chapter  3
22 Pages

An American Sociological Canon, 1900–1915

WithSean H. McMahon

In the early century, Edward Alsworth Ross went from academic turmoil to a high level of leadership and influence. Initially he sought out public attention but his 1901 book engaged in a more internalistic scholarly discourse. In the fall of 1900 Ross was fired from Stanford, but the following spring was nearly as unsettling for him. Shortly after the Stanford incident, in January 1901 Richard Ely informed Ross of a possible position for the fall at Wisconsin. Ross settled in at Nebraska that spring but expressed impatience as he awaited decisions from the various schools. Ross's courses at Nebraska between 1901 and 1906 reflected a traditional approach that confined sociology to the library and the classroom. His students learned from him in the classroom as they gathered, listed, and discussed social facts. Ross emphasized more of the social spirit and strictly limited the scope of textual investigations.