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American sociologist is awarded honorary doctorate at UiB

The distuingished American sociologist Arthur L. Stinchcombe has been appointed a honorary doctor at the University of Bergen.

On 5 May 2017, there will be a special doctor ceremony to celebrate seven new honorary doctorates at the University of Bergen (UiB), one each for the university's seven faculties.

A focus on social structures

Professor emeritus Arthur L. Stinchcombe has been the choice for the honorary PhD from the Faculty of Social Sciences. His research achieved the major breakthrough with the 1965 publication of the book, Social Structure and Organizations. In the book, Stinchcombe compared the American textile industry, one of the oldest industries in the country, with the newer automotive industry to argue that the key features of organizations in any industry are related to the era in which the industry emerges. Stinchcombe called this relation a “correlation of age and social structure”.

He has been a researcher who has actively sought out different methods to approach different subjects within the field of sociology, something which has made him a researcher with great variety and who kept pushing the boundaries of research in his field.

In one of his many groundbreaking books, Rebellion in a High School, he used quantitative methods. In another book, Theoretical Methods in Social History and Economic Sociology, he used historical methods. When co-authoring the book Organization Theory and Project Management, with Carol Heimer, he based his report on field methods in the studies of organizations. His last book, The Logic of Social Research, was an outline of how to use historical, ethnographic, quantitative, and experimental methods to develop and text causal theories in sociology and other social sciences.

A long and distinguished career

Stinchcombe is professor emeritus from the Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences at Northwestern University in the United States. In 1960, he received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley and quickly established himself in the field of sociology. Areas of interest have included law and society plus science and technology as well as a look at economy and society.

Before coming to Northwestern, Stinchcombe taught at Johns Hopkins, Berkeley, the University of Chicago and the University of Arizona. He was also a visiting professor in Chile, England, the Netherlands, Norway, Australia, and the Stanford School of Business.