Romanticism and Classicism:
Deep Structures in Social Science

by Alvin W. Gouldner

The industrialization of nineteenth‑century Europe was uneven, and this meant that the eastward parts of Europe, which underwent industrialization somewhat later, had to cope with two tasks simultaneously: on the one hand, they had all the problems intrinsic to their own emerging industrialization; on the other, they also had to formulate a position about the industrialization and the rise of the middle class that had appeared earlier in the West. The Germans, therefore, were influenced not only by their own local situation, but were also affected by the earlier experience of the middle classes in France. The French experience was widely watched and intensively analysed by the Germans, and it became a pivot around which the Germans developed a reaction to their own cultural situation.

Following the French Revolution, the still nascent middle classes in Germany thus faced two problems at once. First, they sought to modify the social reality of German society and to create a new conception of the emerging social order more fully consistent with their own distinctive interests and assumptions. Secondly, however, many were also disposed to reject the new order that revolutionary France had offered Europe. Germany, then, faced the problem of being unable to live with the old feudal order and of being unable to accept the most visible alternative presented by the French. [1] The subsequent development of German modernization was to be shaped profoundly by its effort to cope with this quandary. [323/324]

Romanticism as a Movement for Cultural Revitalization

Caught within this dilemma, German intellectuals were restive but uncertain of their direction. In the first quarter of the nineteenth century, and perhaps particularly before the War of Liberation, they were therefore unable to mount an offensive against their own 'old régime', or to give full support to the emerging new order. Thus, even though change was felt to be necessary, politics and a political solution were then widely experienced as impossible. Many educated Germans of that period turned therefore to the sphere of culture, to the achievements of intellect and art that were more individually controllable: they fostered a movement for cultural revitalization instead of a political revolution. Unable to revolutionize society, German intellectuals sought to revolutionize culture. As Madame de Staël remarked, [2] it was not difficult to find Germans who composed the most comprehensive philosophical systems, but it was almost impossible to find Germans who wrote on politics.

Seeking to respond to the German problem while rejecting the French solution, living in a society where feudalism was still relatively strong although visibly decaying, and where the middle classes were still weak although manifestly emerging, certain German intellectuals developed an especially uninhibited expression of the powerful movement for cultural revitalization which they called Romanticism. [3] This social movement had three main cultural expressions: first, the philosophical idealism of Kant, Hegel, Schelling and Fichte; secondly, historismus and the new historiography; and third and finally, there was a revolution in art, aesthetics and literary criticism. Each of these parameters conditioned the others and all were institutionally consolidated within the German university; together they became the core culture of the German Mandarins.

Dissatisfied with the condition of Germany, yet unable to accept the future offered by the French, the German Romantics sought to devise an alternative image of the social order that would be neither bourgeois nor feudal, or would at least combine elements of the two. Unable to move forward to the future or to accept the present, the German Romantic image of an alternative social order could be located only in the past, in [324/325] myth and history. They immersed themselves in the past, however) and to a great extent they knew they did so, in order that they might more clearly distinguish the characteristics of the new present within which they lived and to gain perspective on it.

The time orientations of the early nineteenth century and, in particular, of the 'systematic' (i.e., post‑Sturm und Drang) German Romanticists, the Berlin‑Jena School, are implicit in the new concepts with which they characterized historical European cultures. Specifically, toward the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth centuries, and in an effort to clarify the nature of the 'modern', August and Friedrich Schlegel [4] advanced a distinction between 'Classical' and 'Romantic' cultures, and came to eulogize the latter as the truly modern. Since, however, the Schlegels regarded Romantic culture as distinctively Christian in character, they therefore conceived themselves as living with an encompassing time‑unit that included the Middle Ages, and thus also the literature of the Renaissance and of the Elizabethan periods.

In the Romantic view, therefore, the 'modern' was not marked by the eruption of science and of rationalism but, rather, by certain innovations in the arts and especially in literary culture. This distinction between the Romantic and the Classical, with its focus on artistic and religious components, thus had the effect of redefining the place of science in modern life, and therefore it also redefined the nature of the modern itself. Specifically, it diminished the significance that the French had attributed to science as the characterizing innovation of the modern epoch. Conversely, we might say that it was out of an anterior impulse to diminish the value attributed to a reifying science that the 'modern' and the 'Romantic' came to be defined in this particular manner. Nineteenth-century Romanticism thus rejected the specifically French Enlightenment conception of the modern as centred on reason /science /technology. Moreover, for them the modern was not therefore critical of or in opposition to religion. In effect, the Romantics were searching for a way to be modern without having to reject religion and the values they associated with religion. [5]

While the distinction between the Classical and the Romantic [325/326] initially aimed at discerning the differences between the modern and the ancient, it ended by fusing the then contemporaneous present with the Middle Ages, and by bidding the modern to seek a similar glory. Through their idealization of the Middle Ages, the Romantics could establish a standpoint for criticism of the new German present and, at the same time, they could crystallize an image of a social order that was obviously critical of the French alternative. The distinction between the Romantic and the Classical thereby enabled German Romantics simultaneously to reject both the political backwardness of the German present and the 'irreligion' of the French future.

The German Romantics could now have the best of both possible worlds: linking the modern to the past, they could extol the achievements of German culture, while at the same time calling for its improvement. They could now reject the French alternative and still acknowledge that the German present needed to be transcended. They could pursue 'development' without endorsing 'progress. They could look forward to renewed greatness without neglecting the past or holding it in contempt.

Moreover, they could also maintain that the mechanism of this development was already in hand. That is, they did not need to wait for a political re‑ordering of the social world, for the necessary mechanism was already in existence. This mechanism was a kind of puissant spirituality; it was the Geist that was also Macht. The Romantics, then, were the intellectual shamans that sought to summon the German Geist to find a distinctive path to the revitalization of German culture.

Romanticism, then, was not only a philosophical and aesthetic doctrine; it was also a social movement. [6] It was a movement for the revitalization of German, and indeed of all, culture in post‑revolutionary Europe. In the German case, with its special concern for autonomy from French culture, this movement for cultural revitalization took strongly 'nativistic' or nationalistic forms; and in its emphasis upon the value and depth of the German historical past, it also took strongly 'revivalistic' forms.

Despite this, the Romantic movement cannot be understood simply as an expression of traditionalism and, on the contrary, it had certain strongly anti‑traditionalistic emphases. For Romanticism [326/327] was, in another of its aspects, a revolt of intellectual and artistic élites against their own cultural establishments, and against the standards that had been conventionally used to govern their own specialized spheres of cultural activity. Thus, if the Enlightenment was the intellectual's critique of society, of religion and of politics, Romanticism was the revolt of an intellectual and an artistic élite against its own internal subculture. In this degree, then, Romanticism was the substitution of aesthetics for politics, of cultural criticism for social criticism; and it was a demand for artistic freedom in place of political freedom.

Romantic Perspectives and Doctrines

Perhaps the most general aspect of Romantic anti‑traditionalism was its revolt against the conception that art should be governed by reason, i.e., by a disciplined conformity to certain received and impersonal rules. Romanticism was thus free enterprise in art and literature. It was the artistic equivalent of the bourgeois doctrine of laissez faire.

At the spearhead of the Romantics' attack there was a doctrine of unfettered aesthetic individualism that took the form of a polemic against the dominant aesthetic doctrines of Classicism: the unities of time and place; the universality and permanence of the truly beautiful; the objectivity of taste; conformity to the semblances of probability, and to the requirements of decorum; and the avoidance of mixed genres, styles or tones and moods.

The Romantics rebelled on every front against the once‑honoured conventions of the artistic community and its classical tradition: they welcomed a mélange of times, tones, moods and places in one artistic product, counterposing it to the classical doctrine of the unities; they affirmed the value of the contingent, the changing and the local, counterposing this to the doctrines of universality and permanence; they prized inward conviction, counterposing it to judgements oriented to externalized and objectified standards; they delighted in the exotic, deviant or special case, counterposing these to the probable or average case; they portrayed the indecorous as a way of conferring reality on an individuality that was to be defined by its departure from, rather than its conformity with, social convention. [327/328]

As against the established tradition of conveying meaning as some kind of unity, the Romantics countered by affirming the reality of plurality. The world was seen as a mosaic, each tile of which had some unique reality or value in itself. The whole itself was often seen, however, not as a harmonious and integrated entity, but as an incongruous assemblage and as a tensionful conjunction of parts. The Romantic concern with the 'grotesque' [7] was a concern with a conjunction of parts perceived as incongruous and ominous. Romanticism rejected received artistic rules and conventional aesthetic doctrines, and, instead, sought a liberation of the imagination and a mobilization of sentiment to provide the vision and the energy to carry artistic work forward.

The Romantics lived in a twilight world of transition, between an unsatisfactory present and an unworkable past, between decaying feudal tradition and emerging bourgeois reform. Living in a world in which the conventional social maps had lost their effectiveness, but in which acceptable new ones had not yet been formulated, it was to the individual self as the maker of meanings that they turned rather than to the traditional rules. Living in a world where received cultural categories and conventional social identities no longer made social reality meaningful, they came to see reality as possessed of intrinsic vagueness. They saw objects as blending into one another, rather than as well demarcated by clear‑cut boundaries. They therefore felt that those who sought to conquer truth by the careful dissections of analytic reason were engaged in a vivisection that could only destroy living reality.

The Romantics experienced the object world as no longer isomorphic with the neat categories wrought by the classical mind. It was therefore characteristic of Romantic poetry that it commonly loved the imagery of twilight, of a boundary-dissolving moonlight, or of the fleeting moments before dawn, rather than the imagery of the clear, boundary‑sharpening light of the classical mind. It was thus that the casual and the irregular, or the wild and the disorderly in nature, was prized by the Romantic aesthetic—particularly if it could be viewed from some safe distance. In this, the Romantics were not above mixing feudal heroics with a dash of bourgeois prudence. [328/329]

In this twilight social world, a new structure of sentiments was being activated to which the Classical‑Aristotelian logic—in which an object was either 'A' or 'not‑A'—was no longer felt to correspond. In this breach between the new sentiments and the inadequate old languages provided by classical logic and convention, the Romanticists—and perhaps especially those of the earlier Sturm und Drang period—could, at first, only affirm dogmatically the truth of their new vision. They could only polemically insist on the vitality and reality of their own inner sentiments—the 'reasons of the heart'—since they at first lacked the rationale of a new language or a new logic.

In the prefigurings of Romanticism, as in the Sturm und Drang school, the gap between the new sentiments and a way to talk about them was greatest. The next generation of Romanticists may be called the 'systematic Romantics', however, precisely because they did create new languages, new conceptual schema and a new set of theories to express and communicate their sentiments. The Schlegel brothers' very distinction between the Classical and Romantic signified an emerging new language and contributed to a growing self‑awareness.

The Romantic breakthrough to a new language of the sentiments and of the imagination took several discernible forms. Among its earliest intellectual achievements were important new aesthetic doctrines, particularly doctrines stressing the importance of symbolism, irony and the grotesque. Another major language breakthrough occurred with the development of a non‑Aristotelian logic. This first developed from a more diffuse notion of a 'logic of polarities' into the systematic Hegelian dialectic of the self or Geist, which was then 'stood upon its feet' and was developed in turn by Marx into a materialist dialectic of society.

In the twentieth century there emerged, with Freudianism, a systematic psychology of the irrational sentiments. The importance attributed by the Freudians to the unconscious, as well as the assumption that a 'cure' requires an awareness of the hitherto unconscious and its reintegration into the consciousness, are rooted in the Romantic paradigm fundamental to German idealism. The latter's basic problematic revolves on the relationship between a knowing 'Subject' and a known [329/330] 'Object', and it regarded this very distinction as a false consciousness of the Subject, since the Object, rather than being that which was not the Subject, was actually unconsciously created by it. Idealism premised that human Emancipation entailed the Subject's achievement of awareness about its own hitherto unconscious role in shaping the Object, its discovery of itself in the Object‑other. In short, German idealism clearly foreshadowed Freudianism's concept of the unconsciousness as well as its conception of a therapy.

In contrast to the French revolutionaries, who had largely defeated the old régime with its own cognitive weapons, it remained for the Romantics to begin the serious and systematic reconstruction of the language and images used for talking about man and society. It remained for them to take as central the language of sentiment; although the language of the sentiments was already emerging in France, the philosophes had largely continued to employ the rhetoric of Reason during the Enlightenment epoch. Even later, it is perfectly plain from the National Assembly's 'Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen' that the public discourse of the Revolution remained far closer, in its images of man and society, to the classical tradition with its conception of eternal natural reason and of unchanging natural law, than it was to the emerging Romantic Age.

The 'modern' only begins to manifest itself when, in answer to the question, 'What is distinctively human?', Romanticism replies not by referring to man's eternal capacity for reason and universal rationality, but, instead, to his creative originality, to his individuated capacity to feel and to dream uniquely. The modern begins to emerge when man is seen, not merely as a creature that can discover the world, but also as one who can create new meanings and values, and can thus change himself and fundamentally transform his world, rather than unearth, recover or 'mirror' an essentially unchanging world order.

The thing to see is that Romanticism was not only an aesthetic, but that it was a many‑faceted and enduring social movement. It was a movement for the revitalization of European culture in all of its manifestations—artistic, literary, philosophical, religious and even scientific. [330/331]

Faced with a changing social reality, in which the social structure to be understood as well as the traditional ways of understanding it were both dissolving simultaneously, and faced with the collapse of the conventional hierarchies of value, the Romantics sought to rescue a world of meaning by 'romanticizing'. Which means: by endowing the ordinary, everyday world with the pathos of the extraordinary—by 'idealizing' mundane reality. The 'ordinary', the everyday, the lowly, the fleshly and the deviant were to be rescued by viewing them from a perspective that endowed them with new and enhanced value, rather than being routinized, ignored or thingafied. As Novalis said, to romanticize was to see the infinite in the finite—the universe in the grain of sand, in Blake's terms. It was to gaze deeply into the 'blue flower' and to see eternity in it.

There were no longer things that were inherently lowly but only pedestrian perspectives on the world. The 'Classical' view of the world had generated excluded enclaves of underprivileged reality, whose neglect it had no hesitation in justifying. The Romantic view believed that the insignificance of things was born of a failure of imagination: reality was now democratized.

Above all, Romanticism rejected bourgeois, vulgar materialism's tendency to 'deaden' the universe and men with it. In the words of Georg Lukács, Romanticism was a rejection of 'reification' [8] and, we might add, it expressed a refusal to equate modernity with reification. Romanticism sought a path to a non‑reifying modernism. If bourgeois reification transformed men into inanimate objects, no different from other passive 'things', Romanticism resonated with an animism or Pantheism that sought to transform even inanimate objects by a dethingafying 'spiritualization'. To 'romanticize' was thus to endow those parts of the world that had been exposed to a deadening reification with a new enlivening by insisting that all things were loci of self‑movement, of potency, and of value. To this extent, Romanticism was profoundly anti‑mechanical and anti‑bourgeois; it was thus by no means exclusively 'reactionary', despite its sponsorship by aristocratic and other Old Régime élites and even though at first expressive of their defensive manoeuvres against the emerging bourgeoisie.

It is clear, then, that our interpretation of Romanticism [331/332] differs from that of Karl Mannheim, who tended (as did the later Lukács, to over‑emphasize Romanticism's backward-looking conservatism. [9] Insofar as Romanticism rejects a reification of men and provides a basis for a critique of reification, insofar as it expresses a resistance to historically obsolescent and unnecessary rules or limits, then Romanticism is indeed an emancipatory standpoint. It provides leverage for the great breakthrough into a Subject‑sensitive modernism, as distinct from the Objectivistic modernism of the Enlightenment which sought to free reason from superstition that it might better 'mirror' the world. However, insofar as Romanticism seeks to replace (rather than complement) Enlightenment objectivism with subject‑sensitive modernism, then the latter becomes a subjectivism vulnerable to irrationalism and to anti‑intellectualism.

All this, by way only of the faintest outline of Romanticism. It is all that space will permit here. This preface completed, we now turn to the relationship between Romanticism and the social sciences.

Positivism and Romanticism in France

Both sociology in France and anthropology in Germany and England, emerged as elements in a Romantically‑tinged, European‑wide movement for cultural revitalization.

F. M. H. Markham observes that 'in 1830 there was the first performance of Victor Hugo's Hernani: in 1831, that of Hector Berlioz' Symphonie Fantastique. Paris experienced an orgy of grandiose and romantic ideas.' Leaving aside Markham's Goethian inclination to see Romanticism as a pathology, he is quite correct in noting that the Saint-Simonians, 'like the rest of their generation . . . were intoxicated by the . . . romantic movement . . .' [10] Henri Lefebvre is also correct in characterizing Saint‑Simon as belonging to the 'left wing of romanticism'. [11] In a similar vein, we might distinguish Comte from Saint‑Simon by conceiving of the former as belonging to the 'right wing' of Romanticism. In what follows, however, I want to focus not on their differential politics but on certain common elements in their Romanticism.

Like the German Romantics, French positivism–particularly [332/333] in its Comtian version—held constitution‑making in contempt. It stressed the weakness of reason and the power of sentiment, and, parenthetically, it thus agreed with the Schlegels and other Romantics on the heightened significance to be accorded women as the alleged bearers and guardians of sentiment. In the modern era, 'Women's Liberation' begins with the Romantics. In their conceptions of man and society, both German Romantics and French positivists thus agreed on the unique value of sentiment, as well as on the vulnerability and limitations of reason.

Both also looked to the past for their models of a hierarchical and coherent society. The French positivists, however, were more ambivalent in their attitudes toward the past, since, after all, they, unlike the Germans, lived in a society in which the middle classes had succeeded in making a revolution, even if this was stalemated and threatened during the Restoration. The French positivists thus created a new religion of humanity rather than returning, as did some of the German Romanticists, to the venerable Mother Church.

Still, France under the Restoration was a stalemate society in which the middle classes could not go forward, while the returned Royalists could not go back. Saint‑Simon and Comte responded to this by creating positivism as a fusion of religion and of science. They wanted to be modern without rejecting religion. The positivists' new 'religion of humanity' was patently such a patchwork compromise; its new priests would be scientists, but its scientists would also be priests. And it aimed at progress, no less than order and love. French positivism was, thus, in the beginning a characteristically Romantic compromise between older images of hierarchical order and the new bourgeois order, spurred on by the conflicts of the Restoration, but subject to the more powerful modernizing influences of a French middle class that was far stronger than the German.

It would be utterly wrong, then, to think of positivism and Romanticism as two entirely separate and altogether opposing responses to the crisis of their time. Both, for example, sought to find new bases for social norms and authority, to replace those of their discredited old régimes. The positivists sought [333/334] to find this new authority in science; for all their critique of the Enlightenment, they carried forward the Enlightenment's effort to emancipate men from reason‑shackling superstitions, and it is this which lurked behind their rejection of the non-empirical and metaphysical. The Romanticists also sought a new basis for crumbling authority, but they sought it in the certitudes of inner feeling and artistic imagination.

Both the positivists and Romanticists wanted to be modern without relinquishing religion. The positivists identified the modern with the scientific and they sought to accommodate religion to science by creating a new religion of humanity. The Romanticists identified the modern with the emancipation of the sentiments or feeling, not of reason or science, and defined sentiment as near the core of religion. That Romanticism and positivism were not altogether exclusive may be seen even on the grossest level. Recall that the father of positivism, Saint‑Simon himself, made the 'grand' gesture of offering to marry Madame de Staël, the propagandist and interpreter of German Romanticism. Nor would it be amiss to remember Saint‑Simon's less illustrious followers, Enfantin and Bazard, whose epistemology stressed the importance of intuition, hypothesis and of the genius that produces these; or Saint‑Simonism's search for la femme libre, and its agonizing over the question of ‘free love’. Initially, French positivism was a blend of science and of Romanticism; it was an intellectual marriage that Saint‑Simon consummated without the benefit of de Staël's consent. It was a blend, however, in which the scientific element was the more focal and dominant. In short, what positivism was in the beginning, and the colourless enterprise that it later evolved into, are two different things.

In its initial structure, French positivism was a social movement based upon and attractive to the new professions engineering, medicine and science—while German Romanticism was at first largely created by artists and by humanistic scholars of an older vintage. Positivism was from the very beginning intricately linked to the emerging new infrastructure—to the new industrial society whose prophet Saint‑Simon was. Romanticism, however, was from the very beginning the vocalized ressentiment of those in a newly devalued superstructure. [334/335] Positivism, in short, was a social movement led by a new technological élite whom the new industrialism had almost immediately advantaged, who had better prospects in bourgeois society, and who could, therefore, be more easily integrated into it. Romanticism, however, was the product of older, culture‑creating élites—artists, dramatists, poets, musicians who at first were squeezed aside and had no place in the new world of business, industry, and science, and who would not be needed widely in this new world until the media of mass communication developed.

But if positivism was a compromise between science and Romanticism, it was a compromise in which its methodology was developed under the hegemony of a natural science model, and in which natural science methods became in time progressively dominant. So far as the later development of Western sociology is concerned, the positivists' 'religion of humanity' was defrocked and was gradually secularized as a tool of the Welfare State. The most Romantic and religious components of positivism were thus increasingly subordinated. This is not to say, however, that they disappeared altogether, but only that they were ultimately suppressed or repressed. In other words, the Romantic and religious components in academic sociology lost out as elements in the focal awareness of its practitioners; but they did not disappear, as the work of Robert Friedrichs makes clear. [12]

German Social Sciences and Romanticism

In Germany, however, something more nearly like the opposite process occurred. That is, the German social sciences also developed out of a dialectic between Romanticism and science; but here, in Germany, the Romantic component was far more influential than in Western Europe, even if not unchallenged. The power of the Romantic component in Germany may be appraised if it is remembered that the German social sciences matured in the shadow of the triumphant natural sciences in Germany, with their very great public and university prestige. Yet, despite this, the German social sciences were not dominated by a natural science model. [335/336]

The Romantic influence on German social science was both manifested in and preserved by the German development of a systematic distinction between the human or cultural sciences, on the one hand, and the natural sciences, on the other hand. This distinction was consonant with another that had been persistently produced by German social scientists, that between 'culture' and 'civilization'. And this, in its turn, also resonated a still deeper distinction in German culture between Geist and Natur.

The distinction between Geisteswissenschaften and Naturwissenschaften remains important to the contemporary School of Critical Theory at Frankfurt. In one of its basic dimensions, Critical Theory is surely rooted in a hermeneutics that seeks to formulate 'interpretations' that enhance 'understanding' of social worlds, rather than to develop 'laws' that 'explain' phenomena. And there is little question but that hermeneutics' roots in the modern era are traceable to Romanticism. Indeed, we have it on the authority of the leading modern philosopher of hermeneutics, Hans Georg Gadamer, that 'hermeneutics came to flower in the Romantic era . . .' [13] It did so, it might be added, most specifically in the work of the theologian Friedrich Schleiermacher, [14] who was associated with the Schlegels and the Berlin‑Jena Romanticists.

In discussing recent developments in the Critical School, it is quite obvious that many Europeans, whether positivists or hermeneuticists, share an understanding of Critical Theory's relation to Romanticism. Thus Gadamer says of Jurgen Habermas' position: 'I believe this is pure romanticism, and such romanticism creates an artistic abyss between tradition and the reflection which is grounded in historical consciousness.' [15] (It is characteristic that Gadamer uses 'romantic' as a dyslogism, despite his own indebtedness to it; ever since Hegel, romantics have expressed their sense of distance from others by condemning them as 'romantics'.) This judgement on Critical Theory is shared by Ernst Topitsch, although his own neopositivism is far removed from Gadamer's Heideggerian phenomenology. Topitsch holds (according to Paul Lorenzen) that 'All Marxists and neo‑Hegelians, including the dialectical philosophers and sociologists of the Frankfurt School . . . belong to this group of left Romantics.' [16] [336/337]

If Critical Theory and hermeneutics are in part rooted in Romanticism, they are only the most recent expression of the continuing creativity of that infrastructure for social theory. Earlier, the continuing efforts of German social science to work out the relationship between Romanticism and science had manifested itself in the sociology of Max Weber and, still earlier, had found a powerful expression in the work of Karl Marx.

Karl Marx

In this connection, we may be reminded of Marx's aphorism that 'philosophy is the head of emancipation, and the proletariat is the heart'. Certainly, for Marx, reason alone could not liberate the world or the proletariat; reason had to be embodied in and liberated by a theory-correcting praxis. For Marx, praxis was not simply a scientific experiment to be conducted in the laboratory. It was a commitment of the whole man, to be expressed in the world and in the course of his everyday life. It was a commitment of his passions as well as of his cognitive faculties, to change the world and, through this, to change himself.

Marx's abiding aim to transcend 'alienation' is a characteristically Romantic effort to mend the split between and within men, and to reunite sensuous man with rational man. In the end, Marx wanted a society in which all men's faculties and senses—and not only his intellect—would find a home. Marx, therefore, counterposed to the Socratic rule—one man, one task—and to medieval organicism, the new vision of a society in which one man could play many parts, not simply during his lifetime, but even during a single day, uniting manual and intellectual, aesthetic and cognitive activities.

Like the Romantics, Marx also stressed a pluralism of perspectives. Unlike them, however, he situated this pluralism not in the will or imagination of the individual, but rather in the social location of the individual's group or class. At the same time, however, Marx also sought a universalistic transcendence of pluralism by conceiving of certain social perspectives as entailing a 'false consciousness'. In short, Marx's pluralism of perspectives was counterbalanced by the universalism of human reason. [337/338]

The very concept of a 'capitalist society', that we owe to Marx, bears witness to his abiding effort to transcend the conflict between Romantic and Classical perspectives. For, in insisting that capitalism was only one type of society, Marx is here attempting to combine the Romantics' concern with concrete uniqueness and historical individuality with the Classical concern for abstracted universals. Marx's emphasis on types of societies is in the nature of a half‑way house between the Classical abstraction and the Romantic concrete.

Again, for Marx like the Romantics, the future remains to some degree an emergent: its full character cannot be seen or predicted except insofar as one approaches it. It is therefore useless to attempt to predict it in blueprinted detail. Thus, Marx polemicizes against the French socialists, whom he terms 'utopians', and rejects the idea of blueprinting the future. This is consonant with the Romantic component in Marx's politics which insists that political outcomes depend on struggle, on individual commitment and effort, as well as on class solidarity and revolutionary will.

On the other hand, there is also the Classical component in Marx's theory and politics that calls for patient waiting until there is a maturation of the appropriate objective conditions for social change. From this perspective, then, the revolution for Marx is not waiting in the wings of history, ready to be ushered in at any time through a merely wilful coup d'état. Here, then, there is a rejection of political Romanticism. Since Marx's time, the history of Marxism has been a cyclical oscillation between these two versions of politics, but this oscillation occurs around a long‑range trend toward an increasingly Romantic politics. This Romantic upsurge in Marxism begins with the Leninist breakthrough in Russia, [17] and continues today in the still more Romantic strategies of Mao and Ché Guevara. Our discussion of 'The Two Marxisms' and of 'The Red Guard' will develop this further.

When Marx spoke of the 'contradictions of capitalism', he was giving voice to an essentially Romantic sense of the grotesqueness of modern life, in which incongruous cultural elements cohabit, in which things give birth to their very opposites, in which death comes with life, and things bear the [338/339] 'seeds of their own destruction'. Here we might note the remark by that authentic fountainhead of Romanticism, Friedrich Schlegel, who observed that ‘States disappear; the most powerful often bear within themselves, from their very origin, the germ of their own decay.’ [18] In this vein, Marx's critique of modern science and technology sees their development as leading to increased misery, suffering, unemployment, and to the reserve army of the unemployed. Under the conditions of a capitalist society, science and technology do not liberate man, says Marx, but rather enslave him, and at the height of these technological triumphs man becomes a tool of his machines. Man becomes a marionette, while the marionettes take on life. Here, Marx is in the tradition of the Romantic enjoyment of the grotesque. Yet something more is involved, for he also sees this grotesque condition from a Hegelian perspective, as something that will give rise to its own negation, and whose own tensions guarantee an ultimate transcendence by a more harmonious order.

In discussing Marx's relation to Romanticism, I have not intended to say and I have not said that he was 'a Romantic'. I have, however, intended to show that there were important components of Romanticism in his thought [19] and to suggest that if Marxism is to be understood as a whole, then these components must be firmly grasped. It is not amiss to notice that Marx was actually a student of August Schlegel at the University of Bonn, although one should not make too much of this in understanding the sources of Marx's Romanticism. Marx is a crucial episode in the effort to accommodate Romanticism and science within the framework of a social theory. Essentially similar effort had been earlier made within the framework of German philosophy, where the culminating formulation had been Hegel's. It was Marx's historical task to formulate the Hegelian synthesis in the idiom of a political economy rather than that of academic philosophy.

On those few occasions that Marx mentions Romanticism directly, there is no doubt that his comments arc negative. (This also seems to be true of Nietzsche!) But such negative remarks usually focus on Romanticism as the ideology of the German monarchy, as something reactionary and ineffectual. [339/340] Marx's critique of 'true' socialism, of its stress on the role of sentiment as a source of social change, converges with his critique of Romanticism as ineffectual. Here Marx's rejection of the sentimentality and political ineffectuality of Romanticism is, in one way, a critique of Romanticism's feminine component. (There is little question but that Romanticism placed a particularly high value on what were then culturally defined as feminine qualities—sentimentality, affective expressivity—and, indeed, was associated with earliest efforts at the liberation of women from male‑dominated sexual standards, in the family and in private life generally.) In viewing the Romanticism of his period as lacking in resoluteness and 'hardness', Marx is in effect rejecting a feminized Romanticism. Conversely, Marx's mission, we might say, was not to reject but to 'masculinize' Romanticism; he adopts much the same masculinizing mission toward historical Romanticism as Max Weber and Nietzsche later did, and Hegel earlier had.

Hegel's relation to Romanticism has much in common with Marx's. Hegel, like Marx, took the Romantics to task, criticizing their effusive expressivity, their lack of a hard‑edged clarity and rigorous system, and sought to make philosophy more scientifically serious. Like the Romantics, however, Hegel held that men never achieve anything great without passion, that history develops through struggle and conflict, and, as epitomized by his master-bondsman paradigm, is characterized by ironic reversals. The most fundamentally Romantic aspect of Hegelianism is that what the Hegelian Subject at last discovers in the Object‑other is himself.

Max Weber

The effort of German social science to accommodate Romanticism and science to one another is renewed and brought to a new development in the sociology of Max Weber. [20] As Weber conceived it, social science was far from the generalizing, universalizing and externalizing social science formulated in the tradition of Comteian Positivism. Rather than stressing its cultural autonomy, Weber's social science conceived of social science as changing, both in fact and with propriety, as [340/341] historical problems themselves changed. Its starting point was the cultural-value interest of the social scientist and not necessarily a purely technical hypothesis. Weber's social science was thus conceived as responsive to changing cultural perspectives, and thus as a science to which 'eternal youth was granted', rather than as one that grew progressively and continuously with age.

Weber's social science focused on understanding individual events and historically located entities, conceived in their uniquely given individuality, rather than searching for universal generalizations about classes of units or events. For all its comparative method, Weber's concern was primarily with the unique development and destiny of Europe. And it was a comparative method that was to proceed with the use of 'ideal types' that focused on extreme cases rather than on the average case, and which were formulated intuitively, rather than through statistical induction.

Such a manifestly Romantic conception of social science also stressed the significance of verstehen, of intuition and insight, through which the 'inwardness' of other men would be apprehended, and the importance of the ‘mental experiment’, through which the consequences of changes in values, ideas, and meanings would be gauged. In other words, Weber's focus was typically Romantic both in its ultimate objective as well as in its methodology.

Here, then, there was no image of the social scientist as a bloodless intellect, isolated from his culture and operating primarily with well‑codified procedural rules. Here there was no conception of the social scientist painstakingly moulding his little brick, and modestly adding it to the growing wall of science. Instead of conceiving of the social scientist as a kind of bricklayer, the Weberian image is much more heroic. There is an image of the dedicated scholar who must find his lonely way without well-charted rules; who must rely on his own inner and very personal resources of empathy and intuition; there is an image of a man whose own unrelenting self‑discipline sacrifices his other, science‑irrelevant passions or political ambitions to his calling and to his culture. This, then, is the protean and recurrent image of the German scholar, where scholarly work [341/342] is conceived as a form of suffering and entails the 'tormented surmounting of self'.

The creation of a social science is, in Weber's view, seen as contingent ultimately on the exertion of essentially personal powers rather than professional skills. Its focal concern is on the quality of a man's inwardness, his sense of responsibility, individual intuition and empathy, rather than on the cumulative resources of the scientific community outside of himself. The Weberian conception of social science thus entailed a systematic application of Romantic premises.

Weber's theory of plural perspectives, of plural values and plural ideal types, comes down to the Romantic assumption that each man makes his own world and fights for it, rather than searching for a more universal map. The unity of the world is, in characteristically Romantic style, not vouchsafed by anything external to the individual but is created, rather, by his own personal and passionate commitment.

Here there is no one overarching order or logos in the world that awaits discovery or in which the sociologist, like others, participates. On the contrary, the world is one of cosmic conflict among divergent, heteronomous values. It is a grotesque world, therefore, in which the highest values may and do compete with the lowest, and live alongside of them without being able to command distinction. It is a cosmos in which good and evil are intertwined, and often mutually productive of one another; in which, for example, Geist is defenceless without Macht, but is, at the same time, perpetually corrupted and threatened by it. It is a grotesque world in which there is no way to choose one's path, except to feel an inner certainty that the path is one's own.

There is nothing more deeply Nietzschean in Weber's perspective than his injunction to fight only for what is one's own. Yet, while Nietzsche was contemptuous of the German state and of German Kultur, Weber, in contrast, seems to have been sure that only these were his very own. He thus gave his commitment to the German nation‑state as his highest value. And at this point, the tragic is grotesquely mixed with the comic. The story ends in a kind of black humour. Weber's exaltation of the local and the contingent as the very highest value is characteristically [342/343] Romantic; but it is a Romanticism through which the winds of an invisible grotesqueness had begun to blow.

Toward a Sociology of Anthropological Romanticism

An analysis of the historical development of anthropology in the nineteenth century would similarly reveal the profound impress of the Romantic movement. This will be particularly clear to those familiar with the German development of the concept of 'culture' which, early in the nineteenth century, began to replace the classical doctrine of a 'uniformitarian' human nature with a view that stressed the reality and value of a cultural variability that was seen as something more than changes in external stage props or customs that overlay a constant human nature, pursuing essentially similar motives in merely different garb. Similarly, so far as nineteenth‑century evolutionary theory in England is concerned, J. W. Burrow stresses that it was 'very largely . . . the outcome of a tension between English positivistic attitudes to science on the one hand and, on the other, a more profound reading of history, coming to a large extent from German romanticism . . .' [21] There is no doubt that the history of anthropology has been and can be further illuminated by exploring its connections with Romanticism.

Rather than pursuing such historical concerns here, however, I should like to change course. Having spoken about the relationship between Romanticism and the social sciences in the past century, I now want to explore briefly some of their present connections. In particular, I want to shift over to a concern with the sociology (rather than the history) of Romanticism in its bearing on the contemporary social sciences. To suggest just a few of the possibilities here, it may be useful to attempt a brief, impressionistic sketch of some of the current differences between American cultural anthropology and sociology today.

Looking at American anthropology and sociology today, not only as theoretical and research activities, but as modally differentiated occupational subcultures, it seems reasonable to suggest that anthropology, even today, still remains the more [343/344] Romantic, and sociology the more Classical, discipline. In suggesting this, let me reiterate that I mean to refer not only to differences in their articulated theories and focalized methodologies, but, also, to differences in their infrastructures: in their more inarticulate background assumptions and in their occupational subcultures. It is in this sense that I believe it may be said that anthropology is a much more Romantic discipline than sociology. For example, anthropology is based upon and also prizes a much more diffuse (less role‑segmented) involvement in 'field work'. The anthropologist's is a more personal method, both in the intensity of involvement it permits and in the diversity of personal attributes that it requires the anthropologist to use.

The sociologist, however, is commonly seeking to extricate his person from his research, to deny or to reduce their connection, and to depend upon more impersonal and codified rules of work—that is, on a more formalized and externalized methodology. Anthropologists, however, are less likely to deny the significance or the value of the anthropologist's person for the results he produces. One way in which this is often expressed is to say that anthropology retains a greater linkage with the humanities than does sociology, and that it entails a form of creativity more nearly akin to the humanities, while sociology, in its turn, is more usually bent upon the use of a natural science model.

The very activities of the anthropologist require him to go to more exotic and romantic locales; sociology, however, remains, for the most part, a study of the familiar, the everyday, and the commonplace. The anthropologist himself is more likely to surface to public attention as a more highly individuated person, in his dress and in his manner, and he is more readily conceived there, as John Bennett puts it, [22] as a romantic hero. In contrast to the anthropologist, who is still felt to be rather more of a glamorous, adventuresome, and colourful person, the sociologist blends increasingly into the apparatus of the Welfare State and becomes one more species of staff expert and bureaucrat.

The writings of the anthropologist frequently take a less generalized form than those of the sociologist. The anthropologist [344/345] is more concerned to present concrete ethnographic detail than the sociologist who, instead, is more inclined to elaborate on his abstractions. The anthropologist writes about extraordinary locales that have colour and vividness, in contrast to the sociologist's greater proclivity for the matter‑of‑fact and the prosaic. The anthropologist persuades and convinces his reader through his presentation of an interlocking set of mosaic details, which establish his intellectual authority because they imply his personal presence in the locale under discussion. To the anthropologist, the concrete details are often regarded as valuable in their own right; but to the sociologist the concrete details are often stage props subordinated to a more general problem, or to the development of generalizations.

In contrast to anthropology, sociology is a much more Classical discipline which remains based, tacitly if not nominally, on a uniformitarian doctrine of human nature, of a human nature which, being everywhere alike, may therefore be legitimately studied in the convenience of the sociologist's nearby laboratory or by observing his own easily accessible students. Cross‑cultural study by sociologists, although increasingly regarded as an ideal, still remains relatively rare.

G. H. Mead and Chicago School Romanticism

In characterizing American cultural anthropology as relatively more Romantic than American sociology, I am well aware that anthropology has important Classical and Enlightenment aspects, and, also, that its heightened 'Structuralism' now manifests increasing tendencies to converge with sociology. Conversely, I am also aware that there are certain schools of thought within American sociology that are relatively more Romantic and, in fact, sometimes emphatically so. The purest vein of Romanticism in American sociology is, I believe, to be found in the 'Chicago School', which had the most concentrated exposure to the German tradition and was, in fact, established by many (A. W. Small, W. Y. Thomas and R. E. Park) who were directly trained in it. Currently, its leading exponents are Anselm Strauss, Erving Goffman and Howard S. Becker.

I think it notable that much of the focus of their work is not [345/346] simply on the study of occupations and deviant behaviour, but that these Chicagoans' studies often produce a blending of the two. From this Chicago standpoint, the prostitute is just as much an occupational role as it is a manifestation of deviant behaviour. More generally, the style of these Chicago sociologists seems to have a greater tolerance of conceptual ambiguity; its conceptual distinctions are usually also deeply embedded in a rich texture of ethnographic detail; in fact, they commonly prefer an anthropologically informed style of field work. In this methodological vein Becker has been an advocate of participant observation and has sought to entrench the method by codifying it, while Strauss (together with B. Glaser) [23] has spoken for the merits of 'data-grounded theory', which is primarily a polemic against deductive, formal styles of sociological theorizing and an argument for inductive theorizing—once again revealing the paradoxical but abiding affinity of certain forms of Positivism and Romanticism.

To many of these Chicagoans, the demi‑monde is not only a fact of life, to be treated like any other, but also provides a standpoint for pronouncing a judgement upon respectable society. Indeed, they seem to speak on behalf of the demi‑monde, and to affirm the authenticity of 'disreputable' life styles. This Chicago standpoint embodies a species of naturalistic Romanticism: it prefers the offbeat, i.e., the extreme case, to the familiar or average case; the evocative ethnographic detail to the dispassionate and dull taxonomy; the sensuously expressive to dry, formal analysis; informal, naturalistic observation to formal questionnaires and rigorous laboratory experiments; the standpoint of the hip outsider to that of the square insider. In short, and as the nineteenth-century Romantics might have said, they prefer the standpoint of Bohemians to that of Philistines.

Crucial to this Chicago approach to deviance in particular, and to the social world in general, is the influence of Kenneth Burke's device of 'perspective by incongruity', which is to say, of seeing and understanding some part of the social world by looking at it from an unusual or incongruous perspective. Thus, respectable occupations are seen as kin to deviant occupations; correspondingly, the pimp is viewed as just another type of salesman. In effect, 'perspective by incongruity' is Kenneth [346/347] Burke's pragmatic routinization of the Romantics' concept of the grotesque—that is, it is the Americanization of the grotesque.

The strategy of perspective by incongruity has, of course, been most fully applied by Erving Goffman. In Goffman's work, for example, the relationship between psychiatrists and patients, or between priests and parishioners, are held to be akin to the relationship between 'con men' and their 'marks'; the behaviour of children on a carousel becomes a device for understanding the 'serious' world of adults; the stage becomes a model which is not merely casually but systematically exploited for understanding social life in all its complexities. Here, in Goffman's work, perspective by incongruity becomes a central method and as a result, the world as unified hierarchy is shattered and abandoned.

The linkage of this Chicago School of sociology to Romanticism is a complex and authentic one, and indeed it is the closest by far of any important American school of sociology. The major transmission belt for the saturation of the Chicago perspective by Romanticism was the social psychology of George Herbert Mead as developed by Herbert Blumer.

More than any other major figure in modern sociological theory, and more than any of the other founders of the Chicago School, Mead was the most thoroughly in command of the technical details of Romanticism; [24] he was the most deeply appreciative of its originality and viability, as well as being most knowingly sympathetic with its animating spirit—and this despite the fact that he did not receive his formal training in Germany. As Anselm Strauss says, 'The Romantic writers had a profound influence upon Mead . . .' [25]

The convergences between Mead and the Romantics, to outline them simply and briefly, consist in the following:

(1) They commonly feel that there is so me tensionful difference between at least a private component of the self and some other more socially oriented part of the self, which is expressed by Mead's distinction between the 'I' and the 'me'.

(2) They also commonly believe (with the Idealists) that the self and the not‑self are bound up together in and constituted by one single process; so that the objects of the experienced [347/ 348] world cannot stand apart from 'subjects' who constitute them as objects.

(3) Mead and the Romantics also agree that a crucial aspect in the development of self depends upon its capacity to look back upon the past, and to claim certain events in it as its own.

(4) Again, both agree that the forms, no less than the concrete contents of awareness, of self and others, are continually evolving rather than being statically given.

(5) Both, therefore, stress that the self is an evolving and changing process.

(6) Again, both Mead and the Romantics agree that the 'past' has no one fixed significance but varies instead in its relationship to ongoing or contemplated action; one therefore does not discover but rather one reconstructs and creates pasts, seeing them differently at different points in the action process.

(7) Furthermore, both believe that the self is not a passive recipient of outside forms but is, rather, an active and selective agent, changing itself as it acts upon and toward others.

(8) So far as both Mead and the Romantics are concerned, moreover, at the end of an action, the self is always somewhat changed, as is the object world it deals with, and hence,

(9) the future is always somewhat unpredictably emergent from action that is continually seeking to surmount the ambiguities that it confronts.

Mead, then, like the Romantics, rejects an image of the social world as a given, neatly arranged static order; both view it instead as a tensionful, changing, open‑ended, loosely stranded, somewhat indeterminate and fluid process. Mead's emphasis that a plurality or multiplicity of selves is a normal and creative phenomenon may be regarded as an effort to transcend the fragmentation of the self and to deny that this fragmentation constitutes grotesqueness. In this respect, Mead's social psychology of the self is akin to the Hegelian dialectic which, too, seeks to transcend the grotesque, and invest it with meaning.

For all his convergences with Romanticism, however, Mead was not—and we should not expect him to be—a nineteenth-century German Romantic. He is, of course, a post‑Darwinian American, who understood Romanticism in an optimistic mood and conceived it as a philosophy of evolution. As [348/349] Anselm Strauss says, 'The Romantic treatment becomes in Mead's hands divested of its mysticism and is given biological and scientific traits.' Strauss is also substantially correct in interpreting Mead as seeking to provide an 'empirical underpinning for the revolutionary but inadequate notions of evolution' that the Romanticists had inaugurated, on the one side, while, on the other, as using Romanticism as a lever to pry open the deterministic framework of modern science and to 'restate problems of autonomy, freedom and innovation'.

It was largely through Mead's influence, I believe, that systematic Romanticism permeated one wing of the Chicago School of sociology, gave it its coherence and its unique character and marked it off as a school apart from—and, indeed, often in conflict with—the scientistic orientations more characteristic of American sociology. The coherence and the vitality of this wing of the Chicago School of sociology derived as much from the unmistakable imprint of Romanticism, as from its own creative adaptation of Romanticism to distinctive American traditions and ideologies.

Methodology and Romanticism

In much that I have said so far, I have directed attention to the manner in which conceptual schemes and substantive theories in social science contain, on the level of their deep structures, certain distinguishably Romantic and Classical syndromes. In the remaining parts of this discussion, however, I want to change the focus somewhat. Here, in what follows, I want to concentrate, not upon conceptual schemas and substantive theories, but, rather, on what sociologists commonly call 'methodology'. In particular, I want to suggest that not only may substantive theories of social science differ when implicated in the different infrastructures of Romanticism or Classicism but so, too, may its 'methodologies'. Romanticism, for example, is not I believe manifested only by a rejection of all formal methods. Within almost all fields of methodology there are some standpoints that arc more Romantic and others more Classical. In saying this, however, I would not wish to deny that there is a Romantic standpoint that may take a radically [349/350] anti‑methodological standpoint. The most talented expression of this position is of course that of the philosopher Paul Feyerabend (especially in his Against Method: Outline of an Anarchistic Theory of Knowledge.)

Within sociology, the fullest expression of a Romantic methodology was Max Weber's with his concern for verstehen, for projected, imaginatively constructed ideal types as opposed to inductively established average types, and with his conception of the 'mental experiment' through which one might move toward causal inference. It is interesting to note that the specifically Romantic antecedents of the 'mental experiment' may be seen in Schlegel's remark, ‘. . . it is no idle speculation in history to inquire what, under different circumstances, might have occurred . . . . What would have been the consequence, what form would Europe have assumed, if the Catholic powers had completely triumphed . . .’ [26]

The Nature of Data

While the effect of Romanticism on the methodology of the social sciences finds its culmination in the sociology of Max Weber, this is scarcely the earliest indication of Romanticism's importance for the methodology of the social sciences. One of the earliest of these was the encouragement that Romanticism gave to the direct and first‑hand research—in short, to 'field work' methods—as a way of studying peasant and other pre-industrial cultures. As Anthony Oberschall remarks,

The incentive for field work originated in the Romantics' discovery of the notion of the Volk, which brought with it a positive evaluation [sic] of the beliefs and customs of the German peasantry. Since the time of the Grimm brothers, a number of researchers were criss‑crossing the land, noting down dialects and fairy tales as well as observing dress, customs, and inscriptions in the village houses and churches. . . . Growing out of the romantic tradition but directed more to immediate social and political problems was the work of Wilhelm Heinrich von Riehl [and] his notion of Volkskunde as an empirical science. The purpose of the study of the Volk was to discover the laws of Volklife. . . . The way to discover these laws was through direct observation of the people: ‘Especially the research [350/351] directed at contemporary Volklife is inadequate when performed on secondary sources. Whoever wants to represent the individuality [sic] of the Volk only through data that are in the libraries, archives or statistical bureaus will put together but a rattling skeleton and not a picture that breathes life. For that purpose first hand sources are necessary, and they can only be gotten by walking through the country on one's own feet.’ [27]

The most profound expression of the methodological influence of early Romanticism, however, was not its polemic against secondary sources nor its call for first‑hand observation and field work. Rather, it was its conception of what was valuable and worthy of study, on the one hand, and, correspondingly, of who provided legitimate and valuable sources of data, on the other hand.

Romanticists contributed to shaping modern social science's core conception of the very nature of data itself. Despite the common view of Romanticism as politically conservative (if not reactionary), Romantic pluralism actually contributed importantly to the 'democratization' of the concept of data. Specifically, Romantic pluralism undermined the Classical metaphysics which had ordered reality hierarchically and which in consequence had, overtly or tacitly, conceived of some portions of reality as being 'high' and worthy of emulation and attention, and of others as 'low', indecorously deviant, and worthy only either of contempt or neglect. To the Romanticists, every object was a world in itself, every grain of sand a cosmos. Each object being uniquely individual was therefore worthy of attention in itself; it was valuable in itself not simply as a paradigm to be emulated or decried. It was seen as worth knowing quite apart from its moral implications, and not because it needed to be reformed and improved. Romanticism thus contributed to a concern with the lowly or deviant parts of the social world.

The nineteenth‑century Romantic attitude toward objects was akin to that of the collector's aesthetic. Thus Oberschall notes that 'a man like Mannhardt in the [eighteen] sixties was conscious of a race against time in collecting this material for genuine rural life was disappearing all around him'. [28] Such a ‘collector's’ orientation toward objects was quite distinct from [351/352] the attitude of many nineteenth‑century reformers who wanted to study and know under‑privileged social worlds in order to uplift, reform, or protect them legislatively. The Romantic attitude toward social worlds—its collector's posture—was thus much more nearly akin to that of certain modern social science conceptions of 'pure' science 'objectivity' than it was to instrumental conceptions of a 'policy‑oriented' or applied sociology. But even that is not entirely correct, for the Romantics' aesthetic relation to the object seeks to possess or protect it, to 'appreciate' and understand it, and not to use it as grist even for generalizations or laws. The Romantic wants and appreciates the object in its concrete totality, in its uniqueness and individuality.

The Romantic conception of pluralistic worlds, each unique and each valuable, invited attention to hitherto lowly or neglected social worlds and people, thereby influencing conceptions of what was worth studying. It also encouraged direct contact and immersal in these worlds as ways of studying them, thus influencing notions of how to study them, and from whom one could derive 'data'. Romanticism thus transformed the ontology and epistemology of the social sciences. Most specifically, it moved beyond either aristocratic conceptions of 'taking evidence' or bureaucratic conceptions of writing to notables—to gentry, ministers, or schoolteachers—and asking them to describe the conditions of life of others in the 'lower orders'. Each order might now give testimony concerning its own condition. Romanticism created new conceptions of the 'sources' of data. Stressing the importance of the intuitive in the knowing process, and of the ineffable in the object to be known, Romanticism encouraged a research process that entailed a communion‑generating direct contact between the inquiring subject and the object inquired about. In an extreme expression it might foster a radical relativism that held that 'you had to be one to know one'—e.g., that only Blacks could know Blacks, the epistemology of the 'Insider', as Robert Merton refers to it.

Romanticism also encouraged resistance to the quantitative study of what were taken to be unique and ineffable entities. By reason of the importance it attributed to the subjective and inward, of the significance it attributed to ideas, values, and [352/353] world‑views, it was a basic source of concern with the subjective and phenomenological standpoints, and of resistance to the application of the mechanistic models of physical science and to 'external' conceptions of causation to the study of social worlds. In American sociology this crystallized, during the Classical period of the 'Chicago School', in the insistence of W. I. Thomas and Florian Znaniecki that whatever is defined as real is real, in its consequences. Thus, while the later growth of attitude surveys and public opinion polls represents an extension of an essentially positivistic methodology, it was paradoxically based upon a prior triumph of Romanticism and of a Romantic conception of what was sociologically important data.

Analytic Induction

Still another expression of a relatively Romantic methodology may be found in the concept of 'analytic induction' as developed by Florian Znaniecki and Alfred Lindesmith. In this technique, one arrives at general conclusions concerning a set of phenomena from the successive and intensive study of individual cases, treated one at a time, rather than from inferences drawn from a sample of cases that are simultaneously and statistically examined. Analytic induction is therefore a case‑by‑case technique and, in its emphasis upon the value of the individual event, is characteristically Romantic. In the light of my previous remarks about the distinctive importance of Romanticism for a wing of the Chicago School of sociology, it is worth noting the special connection that the development of analytic induction had with the history of the University of Chicago, through Znaniecki who taught there and Alfred Lindesmith who was trained there.

To reiterate, my emphasis here is not that a Romantic social science rejects methodology but that it tends to have a distinctive orientation to methodology. Still, as my earlier remarks imply, if one were to compare two samples of modern social scientists, one of relatively pure Classicists and the other of relatively pure Romanticists, that we would find that Romanticists are, on the average, somewhat more hostile to highly [353/354] codified and formalized methodologies. Perhaps the prototype of such a Romantic rejection of formalization in the social sciences may be found in the work of C. Wright Mills.

C. Wright Mills as Romanticist

I am aware, of course, that in various works, Mills was at pains to exhibit his competence in handling a 'modern' research technology. This is especially notable in those works that he did when associated with the Bureau of Applied Social Research. I am also aware that, at one point, Mills even issued forth with the formulaic slogan that I.B.M. + humanism = sociology. But even in his statistically grounded researches, it is clear that Mills' major intellectual gratifications derived from qualitative analysis, for which his statistical materials primarily served as a springboard. Mills, however, was in many ways characteristically American in his enjoyment of various kinds of tools and machines. But perhaps it is neither unfair nor untrue to suggest that Mills loved especially those tools and machines that enhanced men's sense of individual control and personal mastery. He loved machines or tools which would either strengthen individual independence or enable men to move freely and easily among different places. Perhaps this is in some part why Mills loved the motorcycle. But Romanticism need not entail a radical rejection of the machine, and perhaps Mills' love of the motorcycle was akin to Gabriel D'Annunzio's equally romantic love of the airplane. In short, twentieth-century Romantics need not be Luddites.

Far more revealing of Mills' central methodological position, however, are the main themes of his Sociological Imagination. I believe these represent an essentially Romantic perspective, most particularly with regard to his rejection of any kind of autonomous and impersonal methodology. In his Sociological Imagination, it will be remembered that Mills' critique was a twofold one: on the one hand, it was a rejection of mindless statistical empiricism and, on the other hand, it was a rejection of what he called abstracted grand theorizing. Here Mills rejected formalizations that were used as substitutes for personalized thought and, in particular, insofar as they were [354/355] emptied of data possessing concrete richness. He, too, wanted a picture of social worlds that 'breathed life'.

Mills' own conception of his methodology is revealed primarily in his metaphor of 'intellectual craftsmanship', and nothing could be more characteristically Romantic than Mills' remarks in his essay on 'Intellectual Craftsmanship'. Here he held that the 'social science tradition of the last hundred years amounts to this: . . . in the mind that has hold of it, in the mind that has been formed by it, there sometimes comes about a kind of sociological imagination'. [29]

Mills' emphasis is clearly upon the value of the sociological imagination, and not on methodological discipline. As if the Romanticism of this perspective was not plain enough, Mills adds immediately thereafter that the sociological imagination resides 'in the capacity to shift from one perspective to another, and in the process to build up an adequate view of a total society . . .' It is, he insists, 'this imagination that sets off the social scientist from the mere technician'. A sociological imagination, adds Mills, contains 'an unexpected quality about it, perhaps because its essence is the combination of ideas that no one expected were combinable'. In short, the essence of the sociological imagination to Mills is a Romantic pluralism of perspectives blended with Kenneth Burke's version of the grotesque, namely, perspective by incongruity. For Mills, the collation of systematic data was above all 'one way to invite imagination'. In short, he suggested that it was not the formal machinery of research that produced results, but, rather, its stimulus to the imagination—a personal and inward quality. One may further stir the imagination, Mills adds in a bland aside, by a glass of Irish whisky. [30]

It is in these remarks, I believe, that we have the essence of Mills' conception of a pluralistic, a personal, and an imaginative style of research that was plainly Romantic. Nor is it irrelevant to note, in passing, that an effort to trace the intellectual sources of Mills' outlook would surely lead to the seminal influence that was exerted upon him both by George Herbert Mead and Max Weber, two important viaducts of Romanticism in Sociology.

It may seem that, while I have promised to discuss the [355/356] influences of Romanticism on sociological methodology, the examples given thus far do not really represent the methodological concerns truly characteristic of the social sciences today. In other words, there may be some who agree that, once upon a time, there was such a thing as a Romantic methodology of the social sciences, but that this time is long since past, and that it is now useless to attempt to understand current developments in modern social science methodology in terms of the Romantic-Classical distinction.

P. F. Lazarsfeld's Romantic Premises

With that in mind, let me briefly refer to the work of Paul Felix Lazarsfeld, who is surely the dean of social science methodologists in the United States today. The essence of Lazarsfeld's methodological position is that the social scientist ought to be guided, first and above all, not so much by the formal canons of science, as these are articulated and codified by logicians, but rather, Lazarsfeld emphasizes, by the implicit rules and procedures which successful social scientists tacitly employ and embody in their researches. In other words, Lazarsfeld's methodological position rejects a view of social science methodologies that sees them as a set of eternal and externalized rules of procedure or of proof. It is thus a distinctly anti‑Classical conception of methodology, in its derivation if not in its application.

That Lazarsfeld's methodological posture ensues in a Classical emphasis on the importance of codifying and formalizing rules of research should not be allowed to conceal that it derives from quite different, Romantic premises. In other words, while Lazarsfeld is a Classicist as a methodological moralist, he is a Romantic who assumes that in the beginning was the creative deed.

What Lazarsfeld stresses is the search for the guiding proprieties, for the paradigms and the models that lie implicitly in the research of working social scientists. It is implied, by his view, that great social science proceeds on the basis of (at first) inarticulate operational rules and often ineffable information or experience. Here, then, in characteristically Romantic manner, [356/357] Lazarsfeld's emphasis is on the inwardness of an effective social science methodology, on the inarticulateness of the creative, which needs, however, to be rendered articulate. In his unstated but evident premise, it is not the rulebook that is the measure, but, rather, the social scientist and his concrete work.

I might add here that this Romantic aspect of Lazarsfeld's methodological orientation seems to be of one piece with the style of the Bureau of Applied Research's statistics, at least insofar as it has treated tests of statistical significance [3l] in a relatively more 'flexible' way than some sociological statisticians elsewhere. Some, it has seemed to me, have objected to the neglect of tests of significance partly because this allowed too much variability in the interpretation of statistical tables, and placed undue reliance upon individual choice and personal judgement. In short, they objected to the intrusion of the subjective. While sociological theorists at Chicago University were more Romantic than those at Columbia University, it may be that statistical methodologists at Columbia University were more Romantic than those elsewhere.

Computer‑Using Romanticism

This brief example may suffice to suggest that not all emphases upon methodology are intrinsically Classical in character, and that there are Romantic methodologists no less than Classical methodologists. This is true even with respect to the so‑called 'hard' or computer‑emphasizing social sciences. For example, if one compares 'systems analysis' with, say, operations research, programme budgeting, or cost‑benefit analysis, it seems to me that systems analysis is by far the most Romantic. This conjecture appears to be borne out by the work of Aaron Wildavsky. Thus Wildavsky characterizes the good systems analyst as a man whose 'forte is creativity'. And he also stresses that the good systems analyst strives to relate various elements 'imaginatively into new systems . . .'. [32]

Wildavsky also notes that F. S. Quade speaks of systems analysis as constituting a 'form of art' in which it is not possible to assert 'fast rules' that can be followed with exactness. 'In [357/358] systems analysis,' says Quade, 'there is more judgement and intuition and less reliance on quantitative methods than in operations research.' Systems analysis is also very much concerned with the development of techniques—such as contingency analysis—for dealing with situations that contain a high degree of uncertainty.

Similar Romantic orientations to computer simulation may be inferred from the work of Robert Boguslaw. [33] In an effort to develop computer programs for playing chess, Boguslaw did with chess players essentially the same thing that Lazarsfeld had done with sociologists. That is, Boguslaw studied the work of good chess players, attempted to render explicit the 'heuristics' or working rules that they tacitly employed, and then proceeded to program the computer in terms of these heuristics.


In brief summary, the central assumptions I have made in the discussion above are:

(1) Serious historical studies of both sociology and anthropology—and these, I believe, are only now emerging—will find it illuminating to trace their connections with nineteenth-century Romanticism. This constitutes one of the keys to the modern effort at the reconstruction of the history (and therefore of the consciousness) of the social sciences. It is this that will enable us to go beyond a concern for the narrowly political implications of various sociologies to their other and more complex social sources, particularly as they bear upon styles of sociological work as well as patterns of problem formulation.

(2) Romantic and Classical syndromes refer to enduring deep structures that underlie the theories of sociology even today. They are embedded in and help to differentiate various schools of thought and, also, various professional subcultures. In short, Romantic and Classical syndromes are in my view promising intellectual tools for the empirical study of the ongoing social sciences today—i.e., they are as valuable for a sociology of sociology as for a history of sociology.

(3) It is not only the substantive theories but the 'methodologies' [358/359] of the social sciences themselves that bear the differentiating impress of Romantic and Classical deep structures.

(4) From both a developmental, historical standpoint and from a synchronic sociological standpoint, a core conflict within and among schools of thought centres on the tensions between Romantic and Classical (or other) deep structures.

We can, then, think of Romanticism and Classicism as syndromes or latent dimensions that underpin sociology and the other social sciences. We can think of them as different genotypes underlying certain phenotypes.

A 'Classical Sociology', then, would be one which—ideal typically—stresses the universality of the governing standards, norms, or values, or of the functional requisites of a society. A 'Romantic Sociology', however, stresses—again, ideal typically—the relativity, the uniqueness, or historical character of the standards or needs of any society or group. If Classicism tends toward structuralism in social science, Romanticism tends toward historicism.

A Classical sociology is concerned with more careful statistical analysis of the 'average' case and with the fuller statistical distribution of cases, in its concern for 'the normal'. A Romantic sociology, by contrast, focuses on the reality of the deviant case and tolerates deviance from normative or role requirements; a Classical sociology places greater emphasis upon the indispensability of some measure of conformity to them. Classical sociology, then, focuses on the value of assimilating self and person to culture and role, while Romantic sociology, however, focuses on the value of distance from roles and values, and of those occasions when men have failed to be controlled by or assimilated to their roles and values.

The methodology of a Classical sociology stresses the importance of 'formal' reason, of codifications, and of self-conscious conformity to known rules. The methodology of a Romantic sociology places greater emphasis on the extra-technical or social sources of theory and knowledge, such as the sociology of knowledge. A Classical sociology places greater stress on the situation‑transcending potency of human reason. A Classical sociology therefore implies that there is one best model for work, and that it is the researcher's obligation to [359/360] determine what this is and to attempt to conform to it at all times. A Romantic sociology, however, stresses that different intellectual problems and different research sites each have their own differing properties or paradigms. A Romantic sociology tends to attribute greater significance to informal procedures that are tailored to individual cases. That is, there is more than one best way, and appropriate techniques and methodologies are expected to change over time and with shifting value perspectives. (Compare page 317.)

Classical sociology searches for the more enduring structures and seeks laws that are more universal in application. Romantic sociology seeks historical laws or may work only with ethnography, or with hermeneutic interpretations or descriptions of unique events, or concrete totalities. Classical sociology places its emphasis on order and order‑inducing mechanisms in society; Romantic sociology, on the sources of change, process, of negotiations and becomings. To the Classical sociologist, 'objectivity' means conformity with the requirements of reason or the logic of science, and entails a kind of selflessness. To the Romanticist, however, objectivity means the consensus of scholars achieved through debate, and is grounded in a certain kind of subjectivity.

The Classical sociologist sees society's requirements for coherence and order; the Romantic sociologist stresses society's needs for conflicts and friction. A Romantic sociology believes that there are all manner of tensions and conflicts within society—among ideas, classes, institutions, types of men—and it expects that there is an inherent conflict between man and society. The Classicist sees the dependence of men upon some society for the realization of their humanness. The Romanticist believes that men's humanness is limited by the established society. The Classical sociologist therefore sees the value of harmony, consensus, and decorum, while the Romantic sees the value of the grotesque, the dissonant, and the indecorous in society.

Clearly, then, I do not believe that Romanticism or Classicism is, by itself, a sufficient infrastructure for a valid social theory. Both, I believe, are necessary. But this needs qualification in at least two important ways: [360/361]

First, if the theorist has access to both Romantic and Classical infrastructures, but if he isolates each from the other, then each will fail to provide a liberating perspective on the other. There may then develop a kind of theoretical schizophrenia, where one perspective is used for one purpose and the other for a different purpose. The most liberating relationship of the two exists, however, when neither is insulated from the other; when neither is repressed; when each can therefore provide a perspective on the other; and when each can be brought into a theory-energizing tension with the other.

The above implications lean in a 'structuralist' direction. The following implications, however, lean in an 'historicist' direction: given the above implications (that is, invoking the same and not different assumptions), it follows that there can be specific historical conditions when one of the infrastructures is suppressed by the larger society, or by the professionally dominant technical tradition, and when, therefore, it may be intellectually valuable to place a compensatory stress on what has been culturally excluded. I believe that our own epoch, however shrill its 'counter‑culture', is precisely such an historical period. The Classical infrastructure has been the dominant force in the development of the academic social sciences; developments of the late sixties have manifested what is only a counter‑cyclical trend of secondary significance. In such an epoch, in which social theory has been exposed to an establishment-sponsored Classicism, it is especially necessary to protect theoretical creativity and the tensionful 'balance' of infrastructures by a compensatory emphasis on the special value of the Romantic infrastructure. In an epoch such as our own, where the Romantic largely remains underground, marginal to the dominant culture, there are also very grave dangers of its own equally one‑sided development, particularly in irrational and anti-intellectual directions.


1. Why the Germans rejected the French mapping of the new social order is a separate and distinct question. In briefest outline, they rejected it because it was borne to them on the points of Napoleonic bayonets. These had added injury to insult. They saw this as the military culmination of a [361/362] French cultural dominance, that had earlier expressed itself in the popularity of French language and manners among the courts and élites of the German provinces. The German middle classes were ambivalent about the French solution because they had much the same anxieties about their property, and about the urban mob, that the French middle classes themselves had developed, and which had brought their own Revolution to its Thermidorian halt. Naturally, the German aristocracy had less ambivalence than the middle classes in rejecting the French model.

2. De Staël's important discussion of German Romanticism, On Germany, is to be found in M. Berger (ed. and trans.), Mme. de Staël on Politics, Literature and National Character, New York, Doubleday, 1964.

3. One may gauge just how large the literature on Romanticism is by remembering how huge the Rousseau‑literature alone is. Then there is the literature about each of the Romantic poets; then the philosophers, Hegel, Fichte, Schelling, etc. The literature on 'Romanticism' is appallingly huge, and I cannot here do more than intimate, allude to, or suggest some of its dimensions and a very few of its contents. The problem of Romanticism has been studied more or less systematically at the very least since Alfred de Musset's Lettres de Dupuis et Cotonet in 1836. It has since been the preserve of academicians studying comparative literature, specialists in each of the Euro‑American languages, including English, so that whole academic disciplines have, with fully institutionalized continuity, spent many decades writing about Romanticism, Romanticism in their own country's literature, and in its relations to the Romanticism of many other countries' literatures. Moreover, there is an extensive analysis of Romanticism not only in literature but in the other arts: music, of course, but also in painting. The literature on Romanticism is so vast that the categories in terms of which bibliographies are divided are more or less standardized: e.g., the history of Romanticism, on a European‑wide basis and country by country; critiques of Romanticism; definitions of Romanticism; anthologies of Romantic writing; biographies of Romantic authors; and bibliographies of Romantic literature and analysis, etc.

What follows, then, makes no pretence to being in the least complete or systematic but must be viewed only as a sampler of some of the things that happen to have shaped my own thinking about the problem. First, for any American, there is of course Arthur O. Lovejoy. Without in the least meaning to deprecate his scholarly contribution, it might not be amiss to regard certain of his writings as brilliant, annotated bibliographies. While by no means for this reason alone, still this reason alone would make his Essays in the History of Ideas (Baltimore, Johns Hopkins, and O.U.P., 1960) a masterful contribution to the analytic bibliographies about Romanticism. Much the same might be said about Rene Wellek's Concepts of Criticism (New Haven and London, Yale U.P., 1963) and Volume II of his A History of Modern Criticism (New Haven, Yale U.P., and London, Cape, 1955). I would add, however, that Wellek's conceptualizing courage, perhaps nerve, seem stronger than Lovejoy's; perhaps overwhelmed by [362/363] his own massive scholarship, it sometimes seems as if Lovejoy surrenders too easily in the difficult task of conceptualizing the nature of Romanticism. The Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature, F. W. Bateson (ed.) (Cambridge, 1940‑57), is of course always a major source. See also the Publications of the Modern Language Association, Volume LV (New York, 1940), Romanticism: A Symposium. Among the many books that outsiders might consult with profit for some initial orientation are: Georg Brandes, Main Currents in Nineteenth Century Literature (Heinemann, 1901-5); Arthur O. Lovejoy, The Great Chain of Being (Baltimore, Harvard U.P., and O.U.P., 1936); Irving Babbitt, Rousseau and Romanticism (Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1919) and the review of this by Lovejoy in Modern Language Notes, XXXV (New York, May 1920).

See also:

M. H. Abrams, The Mirror and the Lamp, O.U.P., 1953.

J. Barzun, Classic, Romantic, and Modern, Boston, Little, Brown, 1961.

H. A. Beers, A History of English Romanticism in the Eighteenth Century, New York, 1898; paperback, Dover, 1969.

G. Bianquis, La Vie quotidienne en Allemagne ŕ l'époque romantique, Paris, 1959.

C. Bouglé, Le Romanticisme social, Paris, 1938.

C. M. Bowra, The Romantic Imagination, O.U.P., 1961.

Crane Brinton, The Political Ideals of the English Romanticists, O.U.P., 1926.

Christopher Caudwell, Illusion and Reality, Macmillan, 1937.

Alec Comfort, Art and Social Responsibility, Falcon Press, 1946.

Northrup Frye (ed.), Romanticism Reconsidered, New York, Columbia U.P., 1963

Northrup Frye (ed.), A Study of English Romanticism, New York, Random House, 1968.

R. W. Harris, Romanticism and the Social Order, 1780‑1830, Blandford, 1969.

R. Haym, Die Romantische Schule, Berlin, 1870.

R. Huch, Die Blutezeit der Romantik, Leipzig, 1913.

W. T. Jones, The Romantic Syndrome, The Hague, Nijhoff, 1961.

Frank Kermode, Romantic Image, Routledge, 1957.

Robert Langbaum, The Poetry of Experience, New York, Random House and London, Chatto & Windus, 1957.

F. L. Lucas, The Decline and Fall of the Romantic Ideal, Cambridge U.P., 1936; 2nd ed., 1948.

R. B. Mowat, The Romantic Age: Europe in the Early Nineteenth Century, Harrap, 1937.

Morse Peckham, Beyond the Tragic Vision, New York, Braziller, 1962.

Morse Peckham, Romanticism: The Culture of the 19th Century, New York, Braziller, 1965.

T. M. Raysor (ed.), The English Romantic Poets: A Review of Research, New York, Modern Language Association, 1956, and O.U.P., 1957.

Paul Roubiczek, The Misinterpretation of Man, New York, Scribner, 1947.


I. Siciliano, Il Romanticismo francese, Florence, 1964.

Leslie Stephens, History of English Thought in the 18th Century, 2 vols., Murray, 1876.

J. L. Talmon, Romanticism and Revolt: Europe 1815‑1848, Thames and Hudson, and New York, Harcourt Brace, 1967.

Oskar Walzel, German Romanticism, New York, Ungar, 1966.

Raymond Williams, Culture and Society 1780‑1950, Chatto & Windus, and New York, Columbia U.P., 1958.

L. A. Willoughby, Romantic Movement in Germany, London and New York, Oxford U.P., 1930.

4. A. W. Schlegel, Vorlesungen über dramatische Kunst und Literatur, Heidelberg, 1817.

F. Schlegel, Kritische Schriften (W. Rasch (ed.)), Munich, 1956.

F. Schlegel, Geschichte der alten und neuen Literatur, Munich, 1961.

5. ‘. . . At the close of the century, the religious crisis was acute. Either a medieval man and a Christian, or a modern man and a sceptic—this seemed the sole alternative. . . . That the effort should be made to transcend them was inevitable. The efforts were many.’ A. C. McGiffert, Protestant Thought Before Kant, New York, Harper & Row, 1962.

Our point, of course, is that Romanticism is in part to be interpreted as one of the many efforts made to transcend this choice, seeking a way to include the medieval and the modern.

6. cf. A. F. Wallace, 'Revitalization Movements', in S. M. Lipset and N. J. Smelser (eds.), Sociology: The Progress of a Decade, New York, Prentice‑Hall, 1961, pp. 206-20.

7. See the suggestive discussion by Wolfgang Kayser, The Grotesque in Art and Literature, Bloomington, Indiana U.P., and O.U.P., 1963.

8. Georg Lukács, History and Class Consciousness, London, Merlin Press, and Cambridge (Mass.), M.I.T. Press, 1971, p. 214. Lukács suggests (and it is no more than that here) that 'the concept of "organic growth" was converted from a protest against reification into an increasingly reactionary slogan'. Lukács would later stress the reactionary outcome of Romanticism. But this creates grave difficulties for him as a Marxist, particularly an Hegelianizing Marxist, for he sees that both Solger's and Friedrich Schlegel's work on 'irony' make them pioneers of the 'dialectical method between Schelling and Hegel . . .', ibid., p. 215.

9. Mannheim's main analysis of Romanticism, convergent with the later Lukács', deals with it in the framework of an analysis of conservative thought. See chapter V of K. A. Wolff (ed.), From Karl Mannheim, Oxford U.P., 1971.

10. Henri Saint‑Simon, Social Organization, The Science of Man and Other Writings, trans. and ed. F. Markham, New York, Harper & Row, 1964, p. 42; see also pp. xxx‑xxxi.


11. Henri Lefebvre, The Sociology of Marx, Allen Lane, The Penguin Press, and New York, Pantheon Books, 1968, p. 22.

12. R. W. Friedrichs, A Sociology of Sociology, New York, Free Press, 1970; see especially his discussions of the 'prophetic' and 'priestly' modes of sociology. See also A. W. Gouldner, The Coming Crisis of Western Sociology, New York, Basic Books, 1970, and Heinemann, 1971, p. 254, etc.

13. Hans‑Georg Gadamer, 'On the Scope and Function of Hermeneutical Reflection', Continuum, Vol. 8, No. 1, Spring‑Summer, 1970, p. 80.

14. Richard E. Palmer, Hermeneutics, Evanston, Northwestern U.P., 1969. See esp. ch. 6‑7.

15. Gadamer, op. cit., p. 90.

16. Paul Lorenzen, ‘Enlightenment and Reason’, Continuum, ibid., p. 5.

17. George Lichtheim, From Marx to Hegel, New York, and London, Orbach & Chambers, 1971. Lichtheim speaks of 'the introduction by Lenin of a species of voluntarism which had more in common with Bergson and Nietzsche than with Engels' own rather deterministic manner of treating historical types' (p. 67).

18. F. Schlegel, A Course of Lectures on Modern History, London, 1849, p. 298.

19. Which is precisely why Gareth Stedman Jones may have been a bit unkind to Lukács in recently speaking of him as the 'first' irruption of romanticism in Marxism.

20. cf. George Lichtheim, ibid., 'Max Weber's sociology was taking shape as part of an attempt to overcome the cleavages between scientific rationalism and romantic intuitionism' (p. 201). Of all those currently concerned with such matters, Lichtheim has by far the best insight into the importance of Romanticism for modern social theory, academic and Marxist, although he has not yet consolidated his understanding of Romanticism and is far too ready to reduce it to Nazism.

21. J. W. Burrow, Evolution and Society, Cambridge U.P., 1966, p. xv.

22. J. W. Bennett, 'Myth, Theory, and Value in Cultural Anthropology', in Count and Bowles (eds.), Fact and Theory in Social Science, Syracuse, 1964.

23. B. G. Glaser and A. L. Strauss, The Discovery of Grounded Theory, Chicago, Aldine Publications, 1967, and London, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1968.

24. Mead's fullest confrontation with Romanticism and his most systematic expression of his understanding of it is to be found in his much neglected Movements of Thought in the Nineteenth Century (ed. M. H. Moore), Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1936.


25. A Strauss (ed.), The Social Psychology of George Herbert Mead, Chicago, 1959, p. vii.

26. F. Schlegel, op. cit., p. 258.

27. Anthony Oberschall, Empirical Social Research in Germany, 1849‑1914, New York, Humanities Press, 1965, pp. 64‑5.

28. ibid.

29. C. W. Mills, 'The Sociological Imagination', in L. Z. Gross (ed.), Symposium on Sociological Theory, Evanston, Harper & Row, 1959, p. 40.

30. ibid.

31. See, for example, H. C. Selvin, 'A Critique of Tests of Significance in Survey Research', American Sociological Review, Oct. 1957, pp. 519‑27; R. McGinnis, 'Randomization and Inference in Sociological Research', American Sociological Review, Aug. 1958, pp. 408‑14.

32. A. Wildavsky, 'The Political Economy of Efficiency: Cost‑Benefit Analysis, Systems Analysis and Program Budgeting', Public Administration Review, Dec. 1966, pp. 292‑309.

33. R. Boguslaw, 'Situation Analysis and the Problem of Action', Social Problems, Vol. VIII, No. 3, Winter 1961.

Bibliographical Note

11. 'Romanticism and Classicism' is part of my ongoing, larger commitment to the study of the origins of Western social theory. This essay is the programmatic statement that has been guiding my joint work on Romanticism with Nedra Carp these last few years. Previouly unpublished.

SOURCE: Gouldner, Alvin W. "Romanticism and Classicism: Deep Structures in Social Science," in For Sociology: Renewal and Critique in Sociology Today (New York: Basic Books, 1973), Chapter 11, pp. 323-366. Bibliographical note, pp. 464-465.

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