of Wilhelm Baldamus : paradox and inference by Mark Erickson

By Mark Erickson

Wilhelm 'Gi' Baldamus (1908-1991) used to be some of the most designated voices in British sociology within the moment half the 20th century. He made significant contributions to either commercial sociology and sociological conception, but lots of his crucial matters stay under-explored. This quantity is the 1st of its style to have interaction with those questions and Baldamus’ responses, together with the book of 2 of Baldamus's personal later writings by no means earlier than revealed in English. a considerable biographical creation through the editors situates this paintings in the context of Baldamus’s lifestyles either earlier than and after his exile from Nazi Germany, including heritage to the exploration of his issues that learn might be underpinned by way of meticulous theoretical and conceptual paintings. will probably be of curiosity to sociologists, social theorists, highbrow historians, and people operating within the box of social technology study methods.'

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Whatever our overall judgement on the endeavour, I think we can safely say that Baldamus’s adventures with cross-classification, as far as sociologists are concerned, are more fruitful than solving a cross-word puzzle and more satisfying than doing Sudoku. This page has been left blank intentionally Chapter 3 Efficiency and Effort Revisited: Emotional Labour and Contemporary Sociology of Work Mark Erickson Wilhelm Baldamus’s Efficiency and Effort (1961a) has become a classic of British sociology of work.

This I take to be an indication that it is a direct follow-on to the paper on trivialisation. There he states, right at the outset, that despite the pessimism of the earlier paper, he has a strong confidence that there will be improvements in the empirical and theoretical procedures of sociology. Part of his reasoning is that, despite what passes for the formal rules of what sociologists are supposed to do, their actual praxis in discovering facts and theorising about them is different. Not only does this relate to the practice of cross-classification – explicit or implicit – but also to the use of post factum interpretation.

He was a noted contributor to that series and I suspect it may have been his favourite form of academic communication for it was there that he disclosed his latest thoughts. Indeed, his Inaugural Lecture at Birmingham, in November 1971, was published in that format (Baldamus 1971c). The pamphlets arrived on our desks, without fuss or publicity. They were always a challenge to one’s thinking and sometimes a provocation. My purpose in this chapter is to explore why he became fascinated with the phenomenon of cross-classification as an aid to sociological analysis.

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