The Unknown James Coleman: Culture and History in Foundations of Social Theory,

Publication Date: 
May 2010
pp 237-294 in Contemporary Sociology, Vol 39, #3, 253-8, 2010

Publisher Link


James S. Coleman’s Foundations of Social Theory is a weighty text, in more ways than one. It is the utilitarian sociological summa. Coleman’s own claims for it were not small, including, as they did, the goal of recasting the foundations of sociology along rational choice lines, solving the micro-macro problem (and, while he was at it, Thomas Hobbes’ classical ‘‘problem of order’’), and finally, capturing the major dynamics of social development and history by reducing them to a set of sociological axioms.