Lester Ward and Patrick Geddes in early American and British sociology

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In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, sociology was becoming established as a discipline in the United States and Great Britain. This article looks closely at the lives and work of two prominent sociologists at this time, Patrick Geddes and Lester F. Ward. As sociology was becoming established in academic departments, neither Ward's nor Geddes' thought managed to survive intact. A number of factors played into this process, especially the overall broadness of their perspectives, as well as the incompatibility of several of their key concerns, including gender, religion, race and education, with the eventual trajectory of the sociology and the scholars who were involved in consolidating the discipline as such.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-69
Number of pages19
JournalHistory of the Human Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2013


  • history of sociology
  • Lester Ward
  • organicism
  • Patrick Geddes
  • social work


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