Sociology: A Lost Connection in Social Psychology

Personality and Social Psychology Review, Vol. 13, pp. 334-353, 2009

69 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2011

See all articles by Shigehiro Oishi

Shigehiro Oishi

University of Virginia - Psychology

Selin Kesebir

London Business School

Benjamin H. Snyder

Victoria University of Wellington

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

For the first half of the 20th century, sociology was one of the closest allies of social psychology. Over the past four decades, however, the connection with sociology has weakened, whereas new connections with neighboring disciplines (e.g., biology, economics, political science) have formed. Along the way, the sociological perspective has been largely lost in mainstream social psychology in the United States. Most social psychologists today are not concerned with collective phenomena and do not investigate social structural factors (e.g., residential mobility, socioeconomic status, dominant religion, political systems). Even when the social structural factors are included in the analysis, psychologists typically treat them as individual difference variables. Sociologist C. Wright Mills famously promoted sociological imagination, or the ability to see distal yet important social forces operating in a larger societal context. By comparing sociological perspectives to psychological perspectives, this article highlights the insights that the sociological perspective and sociological imagination can bring to social psychology.

Keywords: social psychology, history of social psychology, sociology, cultural psychology

Suggested Citation

Oishi, Shigehiro and Kesebir, Selin and Snyder, Benjamin H., Sociology: A Lost Connection in Social Psychology (2009). Personality and Social Psychology Review, Vol. 13, pp. 334-353, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1785311

Shigehiro Oishi (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Psychology ( email )

United States

Selin Kesebir

London Business School ( email )

Regent's Park
NW1 4SA
London
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://people.virginia.edu/~sk8dm

Benjamin H. Snyder

Victoria University of Wellington ( email )

P.O. Box 600
Wellington, 6140
New Zealand

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