Classical literature, specifically ancient Greek philosophy and especially the study of Greek tragedy, is helpful in tracing out and understanding the transitions Alvin Gouldner made during his career as a sociologist. This article argues that a latent tragic orientation or vision existed during Gouldner's early career as a standout in the field of industrial sociology and that this tragic vision became manifest around 1962 as Gouldner was developing more and more strident denunciations of establishment sociology. This case study of Gouldner's career teaches a valuable lesson about the importance of the tragic vision in helping sociologists to understand the limitations of the scientific quest for knowledge.
Chriss, James, "Gouldner's tragic vision" (2002). Sociology & Criminology Faculty Publications. 27.
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