World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article
 

Lewis A. Coser

Lewis Coser (Berlin, 27 November 1913 – Cambridge, Massachusetts, 8 July 2003) was a German-American sociologist, serving as the 66th president of the American Sociological Association in 1975.

Contents

  • Biography 1
  • Works 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

Biography

Born in society that seems to be disintegrating, conflict with another society, inter-group conflict, may restore the integrative core. For example, the cohesiveness of Israeli Jews might be attributed to the long-standing conflict with the Arabs. Conflict with one group may also serve to produce cohesion by leading to a series of alliances with other groups.

Conflicts within a society, intra-group conflict, can bring some ordinarily isolated individuals into an active role. The protest over the Vietnam War motivated many young people to take vigorous roles in American political life for the first time.

Conflicts also serve a communication function. Prior to conflict, groups may be unsure of their adversary’s position, but as a result of conflict, positions and boundaries between groups often become clarified, leaving individuals better able to decide on a proper course of action in relation to their adversary.

Much like status consistency, conflicts along the same cleavages intensify the severity of the conflict. Cross-cutting cleavages tend to dissipate the severity of the conflict. For example, the coincidence of economic and political disenfranchisement among Palestinians in the West Bank intensify their conflict with Israeli Jews. In contrast, the non-coincidence of economic and political disenfranchisement among Quebecers reduces somewhat the severity of their conflict with English Canada, especially with the rising prosperity of the French Canadian new middle class operating in the public sector and corporate world.

Coser first taught at the University of Chicago and the University of California. He then founded the sociology department at Brandeis University and taught there for 15 years before joining the sociology department of the State University of New York at Stony Brook.[1]

A eulogy at Carlo Tresca's memorial service in 1943 was delivered by Angelica Balabanoff, the socialist activist and former Bolshevik. According to Coser's account of the funeral, "I was sitting near a burly Irish policeman who clearly didn't understand a word of Balabanoff's fierce Italian oratory. But at her climax he burst into tears."[2]

In 1954, with Irving Howe, Coser established the radical journal, Dissent. Upon his death in 2003, the author of his obituary in that magazine suggested that Coser "always felt himself a marginal man. He was Jewish and non-Jewish; an American and a European; a hardheaded social analyst, committed to rigorous honesty in judgment and deed, and a passionate advocate; a leftist and a critic of the left; a defender of the underdog and something of an elite intellectual mandarin."

Works

  • The Functions of Social Conflict, 1956
  • The American Communist Party (with Irving Howe), 1957
  • Sociological Theory, 1964
  • Men of ideas, 1965
  • Political Sociology, 1967
  • Continuities in the Study of Social Conflict, 1967
  • A Handful of Thistles: Collected Papers in Moral Conviction, 1968
  • Sociological Theory (with Bernard Rosenberg), 1969
  • Masters of Sociological Thought, 1970
  • The Seventies: Problems and Proposals (with Irving Howe), 1972
  • Greedy Institutions, 1974
  • The Idea of Social Structure, Papers in Honor of R. K. Merton, 1975
  • The Uses of Controversy in Sociology, 1976
  • Refugee Scholars in America, 1984
  • Conflict and Consensus, 1984
  • Books: The Culture and Commerce of Publishing (with Charles Kadushin and Walter W. Powell), 1985
  • Voices of Dissent (with Maurice Halbwachs), 1992
  • The New Conservatives: A Critique from the Left (with Irving Howe), 1999

References

  1. ^ Martin, D. Lewis Coser, 89, sociologist who focused on intellectuals. New York Times" NY edition, July B-12, 2003, sec. 8, p. 16
  2. ^ Lewis Coser, "From a Heroic Past", Dissent, Summer 1989.

External links

  • Lewis Coser 1913-2003
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.