Organization of Academic Foci within the "Department of Social Science," Academic Years 1893 1930

The information in this table was built up from entries in the University of Chicago's Annual Register 1892 through 1929, each describing the next academic year's course offerings. We have used the name "Department of Social Science" strictly as an editorial convenience. The name was used for two years, before becoming the "Department of Sociology & Anthropology," which it remained until 1928. For a little over a decade, the Sanitary Science was also part of "the department," prior to becoming independent as the Department of Household Administration in 1905. In academic year 1929-30, the "Department of Sociology" and the "Department of Anthropology" separated, each with full administrative independence.  

Organization of Academic Foci within the "Department of Social Science"
1890s 1900s1910s1920s1930s
345678901234 567890123456 789012345678 90
General Sociology x x x x x               x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x          
Social Philosophy x x x x x x x x x x x x                                                    
General Sociology: History and Logic of the Social Sciences                                                                   x x x    
General and Historical Sociology                                                                         x x
Social Institutions  x x x x x x x x                                                            
Social Technology                 x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x            
Social Organization                                                                 x x x x    
Community & Social Institutions                                                                         x x
Social Pathology                                                                         x x
Folk-Psychology       x x                                                                  
Social Psychology           x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x                               x x
Social & Racial Psychology                                           x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x    
Theory of Cultures                                                                         x x
Population                                                                   x x x    
Statistics & Population                                                                         x x
Sanitary Science x x x x x x x x x x x x                                                    
Anthropology & Ethnology x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x ? x x x x x x x x x x x    

Several things are worth noting. 

During the period when Small was Head Professor (1892-1925), there were relatively few changes. General Sociology at first included Social Philosophy and Social Institutions . The two subfoci pair separated and enlarged into "Social Philosophy" (taught by Small) and "Social Institutions" (taught by Henderson, later joined by Vincent). Institutions was renamed "Social Technology" in 1901, remaining so until Small's last year. Social Philosophy, was returned to "General Sociology" in 1905, remaining so until Small retired. Folk-Psychology, was added as a third departmental focus when W. I. Thomas had completed his doctorate in Sociology, and was promoted to assistant professor. His stream was renamed "Social Psychology" in 1898/99, and then "Social and Racial Psychology" in 1914.

When Faris took over the departmental chair (1925), a series of changes were put into place by the faculty. A new departmental focus was added Population, later Population & Statistics. This change reflects the addition of Ogburn to the faculty. General Sociology became first History and Logic of the Social Sciences, then General and Historical Sociology. The recently named focus on "Social Organization" was split into two sections, "Community and Social Institutions", and "Social Pathology." The "Social and Racial Psychology" stream was split in two, creating foci in "Social Psychology" and "Theory of Culture." This last change coincided with the independence of the Anthropology Department. It is interesting that Faris would add "Theories of Culture" — typically thought of as an anthropological topic — when the anthropologists left the department. It suggests that Sociology and Anthropology may have been more closely entwined while they shared a single administrative unit than is typically assumed in our histories of the period.


No notes


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