The Matter of Habit Author(s): Charles Camic Source: American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 91, No. 5 (Mar., 1986), pp.

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The Matter of Habit1
CharlesCamic University of Wisconsin-Madison

This articleis a historical of the conceptof habit in investigation sociology.Beginningwith the claim that historians of sociology need to look beyondthe now-famous ideas thatappear in theforeground oftheworksofthesociological thearticle masters, examines theneglected idea ofhabitto document thatthisconcept was longa ofWestern stapletermin theconceptual socialtheorists vocabulary as a major background and that it continued to function factor in the substantive writingsof both Emile Durkheim and Max Weber-a factor that previous scholarshipon Durkheim and Weber has almost completely overlooked.It is shown that Durkheimviewedhabitnotonlyas a chief ofhumanaction determinant in a greatvariety of areas but also as one of the principal supports forthemoralfabric societies.Similarly, ofmodern habitis foundto be significant in Weber'streatment of moderneconomicand political life, Calvinism and the spiritof capitalism,and the forceof which is so centrala factorin his framework for traditionalism, theidea ofhabitwas also comparative-historical analysis.Although in American used extensively downto around1918,in the sociology courseof the two decades that followedthe conceptwas purposefullyexcised fromthe conceptualstructure of the field.This dramaticchangeis shownto be a result oftheinterdisciplinary disputes thatsurrounded theinstitutionalization ofsociology as an academic
make it possible to provide the relativelylarge amount of primary source documentationthat appears in this article, two space-saving measures have been employed. First, in a number of instances, quotations are reportedwith words or shortphrases enclosed within square brackets, the enclosed material representing an effort on my part to render concisely yet faithfully points that are formulated in a less abbreviated way by the originalauthors. Second, when reporting the dates of the sources cited, the text gives only the year of original publication (or the originaldate of deliveryin the case of lecturecourses). Information about the particular editionsthatI have used is containedin the listof references. Page citationsrefer to those editions. 1 I wouldliketo thankWarren Hagstrom, MaureenHallinan,Donald Levine,Hal
AUTHOR'S NOTE. -To

Winsborough, and ErikWright for their instructive adviceon this article, research for which was facilitated bygrants from theGraduate SchoolResearch ofthe Committee University of Wisconsin-Madison.Requestsforreprints shouldbe sentto Charles Camic, Department of Sociology,University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin
53706. ? 1986 by The Universityof Chicago. All rightsreserved. 0002-9602/86/9105-0001$01 .50

AJS Volume 91 Number5 (March 1986): 1039-87

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Journalof Sociology American discipline,particularly sociology'sstruggles with behaviorist psychology, whichhad by thenprojectedintoprominence a notionof habit deriving from19th-century The analysis biologicalthought. suggeststhat the concept of habit was a casualty of sociology's revoltagainstbehaviorism-a casualtywhose effects are stillto be seen. On itsearthly an idea always andeverywhere course operates in opposition to itsoriginal meaning and thereby destroys itself.[Max Weber,as reported by Marianne Weber(1926, p. 337)] Througha case studyof the changingrole of the conceptof habit in examines thegeneral thisarticle sociological thought, questionofhow the fieldstakes shape over of intellectual underlying conceptual structure time.The analysisis an effort to tracetheidea ofhabitback to theperiod when it was a standard and valued item in the conceptualidiom of to demonstrate that Emile Durkheimand Max modernsocial theorists; the central when confronting Weber both used the conceptextensively problems thatorganizetheirsociologies;and thento providea sociological explanationforthe demise of habit in the work of such American as W. I. Thomas, RobertPark, Ellsworth sociologists Faris, and Talcott Parsons. In the courseof treating theseissues,the essay seeks as well to of sociologyby looking illustrate the value of investigating the history of established beyondthe particularideas that occupy the foreground sociologicalclassics. The rationale forchoosing theconceptofhabitas thefocusofthiscase studyis rootedin theveryfactthatcontemporary sociology has virtually dispensedwiththe concept.There is no articleon habit in the InternationalEncyclopediaoftheSocial Sciences, no place forit in recent indices of the major sociologicaljournals, and no slot forit in the annual reviewsand the standardtextbooks.What prevailsinstead (insofaras claimsare made about humanconductin the social world)is a modelof action that has alternatively been called purposive,rational,voluntaristic,or decisionalbut will here be designated by the less controverted term"reflective." Accordingto this widelyutilizedmodel, action is a process arisingfromvarious utilitarian, moral, affectual, or othermoof calculation,belief,attitude, tives-motives formed and sentimentthat defineends that an actor then intentionally pursuesby choosing, from amongavailable alternatives, themeansthatappear mostappropriate when judged by normsof efficiency, duty,familiarity, and so on. Thus, in a recentattemptto integrate work on the generaltheory of action,Alexander dismisses notions of"unreflexive action"and aversthat "all action . . . inherently involvesweighting of means and ends, norms and conditions"; and thisconception, he approvingly reports, is one that
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Habit level and currently suffuses at everytheoretical sociological"arguments to of everyideologicalstripe,"fromexchangetheory to phenomenology neo-Marxism (1982a, pp. 67-80). Rangingover similarmaterials, Dawe is likewisepleased to findbroad agreement thatactioninvolvespurposeful agents reflecting over "alternativepatterns,alternative sequences, alternative possibilities" (1978, pp. 379, 413). Withless satisfaction, Strykerobservesin symbolic interactionism as well an emphasison "reflexivityas the essence of the human condition, [at the expenseof] a serious view has been adopted consideration of habit"(1980, p. 152). A kindred even by theoristssuch as Collins, who combine the insightsof ethnomethodologists and sociologists of emotion to criticize sociology forits "rationalistmodels of cognitionand decision-making" but then bring back a less wooden kindof reflective thatthe"strucactionby proposing and "selftures of the social world" rest on "continuousmonitoring" interested maneuver"by actingindividuals(1981, pp. 985, 996, 1012). has the reflective modelcome to appear that So obviouslyappropriate with providing a reathose who employit seldom concernthemselves fortheirpracticeof unisoned defense,or even an explicit justification, formly castinghuman conductinto this one mold. That the processof actionmight be modeleddifferently, and was in factmodeleddifferently has generally by some of the so-called mastersof sociologicalthought, of such parochial unnoticed.And forthe persistence passed altogether innocence, scholarswriting on sociology's past bear considerable responon thedemandthathissibility. Placingan overlynarrowinterpretation toricalresearch be relevant to thepresent, thesescholarshave channeled too much of theireffort from the standardclassicsof towardextracting sociology thoseinsights thatare seemingly mostpertinent to questionsof current To do this,however,is simplyto endorse sociologicalinterest. current the social world:it is notto take issue with ways of approaching thoseways and to questionthepresent about thelimitations ofitsoverall approach. If researchon the history of sociology is to contribute to the presentin this latter and larger sense, it must, as much as possible, bracketthe immediate concernsof contemporary of sociolpractitioners the ideas of the past in theirown terms, ogy and striveto understand sincetheseare the onlyterms in whichlapsed alternatives to entrenched present-day perspectives actuallydisclose themselves to us. The whole of habit is one such lapsed alternative. matter METHODOLOGICAL INTRODUCTION The suggestion thatthe student of past ideas shouldseek to understand thoseideas in their own terms is not,ofcourse,an original one. The same basic argument has been forcefully put forth by scholarsin otherfields
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Journalof Sociology American (see Gunnell1978; Skinner1969; Stocking 1968),and historians ofsociologyhave recently soundedthesame notein growing numbers (see Collini 1978;Jones1977; Simonds1978),thusissuinga call fora "new history of sociology"(Jones 1983). To date, however, the preachments of this emerging fieldhave inevitably outrun its accomplishments, as a result of whichthe whole approach has come undermounting criticism (see Gerstein 1983; Seidman 1983; Turner 1983). would not be One wonders,though,whether the new historiography more convincingif it worked to carry out its revolt against "presentism"-the practiceof readingthe past through the filter of the present-in a more thoroughgoing way. Thus far, too many of the new historians' efforts have been spent traversing the same territories that theirmorepresentist adversarieshave charted.One consequenceof this has been theirreluctanceto move much beyondthe well-established, classic sociologicalthinkers (the Marxes, the Durkheims,the Webers), even thoughit is by highly have presentist standards thatthesethinkers been elevatedintothe classical pantheon(see Camic 1979, 1981). A further,moresubtleconsequenceof the lingering presentism has been the tendency when dealing with classic figures to concentrate on the issues that are in theforeground of theirwritings-theveryissues that made in the first thesewritings, not those of others,stand out to the present place-rather than on the themes, concepts, and ideas that remain largelyin the background (see Polanyi'sdistinction between"focal"and awareness[1958, pp. 55-57]). "subsidiary" and then to foreground By narrowing the focus to classic thinkers issues, even antipresentist historians of sociologyhave provideda seit of social theories verely truncated picture past. In thesecircumstances, framework ofsociolis notsurprising thatbasic changesin theconceptual has received or thathabitin particular ogyhave gone largelyunstudied littleattention in previousscholarship on sociology's past. In fact,not thoseepisodesin the almostentirely onlyhas thisscholarship neglected of habit that fall outsidethe classics, it has failed to apdevelopment preciatethe place of the idea even in the amplystudiedworksof Durkheimand Weber. Hence, to take onlythemostrecent example,Alexanof habitprior to his derdeclaresthatDurkheim with the notion was done first book (Alexander1982b,pp. 108-28) and thatforWebertheconcept was merely "a residualcategory," to actionmotivated reducible byaffects and values (Alexander 1983, p. 152, n. 36). The evidence marshaled below makes such pronouncements and therehave extremely doubtful; been a fewscholarswho have come somewhat nearerthemark,notably Roth (1968), Wallwork(1972), and Cohen, Hazelrigg,and Pope (1975). But thefactthattheroleofhabitin thethought ofDurkheim and Weber
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Clark 1973. is theverykind ofdevelopmental processthatthehistorian seeksto uncover: ofsociology that separates us from the change in underlying conceptualstructure the age of Durkheimand Weber. 24 Jul 2013 06:20:10 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .and not-I should emphasize-in the ina reliance on the classics. It is with the aim of demonstrating that such a change occurred. the analysiswill call attention to the intellectual consequencesof the widespreadconcernon the part of those sociologists with securely theirfieldas an establishing autonomous discipline within theuniversities ofthetime. thereal significance ofthispointhas been lostbecause there has beenvirtually no effort to divestourselves ofourcurrent images ofthesefields and to investigate how theywerespecifically constituted at thetimethatsociology was first acquiringintellectual form. The twistis that.whilemostof thiswork focuseson how institutionalization altered"the social-structural aspects of cultureproduction.[but] ignor[es]the contentof culture"(Kuklick 1983. in and later history the earlier of eringcertainimportant installments of sociolclassics habit thatare located outsidethe currently recognized ogy.Habit has yet to be sufficiently broughtout offers a striking indication of the extent ideas in thebackground ofthepractice ofoverlooking ramifying of theirwritings in the course of goingover and over the standardforeground topics. here the emphasiswill be on how the quest forgenuine academicautonomy actuallydid affect theconceptual fabric ofsociology. I hope to take a preliminary step toward correcting this situation. Ben-David 1971).thatthe student of sociology's past is concerned not onlywithidentifying how the fieldhas changedbut also withexplaining I willattempt to whyit has done so. 300).By examiningsomeofthesubstantive characteristics ofpsychology during thisdecisive period.12. 1043 This content downloaded from 128. In thisregard. however. briefly providea sociologicalaccountforthe elimination of habit by American sociologists of the early20thcentury. that this terest of further overextending in additionto considpaper treatsDurkheimand Weberat some length.I especiallywant to urgethe importance of studying not onlywhat was goingon in the sociologicalliterature but also what was takingplace in theliterature of the disciplines from whichsociology was seekingto secureits autonomy. p.What has been missed.But. significance is simply my argument in thesociology following thelead of research ofscience(esp.We have all been taughtthat sociology tookshape in opposition to fields suchas economics. In doing so.In stressing the of the factorof institutionalization. Shils 1970). Oberschall1972.as a consequence. history. to date.whichhas alreadybeeninstructively appliedto thedevelopment of sociology in America and elsewhere (Abrams 1968.135. Accordingly.127 on Wed. It hardlyneed be said. and psychology.

it is nota claimabouthowtheterm included the notwith is concerned analysis indicates.135.the variability in different has exhibiteditselfchiefly loadingsontothe commoncore. 187). for. specifying thismay appear problematic. 91).employed norms (1922a. tend tobecome setintomotion. see also T6nnies1909. havediffered greatly.""emotional habits. preclude ofhabit.It mustsuffice taking practiced ofaction thatarefrequently thatforms byrepetition: thathabitis produced as tohow however.Second. whilethedefinition pointers. .pp. 1922b. thanfrom self-interest orshared that from habit rather derive acting" one. ofhabit torefer tothephenomenon has beenactually eredinthis study. many common exhibit ofsocialgroups maintain thatmembers subject way[s]of to denotesuch "collective the separateterm"custom" in fact.for"habit" ordinarily designatesactionsthat "are relatively unmotivated" (Giddens 1979.p. It happens. 238)."and "moralhabits"(1932. can be made. But rather 2 Severalpoints just are perhapsin orderhere. of . .1939.thecoremeanings the OxfordEnglish Dictionary shows-have been fairlyconstantfor many centuries.the definition of clarification of thinkers is designedto indicatethe typicalway in whichthe majority offered be should in thisstudy have usedhabit.p. theconvention in (see Funke1958)so that counterpart) or German (oritsFrench "habit" bytheterm hereto take accountof otherterminological onlya few cases will it be necessary arecouched discussion ofthefollowing and much Third. is actually of habitformation thisprocess 1044 This content downloaded from 128. Weber. Since definitions rather unsatisfying. are [from theactor'sstandpoint] 'not subjectto argument' with"uns" and "nots"maybe (Hartmann. In the certaindistinctions first Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. 294. thepresent used.p. forinstance.AmericanJournalof Sociology CONCEPTUAL CONSIDERATIONS At thisjuncture.First.as an idiosyncratic usage remains 319. 35-36). The core meaningthatis pertinent here standsout mostsharply whenthepreviousdefinition ofreflective conduct is recalled. 218). Murphyfoundit convenient. the habitsof thegroup'" (1931.something should be said about what the conceptof habit refers to in thisstudy.127 on Wed. however. it is perhapsappropriate to restate thesepointspositively: the term "habit" generallydenominatesa more or less selfor tendency actuatingdisposition to engage in a previously adopted or acquiredformof action.sincespace limits oftheorigins definition leavesopenthequestion viewhas been thatthemost widespread to record up thisissue. p. Fourth.p. giventhattheword"habit"(oritsFrenchor Germanequivalent)has been used in a variety ofways by different social thinkers from different of theterm-as ages.2 Withinthisbroad definition. habits. overtime Opinions habitual. on the it shouldbe notedthatmostwriters in terms of thehabitsof theindividual.At first glance. to differentiate (above thelevelof"motor habits")"cognitive habits. 'the whichis in no sensepartofthemeaning "a quality by a socialsanction. Fortunately.12. . theworddesignates. actions for which "means-ends " relations . But thisparticular that arebacked practices refers tocollective generally custom MacIveronceremarked.as thedefinition that ofviewon thephenomenon points changing butwith oftheword"habit" vagaries considand theperiod thatin thecountries though.p. 24 Jul 2013 06:20:10 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . .

habitsof economic. 393).and the like. it is generally to suggestthat an action. theform ofactiondesignated as habitbroadensto various moreextendedlines or more involvedpatterns of conductin the social world. task execution.. disinterestedness. it will be helpfulforhistorical purposesto the various empiricalreferents of the conceptof habit in differentiate terms of a dimension that crosscuts the cognitive/emotional/moral classification. .religious. 24 Jul 2013 06:20:10 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . But proceeding to what may be looked on as thevast middlerangeof thecontinuum. The two end pointsand the midpoint of thiscontinuum meritseparatecomment.perceiving.religious.whichconcrete cases approachin varying degrees(1922a. and in canvassing thiswork.and in thevenerable WilliamJames(1890. to which social thinkers have devoted more attention.Such phenomena in evidencein theworkofsocial werefrequently thinkers from the mid-18th to the early20thcentury.habitsof sacrifice. The situation has long been otherwise in psychology.Whenthehabitlabel is applied. p.Habit than place primary emphasishereon thisclassification to the according contentof different habits. That habitual and nonhabitual(reflective or other)considerations may actuallybe mixed together no commentator I know of denies. of tradition however. and so on. has-in the instanceof the actor being describedemerged apart from such a reflective process.activities of thistyperarely attracted the sustainedinterest of social theorists. elementary Even in the heydayof the conceptof habit.127 on Wed. Since this is obviouslynot a black-and-white issue. when discussing the requireparticularly mentsforor impediments to reflective actionitself. This is not to say that those who speak of these kinds of conductproposethattheyare uniformly habitual.habitsofobedience to rulesand to rulers. To beginat the beginning: habitsometimes refers to thedisposition to perform certainrelatively and specificactivitiesskillfully. . political. simultaneously is something Yet it is onlyWeberwho explicitly conceivesofhabitualactionas a pure type. which may in some situations come about as a motivated actorselectsappropriate meansto his or her ends.political. it is probablybest to envisiona long continuum of possibilities. speaking.problemsolving. and restraint. 2526)-and thisis a formulation thatencourages us to appreciate. and domestic behavior. whether the"form ofaction"thatis beingrepeated is simple and circumscribed or generalizedand complex.we will encounter habitsofinterpersonal interaction. domes1045 This content downloaded from 128. p. but getting beyondthe minutiae. one might also locate habitsofwriting. evaluating.135. thathave becomevirtually automatic" and thenillustrates thenotionwiththepractice ofputting on a leftsock beforea rightone (Lefran?ois1983. pp. namely.12. 107) themodern psychologist equates habitwith "sequencesof behaviors.usuallysimple. Still withinthe lower portion of the habit continuum. in many of the allusionsby past thinkers to economic.

in theextreme comesto meanthewholemanner. 225. probably Today theword"character" meaningof habit. which is projective.American Journalof Sociology of the tic. 1046 This content downloaded from 128. an implicitclaim for the preponderance in a givenpattern of action.thatit is notby such stimuli that habit is called into play and allowed to proceed. habitualelement one can situatea stillIn the upper reaches of the habit continuum. senseis to alityattributes. in fact. The pointto note. century. p. as these. Ton3 It may.g.p. James1890. 1830. Hegel 1821. see also Kestenbaum 1977. dynamic in quality.butby theego itself.. 24 Jul 2013 06:20:10 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . and [operative]even when not obviously dominatingactivity"(1922. as such. 114-17) and alive during theinterim In place of the thatthe image has also met withsubstantial opposition.p. devoid of meaningfromthe actor's point of view. and other habits.135. throughout entire domainoflifeor. to particular stimuli behaviorthatconsists mechanical reaction and is. Petras 1968). habitis the durable broaderusage of the term. who defined habit as that "orderingor systematization of [the more] minor elements of [human] action. 116. This. 260.It is a particular ether which determinesthe specificgravityof every being which has materializedwithinit" (1857. thoughit was alreadycurrent is as well. Bourdieuand Passeron 1970).with leeway for situational adaptation(Hartmann1939. it has been heldthathabit idea of a fixed. cast. p. The onlyAmericanwriterwell known among sociologiststo make use of such an idea was JohnDewey. be helpfulto regard the conceptionof habit under discussion here as the analogue in the personalityto the dominantmode of productionas seen by Marx: "It is a general illumination which bathes all the other colours and modifiestheir particularity. mechanicalreaction from external sensations createsa stableinnercorethataffords immunity and impetuousappetites(Ferguson 1792. 144). e.ormold whichcase theterm comesclosestto ofthepersonality.12. p. is a practicethatboth Durkheimand Weber foleffort lowed. and it is a practicethatBourdieuhas made a notablerecent at long last to revive(see. p.the notionof habitimmediately mon stereotypes. althougheven "characevokingthisnearlyforgotten morespecific a system personter"tendsto suggest made up ofnumerous. ready for overt manifestation. as we shall see. serveto make one waryof some comThese definitional preliminaries To many. 40-41. whereasthepointofusinghabitin itsbroadest of modality denotenota sumofpartsbuta morenearly all-encompassing a vividformulation from the actionthat(ifone mayborrow out ofcontext of the to othercomponents thenassignsrank and influence Grundrisse) ofhabit thisdistinct conception personality. in the 1780s (see Reid 1788. habitus.3 AmongEuropean thinkers. conjuresup in a fixed. pp.though.127 on Wed. In thisimage is one that became fairly widespreadearlyin this sociology. to thisusage. to stimuli. pp. has oftenbeen denotedby leaving the word in its Latin form.According thatsuffuses a person'sactionthroughout an and generalized disposition all oflife-in instance. 107). turn. 88.

And in place of bothphenomenolotheclaim thathabitis devoid of subjectivemeaning.reformed theologians. . Kestenbaum1977.If one is concerned auxiliary features to set stereotypes of the conceptof habit. pp. and Condorcet forecast the progressive transformationof"habits.and 503-4) and Ferguson(1792. Speakingformany thinkers of the FrenchEnlightenment. Dubray 1905. 32-33). .and to whatextent. 53. 161-62). 194). p. During the 18th century. 24 Jul 2013 06:20:10 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . pp. 104-5.it is best simply and to leave themaside untilthey counterstereotypes aside from thestartand becomean essentialpart of the story itself. 54. 17-23. most conspicuously numberof the major figures of the Enlightenment. pp. the conceptreceivedstill more systematic attention froma (see Funke 1958. bothprivateand public (1758.127 on Wed.and numerousearly modernphilosophers and litterateurs (see Burnham 1968a. gistsand psychoanalysts have proposedthathabitualactiondoes exhibit a "meaningful character"-eithertakenforgranted bytheactororlodged in the unconscious (Bergerand Luckmann 1966. forexample. pp. similaropinions. 1762. their statements applythatcaution is mandated all around if one is out for a description of some of the withthehistory of habitualaction. . 57.pp. adoptedthrough miscalculation" by"freely contracted habits . 19). provedresilient.however. 8-9. p.135. 32-344. The one ofhabitis remote. playing a consequentialrole in the writings of medieval scholastics. inspiredby natureand acknowledged by reason"(1793. Schutz 1932. 209-34) expressed 1047 This content downloaded from 128. 180). and that. pp. I am notsuggestingthattheseviews be directly substituted forthestereotype. pp. p.enlighteners such as Hume (1739-40. p.." "mechanical"than action of the same type that emergesfromwholly reflective processes(Stewart1792-1827. Passmore 1970. 3-4.Habit nies 1909. 81). Funke 1958. In Scotland.12. Fuchs 1952. Rousseau proclaimedmanyforms of social inequality"uniquelythe workof habit" and held thatlaw should reston "theforceof habit.howevermuch habitualactionmay be such action is still no more removedfrom"hesitationand reflection. 108.p.proposed that"habit [is a] principle are actuated" by which[humanseverywhere] and thatitis also thegreatwellspring ofmorality. 345-496). to take noticeof certainpriordevelopments that occurred chieflyoutside the classics of sociology. pp. provenance The notion was alreadyan established and it thereafter amongancientGreekthinkers. Helve'tius. 192. 55-57). as well.[rather thanon] theforceof authority" (1755. HISTORICAL PROLOGUE To understand the transformation that the conceptof habit has underit is necessary gone in sociology. pp. 138. pp. pp. spokesperreluctantto specifyto which sons on all sides have been sufficiently instances ofhabit. pp. Hartmann1939. 89.

p. 31)." of habit. The well-known history of evolutionary detailed here. 183). 24 Jul 2013 06:20:10 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . of all intellectual forthe existence "habit is indispensable 143).American Journalof Sociology on givinghabitits such as Kant insisted even cerebralGermanAufkldrer due. It was in this sense that Lamarck talkedof giraffes "brows[ing] on the leaves of trees"and called this theirhabit. Darwin hastenedfromhorses'pacing habits. on theground" talkedof"snakes . pp. it emerges. however. on by two developThis transformation was brought mentsthatoccurrednear the centerstage of European intellectual life. literaHere Darwin's workhappenedto linkup withthephysiological ture of the time: a noteworthy of body of researchthat had the effect the equation between habit and elementary behavior and confirming drivingthe phenomenon entirely out of the social world and into the recessesof the biophysicalsciences(on this research.it was Kant's opinionthat "all that"virtueis moralstrength in puracquiredhabitsare objectionable. and it was in thissense also thatDarwin in On the Origin of Species of such thingsas the feeding spoke freely habitsof "Britishinsects. save for one basic item.a dutywhich should neverbe a matter one's mode of thought" should always proceed. The idea continued to hold its own." and the flowering clihabitsof "plantswhen transported [into]another" mate(1859.As the precedingquotationsmay suggest. moreover. pp. 32. In fact.but suit of one's duty.and pigeons'flying habitsdirectly beings(1872. . 29-31).was the practiceof equatinghabit moreexclutype and thentreating sivelywith activitiesof a relatively elementary thesein a mannerthatled away from the analysisof actionin the social world altogether. 1048 This content downloaded from 128. This same usage loomedstilllarger when.when thinkers of the 18th and at a level of early 19thcenturies spoke of habit.caterpillars' to the habitsof human eatinghabits.was a term prominently used by evolutionists when theydescribedthe elementary behaviorsof lower species. set in during whenreaction to the Enlightenment so otherwise at on activedutywiththinkers Indeed. What increasingly 19thcentury. 34).theconceptremained in the mold of JamesMill (see Woodcock odds as English utilitarians who postulated that 1980)and Germanidealists.fresh and original.from even (1798.135. crawling and called thisa habittoo (citedby Oldroyd1980."the climbing habitsof the "largertitmouse. p. 11. But far-reaching changeswereabout to engulf theconceptofhabit.in his later writing.see Liddell 1960. theearly19thcentury. life"(1830.12.127 on Wed. theyspoke principally generality that corresponds to the middlerangeof the habit continuum came to the forein thecourseof the describedabove. including Hegel himself. The first ofthesewas a rapidgrowth ofthebiologicalsciences-chiefly of evolutionary throughthe efflorescence theoryand of experimental theory need not be physiology.. if only betterto masterit. pp. Habit.

Humans. 16873). by theirinterest chickens.after all. 89. Woodward 1982). 122-27. pp. 64-73. as theera ofintellectual differentiation set in. Thomson1968. students of themindsoughtgreater autonomy fortheirfield.Thereafter. physiological experimentalism (see Murphy and Kovach 1972.12.therewas an impressive outpouring of research concernedwith the "sensations. out of which complexstatesof mindwerebuiltup" (Thomson1968. 460). 92-124.physiologists showed littlehesitation to human beingswhatwas said aboutthechickens and thefrogs.and by the last quarterof the 19thcentury theirefforts began to pay off. p. Priorto the 19thcentury. This is significant. in general. 52. 126-47.pp. Whatreliably appearedin recurring psychological discussionsof the subject was the idea of habit as a phenomenonbelonging amongthe primary processesof the (human)organism (see Andrews 1903.135. Perhaps as a resultof a still "low-statusfield['s] attemptto upgrade [itself] the methodsof a high-status by borrowing field"(Ben-David and Collins 1966.127 on Wed. and much-if notall-of human action might. 104-27). Ross 1967. It was thus that Bain equated 1049 This content downloaded from 128. headlessfrogs. pp.was on thewholealmost militantly scientistic.pp.p. . Fearing 1930.pp. psychological speculation was something generallycarried out by philosophers engaged in rather unspecialized inquiries. pp.to theexperimental of"reflex study actions. especiallyin Germany (see Ben-David and Collins 1966. 65-75.by extrapolation. Thomson 1968. Watson 1968).images and feelings . More signifiin extending cantlystill. Dubray 1905. p. . James 1890. however.see Danziger 1982. This "new psychology. Fearing 1930). p. see Boring 1957. Hearnshaw 1964. 24 Jul 2013 06:20:10 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .This effect came aboutas physiin the movements of decapitated ologistswere drawn. be reducedto tendencies of the nervoussystem"to grow to the modes in which it has been habitually exercised" (as the Englishphysiologist Carpenter put it in the 1870s. Habit was depictedaccordingly. 37-53. What made thisseemingly esoteric was its coinciusage consequential dence with a second major development: the gradual emergence of the scienceof psychology. 239. p. and thelike. Young 1970). particularly evolutionism and. but even when the academic linkagesstill leftmuch to be desired.Habit Thomson1968. 19th-century psychology leaned heavilyon theachievements ofthebiologicalsciences. above all.Not onlydid psychology manage. 130). exhibited acquiredmotor reflexes or habitstoo. for to view reflexactions in this way was also to physiologize the conceptof habit thoroughly because the physiological literature had long since adopted habit as the standard synonym for acquired reflexes (Burnham 1968a." as it was often called.to establish in fledgling specialities itself as a recognized field theuniversities."which were conceivedas motorresponsesactivatedby nerve cells excitedby stimuliexternal to a givenorganism (see Fearing 1930).ahead ofmanyother ofthetime.

and Jhering (1883. 1909). Some scatteredillustrations may introducethe point. and all thosewho see only the forefront have accordingly glossedover it altogether.135.Durkheim's observations on theempirical roleofhabitat different 1050 This content downloaded from 128. 2:239-47).even as he underwent. p. This distinctive conceptualization of habitwas to be triumphant. 33-170. 143. p. translationby James 1890.The concept was. pp. Simmel(1900). Comte (1830-54. Take. T6nnies (1887. and it was thus too that Dumont discussed how "the impressions of outerobjectsfashionforthemselves in the nervous system moreand moreappropriate paths" and thenproposedthat thesewell-fashioned neuralpathwaysare our habits(1876. to be sure. widelyaired thoughthey were. But. 11-12). Hence. pp.passim)in France. pp. 24 Jul 2013 06:20:10 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . when already rich in more traditional statements used in social-scientific discourse.American Journalof Sociology habitwithreflex actionand a "narrowing of the sphereof influence of a sensationalor active stimulus[to] one solitary channel[in] the cerebral system" (1859. 103-9).the concepttendedto retainthe same basic character it had had priorto thechangesjust enumerated. but the triumph still lay abroad in America. 525-30). 141-64) and Bradleyand Bosanquet (Collini 1978. p. certain far-reaching theoretical changes. however little thetermmaymean to contemporary commentators. 139. thoseforms remained a standardtermby whichsocial theorists captured and more of actionin the social worldthatwereseen to be less reflective It was in this contextthat Emile Durkheimand Max self-actuating. never held the intellectual fieldunchallenged. the new psychologists' views. and psychologists to carryhabit offin otherdirections.12. Despite the efforts it physiologists. it was nonetheless a toolin Durkheim's conceptual toolbox. yetstand alone-and this is the point. 106). and Lederer(1918-19) in Germany.It is truethatin noneofthisworkdid habitexhaustthedomainofaction.rarely at the forefront of his attentions. pp. for the fieldwas about habit.one thathe brought out and put to workon the mostvaried occasions.and it was exercised throughout much of his career. passim) and LePlay (1855-81. Vierkandt (1908. 324. 1879. for instance. But thesedid not typesofconductwereconsistently of biologists.127 on Wed.More reflective on thesceneas well. pp. 235. 12-14) in Britain (cf. Spencer 1855. pp. pp. 253. 9. In late 19th-and early 20thcentury Europe.pp. Weberwrote. accordingto at least some scholars. One can see thisin writings as diverseas thoseof Bagehot(1872. HABIT IN CLASSICAL SOCIOLOGY Durkheim Habit was well exercised by Durkheim.

238. in Durkheim'sanalysisof suicide: "habitsof passive obedience." and in subsequentwork he held that the "ideas and reasonswhichdevelop in our consciousness[arise. p. p. p. . for"a worker . p. . . And his speculations on social and culturalchange repeatedlyharked back to habit."It is alwaysa laboriousoperation to pull up therootsofhabitsthat timehas fixedand organizedin us" (1893. . 1902-3b. to exist merely through of habit. habits. 84). interalia. for"when thingsgo on happeningin the same way. from]ingrainedhabits of whichwe are unaware" (1887a. followed by a cross-reference to theforeign languagesource. The concept was also in in certain operation discussions ofthedevelopment ofcollective representations. he asserted.. p. 1902-3b. p.a reference to thetranslation will appearfirst. 103). to take his place in society. In suchcases. 234). Much the same was true."within a citation indicates I haveslightly that modified theEnglish translation of the citedpassage to preserve something about habitthathas been lost in the translation-and thisvery often is theconcept ofhabititself. p. . Durkheimproposedthat religion itself first emerges as a "theory to explainand makesenseof[everyday] habits. 181. habit . p.. . 35. resist anychange[since] what cannotbe seen is not easilymodified" (1898-1900. . 241).In his earliestwritings. educational. 70.many social facts "continue. since "civilization. Primitive peoples. 1051 This content downloaded from 128.t.too. .. 90.4 Thus. . 168). in his judgment. . pp. p. operating outsidethe "sphereoftheclearconsciousness.127 on Wed.whereas "the habitof domestic solidarity" decreasestheratewithin variousother populations(1897b. p. P. suffice[s] forconduct"and moralbehavioritself is easilytransformed "into habit mechanically carriedout" (1898-1900. p. 80).requires"more and more intensiveand assiduouswork. 173.of absolutesubmission. 242. whichhe viewed as one of the greatest impediments of any to progress sort. . of impersonalism" increasethe suicide rate among military officers. dominion overpeopleand overthings without any counter-balance" (1898-1900."amongthemantiquatedpenal.where"habithas .Habit pointsin the evolutionary process. 1888c.t. p. Habit was a recurrent factor. 1912. Durkheimmaintained. 52). [which]impliesan absolute regularity (1893. 24 Jul 2013 06:20:10 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .12. Thompson[1967]). A social orderbased on thedivisionof labor.in advanced citiesoftheMiddle Ages. Durkheimlamented. . Hence. imposesupon man monotonous and continuous in habits" labor. Neitherdo modern societiesdispensewithit.he claimed. p. . 38).135.and [such workbecomes]habitual"-and habitualin a particular way. 1897a. 1902-3a. m. live to a largeextent bythe"force ofhabit"and underthe"yokeofhabit" (1893. the generalargument bears comparison withthatof E. p.and force 4 "M. 159. [he mustdevelop]the habitof exerting himself" and other"habitsof work" that were simplyunknownamong here the torpidprimitives (1902-3b.

158-59. But to say this is obviouslyto implythat most actors proceed most of the time under the sway of theirhabits: those "inner tendencies" or "internalized forces [whichunfoldthemselves].for the sentiments.what Wallwork 1972). So faithful the was Durkheimto thisviewpoint that-quite aside from ofprimitive visiblepartthathe assignedto habitin histreatment society. pp. p. 80). p. see Alexander1982b. This was the idea that. activated. m.135. and the like-the phenomenon assumed a vital rolein hisanalysisoftheissuethat.whether individualor collective.Durkheimbrought intotheopen a claim that had long been in the recessesof his work (see fundamental 1887a. 90). 1902-3b. Nor shouldtheseformulations be discounted as so manyslipsofa loose pen. . p.p. 180. p. oscillates betweentwo poles.when a process of nonadaptionoccurs" (1913-14. m. 1902-3b. p.p. habits[ofthinking] cause "inveterate 1895a. and the center ofhistheoretical efforts: theissueofmorality and practical moralfoundations of modernsocieties (on the centrality ofthisissue. . Lukes 1973.t. when it no longerserves[this] once again (1913-14. . For thereare sufficient instancesin Durkheim's writings wherethe background actuallybreaksto theforeground to make it clearhow much theremarks just quoted correspond withhis fully considered opinions on habit. 79-80).humanaction. which come to the surfaceare not.by its verynature. p. 152 [emphasis added]. and that of habit on the otherside."reflection-which on otheroccasions "slows down. 34. 60. suicide. 1899-1900. Bellah 1973. 14.pp.Journalof Sociology American ideas thatendurebepoliticalinstitutions and all mannerof unscientific lead us astray"(1895b. of habit. purpose"and "habitsofall kinds"assertthemselves pp. by far. 32). 79.99-100. LaCapra 1972. And thisis precisely the positionthatDurkheimforthrightly emto the braced.spontaneously" (1895b."consciousnessand reflection [only awaken] when habit is disrupted. 87). 1898-1900. 120. 1909.thoughonlyto "disappear .Whatmustbe reachedare thehabits"-"these are therealforces whichgovern us" (1905-6. In overlooking Durkheim'sassessment 1052 This content downloaded from 128. 1897b.127 on Wed. 1898-1900.pp. p.. [actionoccurs by] merelyskim[ming] over [our] consciousness". 60. 24 Jul 2013 06:20:10 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 38. Marks 1974. declaringthat "it is not enough to directour attention the ideas superficial portionof our consciousness. overloadsor paralyzesaction"-comes to the fore. p. modernwork. 83)." "faced with a whole range of possible solutions.byall recent was at thevery accounts.p.thatofconsciousness or reflection on theone side. 28. In this eventuality. . 1902-3a. withthe latterpole beingthe stronger. Durkheimwrotethat as long as "thereis an equilibrium betweenour dispositions and the surrounding environment. as it were. In his last new lecturecourse.12. at a cross-roads situation. 54.see also 1898-1900.those which have the most influence on our conduct. where "the [individualor collective]being is .t..p.

"How can we learn the [opposite] habit?"-that of"disinterestedness. pp. 4)." and "sacrifice"? (1902. 24 Jul 2013 06:20:10 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . or "behavingsimilarly underlikecircumstances".The first ofthese is in The Division ofLabor. 275. cf.pp. p. incorporate habit intohis plans formoralregeneration He urgedhis celebrated projectto revitalize occupationalgroupsin part because he believed such institutions able to createand implantmuchneededhabitsofmoralconduct. which. "There are. 213. pp. 366. are repeatedmoreoftenand becomehabits. and his writings on educationindeedconstitute perhapsthe fullest on recordof the habitualbasis of social morality. mediately But thiswas nottheonlyanswer. 1898-1900. see also Durkheim 1886. Durkheimconcludedthat thisfirst formulation was "incomplete" (1902. 4).beingmorein accordancewiththenatureof things. 321] withtheargument ofBerger and Luckmann [1966.. In other words. (b) regularity. In hislater work on occupationalcorporations.12. 387). 1902. the criticisms of Lukes [1973. modernsecularsociety requires moral code emphasizing or devotionto collective (a) groupattachment. is a more adequate understanding of Durkheim's whole approach to the in his age (1897b.Durkheim soned.. (c) or dutiful in accord withobligaauthority. 164] and Parsons[1937.Habit theDurkheimian scholarship has sacrificed above all else.135. pp. Durkheimand Buisson 1911.fora third way ofpressing habitinto service readilysuggesteditself-the prospectof instilling good moral habitsfrom earliest childhood onwardinsteadofwaiting foroccupational lifeto get underway. Durkheimseized upon thispossibility with great enthusiasm.as theyacquire force. His proposal for occupationalcorporations followedimin directanswer(see 1902.p. retranslation by Lukes [1973." he stated. p. p. It is statement well knownthat. 14-15. whereDurkheimmaintained thatthe moral normsnecessary to end the crisisof anomieactuallywould come directly intobeingwiththe development of habitsof interaction amongthe specialized partsthatconstitute the worldof dividedlabor. p.So longas "thefamily theonly] [provides collective lifein which[specialists] reaparticipate. 53-67]). buthe immediately wenton to in a secondway. p. pp.a certain selection of rights and dutiesis made by habitualpracticeand theseend up by becoming obligatory" (1893. 164]. 4-31). are transformed intorulesofconduct.. p. fora good part "alarmingpoverty of morality" (thoughnot the whole) of the solutionto this predicament was seen by himto lie in the domain of habit. 153. He then posed the problem. p. "certainways in which [differentiated functions] react on one another." "self-forgetfulness. ideals.thenthe habits. 7-9. become inuredto "the habit of actinglike lone wolves" and acquire an "inclination towarda fierce individualism" (1902-3b." they will. p. therefore.127 on Wed. p. submission and self-restraint 1053 This content downloaded from 128. 23334). 1887b. 66.in Durkheim's a view. 1888a. This becomesparticularly evidentat three junctures.

see also 19045. 275. to producesubmission to rulesand reflective consciousness (as we shall see). the habitofself-control". "be- 1054 This content downloaded from 128.whichwillstrengthen his moralconduct"(1902-3b. is notonlya habitualmeans of acting. 318. 135.p. while something more than habit is required. an obligatory meansofacting"-a meansofactingthatis imperative (1902. 32).12. p. p. aspectsof his moraltheory mentioned.his beliefthat. .In Durkheim's judgment. pp. 1903-12. a processrevolving ofcertain abiliabout "theacquisition specific is an outgrowth of two ties or habits"(1904-5. by enforcing a regimen of rules and discipline. one of the chief reasonsthatschooling came to play so indispensable a rolein Durkheim's continual efforts at moralreform. pp. n. itis onlynecessary actingand thinking thathabitsbe strongly founded" (1902-3b. But. "one must have developed the habits of in common". Furthermore.alongwith the postulatethat childrenare "creature[s] of habit. p.127 on Wed. in his laterwritings) thatinsofar as it involvesdutiful transcends conformity to rules.5 It was in hopes of fostering 5 Despite thisbelief. . these 1911a.135.morality necessarily habit. 17-126). 4. 24 Jul 2013 06:20:10 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 1904-5. This argument is." led Durkheimto arguethateducationalinstitutions could go farin layingthegroundwork forall elements the exampleof comof his secularmorality: by offering mon classroomlife. 482.pp. 1). p. In his analysisof secondary seemsto be education. p. 143. certain ofhabit:to become components ofmorality are inherently matters attached to collectiveideals. pp. second. even this something more develops fromthe base of early habits..the school could "induc[e]in the childthe habitsof grouplife" and attachment. 17). 1920.and should at work.that when advancingthisposition. pp. .American Journalof Sociology toryrules. n.it could "accustom[thechild]to regularity" and "develop .and (d) autonomy.it was Durkheim'sjudgmentthateven personsin professionaland managerial positions. or reflective consciousness concerning ethical principles(see esp. 1904-5. 249. 347).a verydifferent spirit is not. 233. p. 1912. p. and by teaching naturalscience. secondary schooling notbe.it is. p. 1902-3a. 149. condi10. It should be noted. .it could encourage "thechildto acquire wholesome intellectual habits. above all.p.above: first. 28. 297. 331-48). his insistence (esp. What has never been appreciated is theplace of habitin thiswholeaffair.Durkheim's focuswas principally on primary education(see 1902-3b. m. pp. see also 1888b. any viable morality entailsas well continual reflection at theupperreachesofthesocial order(1898-1900. 19023b. p. 315-16). p.though. 1902-3b. "to assureregularity.particularly "thehabitofself-control and restraint" and "thehabit oflucidthought" (1902-3b. This fact. 214-15. which demand constant reflection instead of fixedhabits. 149. forDurkheim. 84. 30).since "a rule . in fact. 88-94.t. This contention but not elaborated.in his view. 265. 28. 649.underthe dynamic tions of the modernage.

pp. 1055 This content downloaded from 128. Durkheim vindicated his faith in the transformative moral power of educationalinstitutions. as habitin themostgeneralized senseis elevatedoverall more specificusages.thereremainsan illuminating exceptionto this conclusion. It should be noted. 1908a. 1901. were modernsecondaryschools only to work to create a dutiful and reflective secularhabitusto replacethereligious habitusofthe moraldemandsof the contemporary past. in place oftheproperpedagogicalprogram ofthe objectivesof antiquity. p. 1901-2. 1890.Habit of morallifethatDurkheim's obligatory and reflective features writings habits on secondary educationset aside theissue ofcultivating particular in hisview.Making it the task of secondary educationto impart"a certainnumberof true beliefs[and] specific articlesof faith" is and to "decorat[ethe]mindwithcertainideas [and] certainformulae" nearlyas inappropriate. 1900a. 1895b. likesociologists surprise-particularly oftoday.amountto a reversion to thedubiouseducational sibilities. [namely. at thislevel on the he argued. clearly morethanthis. ofconduct. If thissprawling accountby Durkheimof the vital interplay between the habitual and the moral attestsfurther to the factthat the ancient conceptof habit was stillalive and well in his work. see also 1902-3b. 138). 30.thatreflective ruleshinges conductin accordwithobligatory on thetransmission ofmoralbeliefs.1898b. 1915). p.1899. Here.who neitherthinknor act otherwisethan the ignorantpopulace" (1904-5. and norms.127 on Wed. 29)."we must concernourselveswith developingin the individual"a more profound condition whichdetermines theother[specific and aspectsofpersonality] givesthemtheir unity.Moral education.The conceptis all but absent from Durkheim'sfrequent and fervent programmatic statements on the field ofsociology itself (see 1888a. p.I would suggest. Both posin his opinion.12. It was his conviction that the Christianconceptionof the missionof educationwas theoretically the correctone.as concentrating "contract[ing of] certain specifichabits" (i904-5. required Yet what the requirement turnsout to be comes as a considerable ifwe expectDurkheim to propose.to the subtle ways in which the conceptual have in [nonwork]contextsas simple persons actingby routine.135. 28-29. values. 1909. Christian Middle Ages. 1905-6. 1908b.For thisis notat all Durkheim'sown position. 317). pp. 21). 137). pp.] a general ofthemindand the disposition will":a "habitusofmoralbeing"(1904-5. the exacting age might yetbe well satisfied (1904-5. 315-16. that the objective of the type of reflection Durkheim advocated is not to dislodge habits but to "maintain them in the state of necessary adaptability and flexibility" (1905-6. moreover. The omissionbears witness. 1892. 24 Jul 2013 06:20:10 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .p.whereit was recognized that"ifwe are truly to do ourjob as educatorsand have an effect whichwill be durable. 1900b.

p. 1902-3b. had enough forsociology concedethispawn to thepsychologists.the enemywas an eminently fullit was the aggressive "new psychology" bodied one: chiefly. officially 1056 This content downloaded from 128. habitsmetthe same criteria as the "social facts"thatwere at the core of his sociology: thattheywere external to the individualin the sense that that"educationhas impressed theywere amongthetendencies upon us" (1912. p. It is truethatDurkheim might have stressed the difference betweentheview ofhabitthatappears elsein the notioncurrent where in his own writings and the physiological but it was safer to make a clean break and psychological literature. e.after all. Durkheim custody of habit. about what psychology to merit inclusionin his sundry pronouncements the disciplineof sociology the concepta partof oughtto study. 44.too closelyassociatedwith idea of habit remained. peculiarly did notwait longto questionwhichdiscipline shouldhave 50). even drawingon Dumont'spsychophysical discussionof "I'habitude. p.135.pp. 51. us and 1904. 244. Shils 1970). Differentiating sociology from the moreestablishedfieldof individualpsychology thus became an issue of cardinalconcernto him. 1913-14).12.g. p.and Americanrepresentatives repeatedly cited (see 1898a. 389. 24 Jul 2013 06:20:10 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 127) and thattheywere also constraining. Nevermindthat. 36. French.however. 50-54. p. see also Clark 1973. thatthe legitimacy of a would-besciencecould be securely grounded onlywhen "its subjectmatter is an orderof factswhichother sciencesdo notstudy"(1895b.p. he spoke of researchon "the When Durkheim describedpsychology.byhisowntestimony. 5).American Journalof Sociology structure of sociologicalthought has been shaped through theapparently to institutionalize the discipline of sociology. integral to what Lukes has described as a lifelong "campaignto win recognition forsociology's scientific status" in an ossifiedacademic environment extremely reluctant to concedethescientific legitimacy ofthenew field (Lukes 1973. furthermore.albeit in such generaltermsthat Durkheim'sencounter withpsychology emerges as a struggle withan almost In facelessopponent. organicand physicalconstitution of man" (1900a. 363).and it did nottake long forhimto answerby explicitly thatthephenomenon declaring belongedto psychology (see. 1902-3b..127 on Wed. 1911b. 44).p. when he adit was the English. Operating againstthisbackdropand determined to endow sociology with"a subjectmatter its own" (1895b. 1901. 320. For all this. vertedto specificpsychological writings. 1888a. This. It was Durkheim'sconviction. 1895b.p. p.p. 162).is a pointthat previouscommentators have oftenrecorded.p.the in Durkheim'smind. 111). of course. fact. of the new psychology that he German. see also 1893. p."whichwas mentioned above (see 1898a. of the time. peripheral movement Durkheim's programmatic statements were.to mnake thatthenew field sociology could onlyriskthewhole cause bysuggesting was notsuch an autonomous one after all. p. "dominat[ing] impos[ing] beliefsand practicesupon us" (1901.

n. one mustattendnot onlyto his explicit references to habitand itscognatesbut also to his observations on custom-in thestrictly Weberiansenseofcollective uniformities ofactionrootedsimply in habit(1913. p. set to engage in actionsthat have been long practiced(1908-9. 1922a. in Weber 1922a. And ifhabitcould cometo this end with Durkheim-at the same time that he employedthe concept throughout his substantive work. 988). Bendix 1960. pp. 24 Jul 2013 06:20:10 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . On the contrary.however. p. Indeed. 1922b. pp. disposition pp. cf.127 on Wed.7 6 That Weber steered clear of the moral-reformist path of Durkheim does not mean that he was withouthis own moral judgments on the value of habitual action. the Weberian "ethic of responsibility. Weber BetweenDurkheimand Weberthere in terms is little common ground. though an examination of this evaluative discrepancy falls outside the bounds of this article.6 It so happens.thatto understand Weber'sposition on habit properly." as Levine has observed. 192. the term "attitude" had yet to gain wide intellectual currency(see Fleming 1967.12. 319-20.heldthatit described mostoftheaction thatgoes on in thesocial world. This expression. 272.borrowedby Weber (less its psychophysical such as trappings)frompsychologists Kraepelinand Wundt. 29.namely. which is a modern German equivalent for "attitude.was employed by himto designate thephenomenon he had in view when speakingof habit.135. 7 With one evident exception (Roth's translationof Weber 1922b. 24). 1922b.""attitude-set. Weber's Eingestelltheithas been rendered"attitude. presumably because of its root in Einstellung. carriedthe conceptalong paths that thoughin doing so he ultimately the moralizing divergedfrom highroadof his Frenchcontemporary. in the psychologicalliteraturefromwhich he 1057 This content downloaded from 128. 93-94. The difference between this estimateof habit and Durkheim's assessmentof the same phenomenonis noteworthy.pp. 570.and made it central to hisplans formoral regeneration-itsfate could only be worse at the hands of sociologists acrossthe ocean who fellshorton muchofthisand who wereembroiled in institutional struggles that appeared more threatening and more urgent. Yet problems. p. 652. p. and methods. 20). the two were greatly at odds. 170-71.442). 187)-as well as to his use of the special termEingestelltheit. in Weber's day.p." But it is importantto recognize that. extolled"the freedomof actors to make theirown decisions" and enjoined individuals "to be constant in employingcorrectivesagainst unthinking habit" (1981.an unreflective. of assumptions." or the like. Here theword"disposition" willbe used as a shorthand forthiskindof habitualdisposition and thusas thetranslationforEingestelltheit. Weberwas easilyas inclinedas Durkheimto make serioususe of habit.Habit to do in studying those phenomenathat possessedthe obligatory moral character thathabitwas now said to lack.

wheresuccesseshave been securedas well as "forfeited by [variousmartial] habits" (1922a. p. 59). p. "Germangirls in factories [workinefficiently because of an inner]stonewall of habit" (1904-5a. intermarriage. 570).t. 67-68. p. 1152). pp.his declaration of its In Weber'sestimate. 1156.It is thereon the battlefields. p." nity"(1922a. 320. 1922a. theseinstitutions beingthe"offspring" ofdiscipline. 130. 53.t."thepatterns of use and of relationship among[modern] economic units are determined by habit" (1922a.rests "The heavily smallPolishpeasant[succeedsin agriculture] on acountofthelow levelof his physicaland intellectual habitsof life"(1895.1:287. e. p. pp. m.2:679-80).135.Journal of Sociology American If these semanticcomplications are kept in mind. 24 Jul 2013 06:20:10 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 1156 [emphasisadded])." "the level of economicneed.p.but [in a greatmany cases] merely as a resultof borrowed theword Eingestelltheit. 988. furthermore. 335). Workitself. p.. the "freedmen [of antiquity] prospered. 1922b. Munsterberg and Groos) officially translates Einstellung as "acquireddisposition" (see Baldwin1901. which constitutes the basis of all 'economicactivity. Accordingly. Einstellung itself was generally without itsmodern (whichwas compiled in collaboration withtwo well-placed German scholars. "far-reaching economicsignificance. . of"the'habits'of on industry thereplacement writings discussedat length the old occupation[s]" by docile habits"in line withthe demandsof the workprocedure" [factory] (1908b. 187). and there. 320.to startwith. whichWeber defined thatbyvirtue of habituation a as "the probability commandwill receivepromptand automaticobediencein stereotyped his forms" (1922a. 434). habit is also plainlyin operationoutsidethe sphere of work and economic activity. 1155-56). as Webersaw it. as a legal obligation.where"thebroad mass of the participants notout ofobedienceregarded act in a way corresponding to legal norms.12. 78. Baldwin's Dictionary of Philosophy and Psychology This content downloaded from 128.127 on Wed. 1908-9. p.Weber's views on habitemergequite clearly. By Weber's reckoning. In the modernworld.g. therelikewise amid processesof group "the forwith"merecustom. 731. p.' is comprehensively conditioned by merecustom. on a habitualfoundation. facilitating formation.too. 62). fortheyhad acquiredhabitsof industry and thrift while slaves" (1909. m. 1058 meaning of "attitude". 1149.Consider.."whichplaysits partalso in determining the means of exchangeand the utilization of such basic "economicadvantages" as labor and the means of production. pp. . 1922a.. 1922b. p. while his analysis of bureaucracy to placed great weight on officialdom's "disposition(Eingestelltheit) of a obedience[and to the] habitual and virtuosomastery painstaking singlefunction" (1922a." of commumationoffeelings and "thecreation of'ethnic'identification. 89. at the base of modernpolitical-legal orders. see also 1908b.a similarsituation obtainswithincapitalist factories and bureaucratic offices.

that conduct. m.p. lxix)and Cohen et al. he wrote. 442). m.. 1922b.127 on Wed. pp. perceptive beginnings 1059 history. . m.the statusquo ante has often been restored simply"by an appeal to the conditioned disposition to (Eingestelltheit) obedient on thepartofsubjectsand officials compliance" alike (1922a.t. m. Moreover. Fixatedon theburgeoning foreground. p.t. 178). 188).. with the awareness of the diffusion of such it comesto be incorporated ofindividuals. customeven today. he continued.12. what Weber stressed was "the inertiaof the habitual"(1922a. In remarks such as these. pp. . Despite such testimony. (Eingestelltheit) [tocontinue along as one has regularly done] containsin itself [such]tangibleinhibitionsagainst'innovations. 312.panics. p.. 326. gestelltheit) 188). riencedas binding. pp.' how anything [thatit is problematic] new can ever arise in thisworld"(1922a. m.. recur[since]themerefactoftheregular rence of certain events somehow confers on them the dignityof In other oughtness. and particularlysocial action."thefurther we go back in an ever morecomprehensive sphereexclusively by the disposition (Eintowardthe purelyhabitual"(1922a. conductamonga plurality [in] as to the meaningfully conductof others.one sees the place of habitin Weber'streatment of processes of change.p.t.135. 320. 16.then.the habitual undercurrent in Weber'sworkhas yetto be muchappreciated.t. Weberianscholarship ofthepasttwodecades has gonefarto dissectWeber'sviews on rationality. "theinnerdisposition 188). see also unreflective withlegal(as well as other) But notonlydoes habitpromote conformity norms. 337). pp. m.however. pp. . 182. but-aside from the ofRoth (1968.. 1922b. 1922b." so much so that "the great bulk of all everyday action [approaches an] almost automatic reactionto habitual stimuli which guide behaviorin a course which has been repeatedly followed" (1922a.pp. 1922b. but we findthat"individualsare stillmarkedly influenced by ."whatwereoriginally plainhabitsofconduct comelaterto be expeowingto psychological disposition (Eingestelltheit). p.xc.In a mannerthat recalls the early Durkheim. In hisjudgment. More typically. 31. testimony. This content downloaded from 128. 321. 754. 570). 1922b. or othercatastrophes" have introduced forcibly changes. however. ment" (1922a.t. 25. 24 Jul 2013 06:20:10 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 321.Habit habit"(1922a. That Weber thus adverted to the significance of habit in so many important contexts was not happenstance. 191..t. 1922b.Weber held that "customsare frequently intobinding transformed norms. . xxxv.. p. p.The examplesthathave just been mentioned-themajority ofthem." words. it is also involvedin the genesisof such norms.at any rate-were notincidental comments but reasonedformulations in accordwithWeber'sdirect fully Not onlydo we discover. even where"revolts. 'expectations' corresponding ofcoerciveenforce[until theseexpectations] finally acquiretheguaranty 1913. is determinedin 988. p.p.

at best. Insofaras Weberwas seriousabout thisequationof traditionalism withhabit. But. his treatment ofthe markedeffect of habiton economicand politicallife.they have made noteoftheconcept of traditional action. This omission is themorepeculiarfor. pp. ofthenature ofsocialand economicrelations. pp.AmericanJournalof Sociology (1975. and a good deal else.p. to thedetailedanalysis. e. The factthatthistypeof actionis defined as deriving from "ingrained habit" servesto uniteit directly withthe veryaspect of Weber'sworkthathas just been considered. 1922a. p. Alexander1983.Weber himself pointedly spotlighted the realm of the habitual when he placed "traditional action" among his basic "typesof social action. pp.127 on Wed. Giddens 1971. however. p. passim). 25). 1937. Students of Weber.g. 646-47). But even moreimportant. WithinEconomyand Society itself. p. "traditional action"providesa bridgeoutThis is a connection ward to Weber'svast writings on "traditionalism. p. p. 221.since studies that constitute historical 1060 This content downloaded from 128." and thenadded to thisthe above-quoted claimthat"thegreatbulk of all everyday action"approximates thistype (1922a.. 49.."conceivedof thisform of conductas action"determined by ingrained habit. 231-33.which conceptoftraditional immediately follows theconcept's introduction. and so on (1922a.nonetheless. 25. p.t. rankingalternative economicends. establishing pectationsthat underliestable organizations. thatis. canalizingworkeffort. For Weber himself.traditional action was by no means a residualcategory. unless one is to believe that Weber. at his terof trahis definition minologically mostprecise.12.thatit operation was actuallyone oftheunderlying stonesofthecomparativefoundation the core of Weberian sociology." thatParsonswas thefirst (and is stillamongthefew)to have discerned. forthisanalysisreverts repeatedly to the role of the the extraditional-in structuring communalrelationships. 239)-habit has been leftout oftheaccounting.in thewidelyread introductory section ofEconomyand Society. to thoughhe thenbecloudedtheissue by recasting Weber'sformulations fithis own emphasison beliefsand values at the expenseof habit (see his terms.alteredwithout warning is thatin all thishe was again observing theonlyfairconclusion ditional. 24 Jul 2013 06:20:10 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 40-41. 296. m.too. 269). what to him were basicallythe ramifications of habit. and thenlet the matter go (see.one would have to concludethathabitwas in well beyondthoseportions of his workexaminedso far. in the first instance it is exactly what habit is: "the psychicdisposition(Eingeroutine" as thebasis ofaction(1915e. 88. 296. p. In fact. 1922b. towardhabituated stelltheit) m.social stability and the change. Aron 1967.p. 153). as Weber made clear when defining althoughtraditionalism may become a patternof beliefaround which reflective action is structured (1915e. 1915a.. have failedto takedue heed ofthis. recordedits definition.t. actionis a link. 129.135. 12). 25.

135. 16). 456. has oftenbeen sustainedby religious convictions and by practicalinterests(1915d. both"(1922a. m. 161.p. And." and is "great in itself. 1916-17. 1923b.Habit used in thesestudies.economictraditionalism ilyas a manifestation of humankind's and indisposi"generalincapacity tion to depart fromhabituatedpaths" (1923a.as a matter of habit(see also Marshall 1980. according to Weber. 115.pp.pp. But havingsaid this. 1915c. m. p. p. itis notnecessary his subject was the economic. Indeed.is theadherence to longpracticedeconomicforms. thisone.p. see also Warner1970. 3-20.t. thereis muchconcern withwhat is variously called "the traditionalismof the laity. pp.the magical "habits" of the laity antedatedthe 1061 This content downloaded from 128. 285. 150-51.g. 355. 1904a. 364-65.p.Chinese petitebourgeoisie. 1923a. 60.. Weberheld. In his telling. 1922b. 1923b. he was verycareful to set thelatterapart frompatterns of economicactivity or "absolute rootedin "self-interest" values" and to conjoin it instead with habit. Like otheractiontendencies. 112. 24 Jul 2013 06:20:10 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . In hisjudgment. 341. 303). pp.p.or political dimensionof traditionalism.p.pp. 467. 111-17).he hastened directly to connect magicaltraditionalism also withthe habitual:with"thepersisting habits ofthemasses"(1922a.Weber freely thatcertainactorsmay acknowledged proceed in traditionalistic ways because doing so is in theireconomic interest or is mandated by theirvalues and beliefs. Economictraditionalism."even without utilitarian and moralsupports(1904-5a. 1922a. 1923b. p. 1923b.p.p. [sometimes without]theslightest deviation" (1915d. in his mostsystematic treatment was depictedprimarofthetopic." "magical traditionalism. religious. 405. 1975.pp. Cohen et al. he continually stressed thefirm linkagebetween traditionalism and habit.To see traditionalism is amongthecentral concepts to lookfar:forwhether just how seriousWeberwas. 321-22. Indian artisans.occurs "by nature. 151. 1906. 86). 1915d.particularly "to productswhich are stereoor typedin quantity and qualityor to [an accustomed] level of earnings. 303)-or. adventurerof capitalists. 16)." that generally expressions designatetheformerly almostuniversal tendency for"magically provedforms" of actionto be "repeatedin the form once established. 1904-5a. 59-76. 84. 1922a. Throughout theformer.t. 232).p. p. economic of activity thiskind has been extremely prevalent. Whendiscussing such examples...Yet he explicitly deniedthatthesereflective are the principal bases of ecoconsiderations nomictraditionalism. 356. p.just as he elsewhereporinin economicaffairs as a forcethatis virtually trayedtraditionalism stinctive. and numbers modern wage-laborers (see.p. 331). 1916-17. in otherwords. p. e.127 on Wed. pp."or "magical stereotyping. pp.12. p. A similaremphasis appears in Weber's writings on religionand on domination. occurring not onlyamongpeasants the world over but also among medieval guildsmen.

tendencies. situation withartisansis sometimes members 1916-17. . Whileindividualseverywhere may act out of habiton occasion. 344. p. At thispoint. too. 470. 1197). 1922a. 284.127 on Wed. 142-43. 37. 37).theyare in all domainsoftheir for in thisdirection notall equallyinclined activity.t. pp. In contrast. 41-44.135. 1008. as Weber contendentinued. 112.If Durkheim's of specific moralhabits. 363).it is perhapsworth observing that. m.can be detected. 1915e.American Journalof Sociology development of systematic religiousactivity and retaineda lifeof their own even afterward. pp. Reflective tions[and] the mastery of thisand othertypes.to myknowledge.Peasants. particularly when he examinedthe natureof traditional authority and soughtthe foundation forthis"oldestand mostuniversal typeoflegitimacy" (1922a. pp. p.groupsthathave been imbuedwiththesenontraditional 1062 This content downloaded from 128. pp. pp. 1922b. 1922b.pp. 275-88. p. p. 466. 104. m. p. 284). 346. from stelltheit) powerofthepurely actors'"habitual orientation to conform" and "generalpsychological inhibitions habitsofaction"(1918. 1923a. 313. 19. 1922a. 467-518). with the resultthat traditionalism typically "goes withoutsaying". pp. 582).live a "simpleand habitualor reflective arounda recurring organicexistence" revolving "cycle"ofnaturalevents. as manyworldreligions left thevast majority mired in its originaltraditionalism (1915c. 342. pp..12. effectiveness from the innerdisposition (Eingeto theconditioned habitual"-that is.in additionto indicatingthatWeberretained theancientconceptofhabitand putit to workto understand what he saw as the great. 629. 1916-17. Weber'swritings on traditionalism may be seen as developing (in a way has nowherebeen matched)a macrosociological that. reformist zeal propelled himto examperspective on habit. Traditionalism's habitualunderpinnings are clearlybrought out as well in Weber'streatment of politicaldomination. His a traditional statements herespeak forthemselves: "structure ofdomination[is based] on the beliefin the inviolability of what has always been. 1922a.p. pp. towardsa practicalrationalism. of "civic strata[exhibit a] tendency [for] calculaand economic their wholeexistence [is] based upon technological of natureand man" (1915e. 468. amonglay and religious intellectualsand among incumbentsof rulershippositions (1915c.Weber'scomine the micro-level development orientation led him away fromthis issue and into a parative-historical ofthelargersocial and culturalcondimorethoroughgoing investigation of habitualaction wax and tionsunderwhich generalsocietalpatterns wane. . [thisbelief]derives. Yet.pp. 24 Jul 2013 06:20:10 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .forexample. 1922a.the muchthesame (1915d. 229-30. againstany sortofchangein ingrained 79.proteanforceof traditionalism. It was Weber's beliefthat habitualaction does not occur at random.t. social thereis a strongaffinity betweenthe way of lifewithindifferent of group memberstoward various sortsof groups and the propensity conduct..

Here. 104). action has prevailedin place of otherformsof dominantly traditional human activity(1915c. Indeed. pp.most commentators use thestandard ofreflective terminology modelsofaction. In broad historical terms. Given. 355-65).Habit from traditionalistic cies have often derivedreal or ideal benefits arrangesuch groups accrued ments. .theelement cases wherethere oftraditional remains orientation considerable" (1923b. 14-27).habitualpractices ofthemasses. 1923a.12. 37). 138-41. . 239. too. transcended that"even in onlygradually". theyargue that Weber viewed Calvinistideas as the source of a new complexofvalues and norms(i. 1922a. p. spondencebetweentraditionalism Exploringthe macrohistorical circumstances conduciveto traditional or habitual action was. 16. pp.p.botheconomicand political. exactlyas we should expectin view of the close correand habitin the Weberianlexicon. p. 9. One might notice. ofsocial and cultural ofthesesortshas been theestablishment ofa forces in whichpremacro-level and ideologicalstructure" "political.fostered the emergence of the rationalorientation to conductknownas "thespirit of capitalism" (Marshall 1980.we are on terrain familiar thatit can be largely sufficiently passed over. 6). 102-33. 27-28. vestedinterests" thus ing. in turn. This interpretation is quite faithful to Weber's work. only a part of Weber's project. theresult passim.and "manifold aligned themselveson the side of traditionalism (1922a. theinner-worldly asceticprinciples of "the Protestant ethic"). p. 24 Jul 2013 06:20:10 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . one can likewise appreciate his argumentthat traditionalism is a "condition.moreover. p. 202. in many past social formations. of course. see also 1922a.135. but the involvedsociocultural processby which they were overcometo make way formodernWesternrationalism and capitalismprovidesthe evidentfocusof muchof Weber'swork. This is the sociologicalrationalebehind Weber'scontention thatso muchofthepast was "a sea oftraditionalism" (1909. p. 245). which.pp. pp.For just as Durkheim heldthatmoralaction 1063 This content downloaded from 128.e.economic. 199. which receivedfurther reinforcement fromreligiousand philosophicalcreeds opposedto thealteration ofestablished modesof conduct(see 1915c.butonlyup to a point. 1916-17. pp. except in one respect. passim. is a highdegreeofrationalization ofaction. translation byShils 1981. It scarcelyneed be emphasizedthat the in Weber'saccountof the deCalvinistReformation figures significantly velopment ofthemodern Western world. from theunreflecttremendous advantages.In describing thisaccount. 69).Not these conditions. Weber1922a.127 on Wed. passim..thatthese of traditionalism-aboutits heavyprejudgments about the occurrence ponderancein previoushistorical periodsand its persistence long afteraboutthehistorical of ward-directlyparallelWeber'sremarks incidence habitual action. however. p.p. thatcertain ways of lifesupportive of traditionalism as well as various "vestedinterests" last into modern times this orientation concernedwith perpetuating (1918. 210.

325-28).135. ofan entirely so Weber maintainedthat Calvinismspurredrationaleconomicaction because it went beyond the articulation of ideas that favoredsuch activityand " 'habitus'amongindividproduced. p. 24 Jul 2013 06:20:10 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . In thissense. 1915b.thereis nonetheless one way in whichtheconceptof habitoccupiesan uneasyplace in Weber'sthought.n. in a historically efflorescence ofsustained resulted momentous activities. 517-18."he statedunequivocallythathis controversial study"intentionally [concentrated on] the asto the inner to graspand 'prove. The exclusivelyvirtuososects of Calvinism went the furthest in this famtheirreligious regard. forWeber.It is truethattheseare not in whichtheWeberianposition theterms is ordinarily summarized. 186. pp.it is important that. pp.during and early 20th century. sociology included. 182). latter byTribe in Hennis 1983.it has been one ofthehighest aims ofmanysalvationreligions to impartto religious "virtuosi" a "totalcharacter": a "specifically religious habitus" -or "charismatichabitus. 39..a fundamentally different uals which prepared them in specificways to live up to the specific demandsof earlymoderncapitalism"(1910a.modern rests. 231-32. 1915c. They his are."from life. 1915b. 534-40. struggled fiercely 1064 This content downloaded from 128. 146. the often unshakablenaturalhabitusof the majority thattakes lifeas a "miscellaneous successionof discreteactions" and thus makes do with traditionalistways and an "adherenceto the habitual" (1915c.a competitive for manythen-emerging disciplines. however.Indeed. Weber'sthesishereis of a piece withhis otherwritings In hisview. 244." it Protestant Ethic speaks of the development means "the development of [a] particular habitus. m. 157.pp. 531). 1915c. on religion. 240. pp.pp. m. For all thisemphasison the habitual. when The of the "capitalistspirit. a foundation of habit: on a dynamichabitus that supplantsthe static habitusthatunderlies simplehabitualaction. 1922b.pp. Weber not only declared explicitly that. like its arena in whichthe advocates of counterparts elsewhere. 24243).Journal of Sociology American in themodernworlddependsless on simply trading one set of beliefs for another thanon theformation new moralhabitus. 1124. To understand thelate 19th to recognize this.12. pp.127 on Wed. p. that is. p.pp.the German academic world was. m.. 1922a. see also Weber 1904-5b." or "permanenthabitus"-which transcendsthe "ordinaryhabitus" of everydaylife. rationalconduct(1910a.'[theaspect]relating pect mostdifficult translation habitus"(19lOb.on rationalactionitself 527. p.the termsin whichWeber himself soughtto represent argument.t..t.out oftheir religiously conditioned of theirenviily traditions and fromthe religiously influenced life-style ronment" emergeda "centralinner habitus"-"a methodically unified intoinner-worldly whenchanneled disposition (Eingestelltheit)"-which.t.instead. 1124.

125). In positioning himself amid this controversy. too. n.''reactions.therefore.Weber actuallyexhibited a good deal more openness regarding these interdisciplinary borderdisputes than manyof his contemporaries (Hennis 1983.politicalhabits. In his opinion. Eisenstadtand Curelaru 1976. p.the 'automatisms' sociocultural and also sociology-could do sciences-economics.p. 1913. as Weber'swide readingoftheEuropeanand American psychological literature disclosed. 136. is to understand 'motive'. For a more sectarianacademic. Yet. military habits.''sensations. pp. . this circumstance mightwell have sufficed to place habitaltogether beyondthepurviewofthesociocultural sciences. 140. 152). becomemore'understandable' thanit would otherwise bythe[introduction of]psychophysical" concepts (1908a.and the like.magical habits. 112-34. For at no point did Weber treat such phenomena. He. 29). Oberschall 1965. without all this. thecelebrated theintellectual controversy overthenatureofsciencethatprovided background to thedisciplinary squabbles (see Burger1976. Accordingly. however.whether consciously notedor not" (1904b. to human actionby "identify[ing] a concrete which we can attribute the conductin question"(1903-6. p. however. 1908-9. Writing froma distinguishedand easily won chair of economics. p. pp. pp. 1.in the mannerof the natural 1065 This content downloaded from 128.foraction"does not .12. it was amongthe naturalsciences that Weber classifiedmost contemporary with its psychology. search forthe "laws of psychophysics" of experiand its fragmentation ence into such " 'elements'[as] 'stimuli.127 on Wed. 161). 81. 140-53. Weber set the natural the sociocultural sciencesapart from sciences. p.was an activeparticipant in theMethodenstreit. 13). 16-39).135. p.holdingthatit is onlythe latterdisciplines-those withwhichhe was allied-that treathumansas "culturalbeings"whose actionembodiesa "subjectivemeaning. 64-65. .Weber did not succumbto thisknee-jerk reaction. 30-34. 72-106).Habit a securepositionwithinthe universities alongsidethe olderbranchesof the naturaland sociocultural sciencesand such upstart fields as psychology(see Ben-David and Collins 1966.'[and] " (1903-6. . pp.thesewere precisely the concepts underwhichthe businessof habit was commonly subsumed(see 1908b. The objectiveof such sciences. notonlywhenexamining such greatvessels of meaningas the habitusof Calvinismand of other salvationreligions butalso whenconsidering moremundaneworkhabits.in contrast. eschew this "subjectiveunderstanding of action[and favor] theexplanation ofindividual factsbyapplying [general causal laws]" (1922a. p. 31). 1908a. p. Oakes 1975. pp.his own researches tendedin theoppositedirection. [which] maybe moreor less clearto theactor. 24 Jul 2013 06:20:10 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . history.If theworkofpsychologists drainedthesubjective meaning out ofhabit. The natural sciences. 15). pp. 461-63. Cahnman 1964. .pp.

24 Jul 2013 06:20:10 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . passim. and close it forgood. 233-34. thatis. 333. He thuscouchedhis definition of traditional actionin the psychophysical argot of "stimuli"and "automaticreactions.and indeed oftenon the otherside" (1922a. But the best indication of this. where Weber urged the sociologistto investigate meaningful social actionand thenannouncedthattraditional or habitualconductdescribedhere in psychophysical terms. Sumner 1906.but it set thatdoor precariously enoughajar thatthose withotherinclinations might quicklyclose it.pp. 25).invokedalikebypopularreformers. This work is particularly instructive since not only does it containthe age's mostsystematic statements about habit. 107-8. 12). 74-75.ratherthan in the interpretive languageused in his empirical studies-"lies veryclose to the borderline ofwhatcan justifiably be called meaningfully oriented action. pp. passim). pp. This formulation was a risky It leftthedoor to thedomainof habitsufficiently compromise.it also revealsthe pointof departure forthe sociological treatments of the subject thatwere producedduringthe same period.AmericanJournalof Sociology scientist studying human activity. with Lamarckian by social evolutionists leanings. and 1922a. as nonunderstandable behaviors for whichit is impossible to identify any consciousor nonconscious motive. Given the interdisciplinary controversies of his age and his commitment to study"culturalbeings" while setting aside the naturalscientific approach of the psychologists.12."and he tendedlikewiseto portray thisform ofactionas existing "by nature"and antecedent to culture (see above.In thelast decades ofthe 19thcentury theearlydecades ofthe 20th-to go back no further-onefinds theidea all overtheintellectual landscape. p. even Weber came withinthe spell of psychological notionsof habit. 1134). by solemnHarvard philosophers. 17. Veblen 1899. Kuklick 1977. appears in theworkof theearlyAmerican psychologists. however. Such doubts were codifiedin Economy and Society. and byevolutionary thinkers ofa moreDarwinianbent.as well as of the concept'scontinuing utilization. 1066 This content downloaded from 128.135. 320-21. the conceptof and habitwas also a familiar item. pp. p. theseviews on habit could but raise grave of doubtsabout the concept'srelevancewithin theWeberianconception the sociocultural sciences. Mentionof these evolutionary currents itselfsuggestssomething of the biologistic lightin whichhabit was seen at this time. Nevertheless. pp. Stocking1968. as "incomprehensive statistical probabilit[ies]" (1922a. open that Weber's sociologycould still incorporatehis own ample analyses of habitualaction. 238-69. a fewwords To appreciate thepsychologists' viewsproperly.127 on Wed. The AmericanScene To Americancontemporaries of Durkheimand Weber.suchas Sumneron the right and Veblen on theleft(see Curti 1980.

Much ofthereasonforthiswas precisely thefactthat. to build the fieldalong the lines of the establishedbiophysicalscienceswas one that actually grew all the stronger by the early decades of the 20th century." so muchso thateven complex 1067 This content downloaded from 128. ofthemviewedsuspiciously by thosewho were alreadywithinthe various institutions of higher education and quick. Cravens 1978.12. 28-29). pp." laid it down thathabit bespeaks the factthat"our nervoussystem growsto themodesin whichit has been exercised. 125).pp. . set[s]herbrandofownership on thematter. The image of habit that had been incubatedin 19th-century Europe came intoits own in thissituation. Curti1980.and. 58-71. 24 Jul 2013 06:20:10 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .Habit about institutional contextare necessary.Americanpsychology followedthe exampleof the new European psychology and broughtto the studyof mental life the conceptsand methodsof Darwinian biologyand experimental physiology-sciences thenat the summit of the academic hierarchy (see Boring1950.This idea was already presentedas a truismin the broadlyread work of WilliamJames. in seekingto show how "mechanical science. 56-86). mostin evidencein thesimpleactivities ofhumanand otherorganisms. p. 70-73. which. what emerged was theidea thathabitis an essentially biophysiological phenomenon.pp. Faced withthisrequirement. there werecontenders a majority aplenty.whichoffered.In thisregard. achieving(despitefits departmental inguniversities by aroundtheturnofthecentury and spreading outward to otherhighereducationalinstitutions by the end of WorldWar I (see Camfield1973. For all thedisputes thatsoon emerged within academic psychology.pp. Smith1981.135. forhabitualprocesses werea topicto which Americanpsychologists frequently turned. therefore. Here. [an arrangement that]provideda powerful impetusto the [splitting offof] distinct subjects" (Ross 1979. . Watson 1965). to thosemen and womenfortunate enoughto establish themselves on the inside. it was the youngdisciplineof psychology thatbecame a particular success and starts) rankin manyleadstory. p. pp. wheneverthey did. 123). 197-203.since "departmental status[meant]increasedrewardsin funds and power. Cravens 1978.127 on Wed.In the post-Civil War era. thisstaunchcommitment moreover. however. solid researchand careeropportunities that had securely long been in notoriously shortsupply.from its start. American intellectual lifewas affected of major deeplyby theemergence research-oriented universities and numerous satellitecolleges.members of disciplinesconstituted as separatedepartments were in an especially favored position. theirown to demand that new fieldsjustify and solidify[ing] entryinto the academy by "constantly their prov[ing] statusas sciences"(Ross 1979. as the philosophically trainedpioneersof psychology leftthe scene to numbers of specializedresearchers determined to push forward the campaignto institutionalize theireminently scientific discipline(see Camfield1973.

moving throat."meaningherebythat all noninsenseoftheterm stinctive is to be seen as habitin his particular activity (1917.. or humans. by the risingyoung experimentalist Yerkes. p. as "a tendencytoward a certain action [resulting from thedevelopment in theorganism] ofa track[alongwhich] Annervousimpulse[s] pass" (1901.p.AmericanJournalof Sociology habitsare "nothing but concatenated discharges in thenerve-centers. early in the second decade of this century. in other words. So insistent was Watsonon thiscountthathe as itself-which had long been regarded actuallyconceivedof thinking the ultimate humanaction-merely as an operation of basis of reflective the"tongue. 139. habit is simplya "systemof [acquired]reflexes" sponses. see also 1914. 184-276.135. p. 247. 11). Watson adopted a thorof habitand thenplaced thisconceptat oughly physiologized conception the very centerof his programforthe analysisof human conduct.p. 1919.12.Curti1980. 55. pp. n. 149).frogs.p. in habitualtrains" muscles. not only represented an integration of a good deal of previousworkin it one ofthegreat American psychology. 242. Similarstatementswereinscribed intothetextbooks oftheperiodby authorities such as Angell. 14. 201).127 on Wed. drews. the "behavioral in Americanpsychology. 1919. is the sum of his instincts and habits. see also Baken 1966. p. manyofwhom wereutterly which worked so well to "electrified . might.In or reWatson's view. .easilywritethemoff. part of "the total stripedand unstriped muscular and glandular changes which follow upon a given [environmental] stimulus" (1914.In fact. by the eclectictheoretician in effort at synthesis that"habit.pp. 184-85." and to "write psychology [instead]in termsof stimulusand response"(1913. 107-8. been idiosyncratic one Had Watson's pronouncements outpourings. imagery." thescientific consolidate field statusoftheir rising (Cravensand Burnham 1971. The completetriumph of thispointof view came whenJohnWatson launched.to purgethe fieldof all "introspectively isolable elements [suchas] sensation. furthermore. Pillsbury. 3731068 This content downloaded from 128. He contended. 270). 252-56). and laryngeal (1919. 55.who concluded an important is at bottom a physiological phenomenon [involving] neuralmodifications [caused] by the neural excitations" (1903. by themid-1920s. 645.Judd. his behaviorism ofcourse. that"man pp. 169-347). who regardedhabit. 1919. due to the presencethereof systems of reflex paths"(1890. or. 2). 24 Jul 2013 06:20:10 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . and Swift(see Fearing 1930. pp. to whomhabitswere "lowermotorsyntheses" (1897.etc. Congruent views werewidelyexpressed: bytheveteran scholarBaldwin. 112).. intellectual orthodoxies amongprofessional psychologists. . pp.. also became. pp. pp. Watson's by ideas. Burnham1968b.however. 545).pp. Watson 1914.. pp. whetherin turtles. 199. p. movement" Determinedto make psychology even moremanifestly scientific thanit had alreadybecome. . perception.

123-38.12. 291-312.physiologically contaminated businessof habit. 18.p. thoughmore oftenactuallyendorsingthe psychologists' biophysiological approach. sometimes itin themanner of 18thand employing 19th-century European social thinkers. p.was perpetually surrounded "by a sea of academic doubters who questioned[its]substance"-a situation brought homebytherarity withwhichsociology was accordeddepartmental rank or admitted into prestigiousuniversities(other than Columbia and Chicago) (Ross 1979. The discipline. 2-3).p. and the othernaturalsciences"(1924. p. Convinced that human groupings. 231. among those sociologists who regardedtheir fieldas a bona fideintellectual formuchthatthen discipline. Furner 1975.differed from Tortuga'sbirdsand whiteratsin littlemorethanthe greater intricacy of theirhabits.but psychology. 117. see also Cravens 1978.from 19th centurythroughthe early years of the 20th century. 210-13).Watson offered his psychology as a mastertool "to guide society. 7-9. Cravens 1978.pp.p. Such an endorsementwill seem remarkable.undertheappliedbannerthatsociology first insinuated itself intomanyhigher educationalinstitutions.127 on Wed. p.chemistry. p. American also made readyuse sociologists oftheage-oldconcept. too. The important pointto appreciate.pp. 1917. 153-80). Nor wereWatsonand his confederates to extendtheirclaims into the traditional domains of the social sciences. went underthe name of "sociology"was reallya motleyassortment of efforts at moral reform and practical social improvement (Oberschall 1972. and. 1927.pp.pp. 1919. sociologists foundclaims of thissortfartoo muchto bear and soon reactedadverselyto the entire. whereit long survivedchiefly as an undergraduate vocationaloffering. pp. American "sociology as a whole restedprimarily on [a] psycholog[ical]" foundation and freely adopted the "assumptions of contemporary physiological psychology" (Petras1970. 202." which derives its principles from"biology.see also Hinkle 1980. wouldbe professional sociologists understandably developed"an obsessiveconcern with the academic legitimation [of theirdiscipline]as a science" (Oberschall1972.both simple and complex. Hinkleand Hinkle 1954. 203). 24 Jul 2013 06:20:10 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . As we shall see. 167-68). pp. Underthesecircumstances. . Lewis and Smith1980. pp.fellow behaviorists such as Floyd Allportdefined social institutions themselves ''merely[as] similarand reciprocalhabits of individualbehavior"and thenproposedthatthe disciplineappropriate forthe studyof the social world "is not sociology. It was in partto achievethislegitimation that 1069 This content downloaded from 128. It was.p.pp.Habit reluctant 80. Samuelson1981).however. taught by parttime instructors (Cravens 1978.at any rate. indeed. untilit is recognized thelate that.is thatpriorto thisdevelopment. This was true. . following suit. 69-71. towardsthe controlof group [as well as] individual behavior"(1913. 123. 142.as a result. 189). Oberschall1972). Oberschall 1972.135.

379. 1909. 62-63). his habits and his activities" likewisetowardthephysio(1900. pp. 11. Despite all this. upon his p. p. 260). 394). pp. just embarking academic career. pp. human conduct-as an active partner Examples are plentiful: Giddingsacceptingthe notionthat habit is an affair of the "nervousapparatus" and then makingit the verytask of sociologyto study"the nature of the soci[al man]. I. 82. the concept'sdays were numbered. 84. . Stocking1968. theyoung consumption" and "habitsof production" that"all sociological manifestations W.72). p." withthe way the moderneconomy of [restless] habits. 1070 This content downloaded from 128.pp. pp. [and is thus]thechief whichculturalevolutionmustact. [and] the social orderof even the veryhighestcivilization is almostentirely made up of habitualtypesof [individual] reaction" (1912. 187. 24 Jul 2013 06:20:10 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . amongsociologists of the time.As behaviorism in thedecade or so after WorldWar grewin strength amongpsychologists I and made its advances into sociologicalterritories. 449-51. Cooleynodding withhow "habit[exerts a] logicalusage of habit and concerning himself of theself. 328-29). 39). 262-66). The higherstagesof humanculture [of]higher types [have actually] been builtup bythegradualdevelopment of habit.135. pp. sociologists defenof physiological psycholsivelyrecoiledfromthe conceptualframework is morea commentary on ogy. 370.127 on Wed. just as lifeon thefindings of the moreestablished biologicalfields psychology had in its turnappealed to the distinguished (Cravens 1978.pp." defining [as] nothwhichwe call habit. That theyreactedin thisway. ofall thoseforms ofassociation. Even RobertPark. whichrise [sinceitis] themaincarrier on raw material above themerely instinctive level. p. and decisivemoldersof the humanpersonality Ellwood adoptinga neurophysiological view of habitand thendeclaring that"forthe individualand forsocietyhabit is of supremeimportance.12."withthedevelfixing and consolidating actionin thegrowth opmentof the "habit of conscience. ofthosemechanisms are largely "thateducationand socialcontrol dependent upon announcing ourability habitsin ourselves and in others" to establish (1915. 107."and so on (1902. 297-98. Hayes (a decade laterstill)defining and describing themas habitsas "established cerebroneural tendencies" (1915. Ross attending (1908. moreover. 141). 446vagariesamongtheprimary interests ofthesocialtheorist 47."and ingmorethanthesum .. Thomas asserting proceedfrom physiological conditions" and placing"thehabitsofthe group"and their (1905. see also 1904. Accordingly. pp. 1917.exuberantly laudingwork on "thephysiology "character of thenervoussystem. .of Sociology American Journal thesethinkers widelyand frequently predicatedtheiranalysesof social scienceof psychology. generates "a whole system in detail to "habitsof 368.the conceptof habitcontinuedto function-alongsidetermsencompassing the reflective side of in the enterprise of social theory..jumped on the bandwagon.

"even though Mead himself "saw most acts as habituated responses proceeding without self-conscious reflection" (Lewisand Smith1980. p.that breakingwith psychology meantthatsociology could no longerenhanceits scientific credentials by leaning on the "reputation of the physicalsciences"(Ellwood 1930. see n.Maclver (1931). thewholepostwarperiodstoodout as an age when "extreme threatened to dominate behaviorism the sociological scene" (Odum 1951. But. 24 Jul 2013 06:20:10 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . That broaderconceptualizations of habit mighthave been substituted forthebehaviorist formulation and wereactuallyavailable in so readya sourceas Dewey (1922. was This content downloaded from 128.In theview ofmanysociologists. as sociologistsfrankly admitted. 160).8 It is jeopardized the autonomyof sociology(Matthews1977. Committed spokesmen forthe fieldthusbecame ever morepassionately concernedwith the vigorous"assertionof [the]disciplinary of autonomy" sociology(Matthews 1977. social sciences of the time were generally unruffled by the behaviorist challenge(see Curti 1980. p.pp.135. habitwas thebehaviorist idea ofhabit:to countenance thiswas to accept behaviorism's physiologically reductionist accountofhumanactionin the social worldand to ruleout all thoseinstances ofreflective actionthathad long held an important place in Americansociology along withhabitual action. 395-98). There are.exceptionsto the rule-Bernard (1926).whenthediscipline stillconsisted mainly ofa scattering ofundergraduate coursestaught from within other departments(see Cravens 1978. 43-51). of course. pp. 1071 8 Mead's "social behaviorism. 149. 3 above) mattered little. formanypractitioners ofsociology. pp. pp. 59).pp. who was steepedin a tradition of Europeansocial theoryantedatingbehaviorismand continuedto speak of moral.sociologists moved withdispatchto stemthe apparenttide of behaviorism.12. who soughta compromise withthe behaviorists thatpreserved habitin its physiological trappings. Sorokin1947.Dewey's on habit were read but not seized as an alternative statements (Allport 1954. 149) true. Ross 1979. and it was in so doingthatthey purposefully abandoned the venerableconceptof habit. 147-53) and respondedwith alarm at the behaviorists' encroachments. 124-25). 144. laggingbehindin terms of academicinstitutionalizationas late as theearly1920s. 121-22. palatablebecauseit concentrated on "theactivity ofindividuals insofar as they are acting as self-conscious members ofa social group. for in an intellectual settingwhere habit was so closely associatedwithpsychology.127 on Wed. Indeed. in however.Habit thestateofsociology forthebetter-established itself thanon behaviorism. religious. p. p.remained a vulnerableposition.and economichabits(cf. Fearfulof just such an outcome." however. 450). thesewereminority voices. p. increasingly. Cravens 1978. Sociology.political.pp. 129-30. any use oftheconceptseemedto exhibit just thekindof"rel[iance] on concepts borrowed from another discipline" that .

191). This is notto say thatThomas offered hisnew conceptas an inoffensive synonym for habit. 326-27). 1:22. is unreflecconscious.American Journalof Sociology 187). Now... The once-accepted thathabitembraces proposition partoftheprocess of social action thus met its oppositein two extreme as the directions.p.Thomas unequivocally (see Jennings reversed his once-positive stancetowardphysiology and likewisetoward habit. quest foracademic autonomy in the erodedthe prospects forcontinuing middleway. 1:22-35. sociologists everything were." particularly its "indistinct of the [application] term'habit' to [all] uniformities of behavior. As thispracticetook hold.135. . Fleming1967. 276-77). Indeed. thispronouncement was an extremely important one. inadequate.so in castingtheconceptaside. The uniformity of behavior[thatconstitutes social life]is not a rules"(Thomas uniformity of organichabitsbut of consciously followed and Znaniecki1918. In theimmediate aftermath ofhisown earlyexposure to Watsonianbehaviorism et al. 2:1853. 24 Jul 2013 06:20:10 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . . Situatedwithin the acclaimedvolumes of The Polish Peasant. he conceptualizedattitudeas an aspect of "individualconsciousness more whichdetermines" reflective typesof action(1918. 1917).ithas beenarguedthatthisproposalbyThomaswas actually the watershedin the process by which the term"attitude"took on its modernmeaningand was projectedintoprominence (see Fleming1967. But it was not long beforenonreflective processeswere whollyeclipsed. deemingunacceptable"theprinciples recently developedby the behavioristic school. [for it]involvesno . .. not least because it was conjoined with a proposal to instatethe ofsocialtheory at thecenter conceptof"attitude" (1918. 322-31). who had previously evolution. on the contrary.127 on Wed. ."he bluntly declaredthat " 'habit' . Ellseenhabitas theessenceofcultural wood.pp.[since]it formulates whatis distinctive of man in termsof what is commonto both man and the animals 1072 This content downloaded from 128. pp. was soon convinced in terms of that"to express[man's]cultural evolution stimulus and habitis .Thus. as it became commonplaceto use attitudeto describe"tendenciesof action" that mightotherwisehave been called habits (Faris 1928. but merely tive.butbythispointsucha sacrifice appearedpreferable to remaining in the "intellectual of psychology thralldom" and automatically relinquishing the largergoal of institutional independence (Cravens 1978. 2:1849-52). 2:183163).. This sweepingshift away from habitfounditsearliest expression in the workofThomas. What eluded sociological thinkers herewas thattheyweremerely inverting the approachtheyrejected:thatjust as Watsonmade habitvirtually in social life. allotting habit no role in the social worldwortheven speaking of.12. shouldbe restricted to thebiologicalfield. . the campaignagainsthabit thathad commencedwithThe Polish Peasant enlisted substantial support. pp. in effect.purposeful regulation of [conduct].

"but an outgrowth of "present to the"physican study recourse attitudes. . . p. 41. p.he could confidently the point. 17-32.Queen could approvingly report that"in recent years.. 24 Jul 2013 06:20:10 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 789). . This content downloaded from 128." Ellwood devoted much of his later work to the reflective "intellectual elements" bywhichhumanstranscend thehabitual (1927.g. Park and Miller 1921. e.forhimalso. 75. what Parsons later describedas its "vigorous. Thomas 1927.so readilydid this generalpointof view make its mark that. ca. One often-overlooked leitmotif of The Structure of Social Actionis. habitudinal.p." sinceit denominates a "biological'behavioral'pattern [that] is ofno importance forthestudyof [social]actions"(1936. 1924.and Farisall had moments whenthey lapsedbackinto talk about habit. pp. Faris 1937. 438-39. Ellwood 1925. attitude was thepreferable concept(1921. Karpf 1932. cf. p.thathumancharacter neither "instinctive nor . students of human relationshave talked less about habits and more about attitudes"(1931. p. 143-47.135. ca. And a fewyearslater. 236. 209). 1930b. In due course. 65. pp. . too.made yearsbereiterate forewithThomas. pp. Park 1930. 88-93.9 In fact. Faris soundedsimilar themes.let the matterdrop altogether. Increasingly critical and of"theBehaviorist [whoneglects everything] exceptthemodification of habits or reflexes. 1930a. p.pp. . 334-42.Park. 98.pp. habit" (1930. . 1931. that" 'habit'[is an expression thatsociologists] prefer notto use.even after theyhad formally deniedthesociological value of the 96.by the early 1930s. pp. p.127 on Wed. pp. pp.whenZnanieckiissuedhismassivetreatise Social Actions. 1930. Thomas. In the following year.Onlyin thegeneration that succeeded these pioneers was their conceptual breakwiththepastfully carried through-again. came to argue thatwhatwe do "whenwe behave mostlikehumanbeings[is]pretty sure is to escape thebehaviorists [whofocuson] habits". while histories of Americansociology fromthe same period could identify no contemporary of sociologicaltreatments habit save forthoseof Bernardand Dewey and digressed insteadto the topic of attitude(Bogardus 1929. p. their "defecpsychology" disdaining tivetheory ofhabit"and concluding "theword'habit'is quiteunsatisfactory"to capture all the "thinking and striving" that constitute human social conduct. 82-83). polemicizing" against behaviorism (1978a. 1073 concept (see. 408-9). 244-46).. lashingout againstthe"physiological psychology and neurological ofthebehaviorists. Attacking"the behavioristic scheme" for reducing the individual to a "biophysical unit" and 9 Like many a natural scientist whohas practiced under oneparadigm and can never entirely shift toanother in thewakeofa scientific revolution (see Kuhn1962. p. a youngTalcott Parsons added to the chorus.Habit ofthewholeidea ofhabit below him"(1918. 204). withthat. in fact..Ellwood.Park. Park and Burgess 1921. muchas in thecase of scientific revolutions." whichthesociologist without ological term . pp. p.p.12. 1353). 182). 40-42) and. 194. 518-19. 14459). pp.

Parsonswas led. 769). pp. p. 773-74). pp.135.pp. to economics. pp. For one in conjunction witha lengthy-and thistreatment was presented thing.127 on Wed. n. 389.withthebehaviorists' endless talk about organically "conditioned reflexes or habits"(1937. forthestudy ofhabitualforms ofhumansocialaction. This conception. He accordingly proposed to establish sociology as one ofa handful of"independent" sciences ofaction. 44-45. pp. Ellwood.factorsthat make Parsons's own treatment habit in The Structureof Social Action especiallysignificant. 647. of European ultimately very influential-accountof the development social thought. 116. cf. 437-40)-an equationhe was to retainformuchof his career(1959. throughout habit had often the actual course of this history. 1978b. "exclud[ing like his earlycontemporaries. or even within allied disciplines. 646).forthe latterseemedto implythattherewas "no place" forthe youngfieldof sociology (1937. remarks which.Parsonswas as eageras others communityto differentiate the sociologist's approach fromthe behaviorist approach. of There are. 48).theunderlying ofactionat whichone arrives conception as clearlystatedby once the idea of habit is set aside.goingconcern ofthesocial theorist.because it articulated.Journalof Sociology American the] subjectiveaspect" of humanconduct. far more explicitly than the work of Thomas.p. 26. to equate habitdirectly with"the psychologicalconceptofhabit"or. referable to heredity" (1937. wrotehabit out of the whole history even when considering Durkheimand Weber. 3. Parsons'sanalysisstandsout. pp. 76-78. of modernsocial theory. p. referred to innerdispositions and tendencies thatwereverymuchpartof the subjectiveside of humanconductthatParsonsnow counterposed to habit. Parsonsand Shils 1951.when writing The Structure of in thesociological Social Action. 24 Jul 2013 06:20:10 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . a limitation that accords well with Parsons'spremisethat action consistsof a reasonedselectionof means and endsbytheapplication of"guiding norms" (1937. othersociologicalopponents of behaviorism during habithad abruptly ceased to be an acceptable.it is a mapping wholly the provincesof reflective action.each of whichwould have as itsdomainone ofthefour"emerof actionsystems-with"thehereditary gentproperties" basis ofpersonto psychology. 1074 This content downloaded from 128. 687. however. 115-17. 380. and the others had done. see also 1934.. 78.in other words. 321. 89. This was so despitethe factthat.pp.and "common-value to integration" whatis moststriking sociology (1937. 667-68. 125).beyondthe"residuum about thisseemingly encompassing limited to . Twist and turnhis groundplan forthe sciencesof actionas muchas we like. 760-73).12. pp. For present purposes. in addition. schemeis that. "coerality"falling "economicrationality" cive rationality" to politicalscience.For Parsons.it yieldsno nichewithin sociology.as for the 1920sand 1930s. Park.. aside froma few dismissive (1937. But such an equation could onlyprove inimicalto habit since. 1975.

of meansto ends.habit was of significant consequence in economic. I submit. Nowhere does Parsons confront the Durkheimianthesis about the place of habit in moral educationand considerthe degreeto which the reflective moral action that he findsso necessaryto sustainsocial ordermay reston a foundation of habits implantedearly on and may thereafter crystallize only insofar as there are numbers of activitiesthat remain largely habitual. 1321-22. but its consequences one is at all prompted or even to notice. 776] usefulsummary) thatsocial orderderivesfrom "thereciprocalpenetration ofinstrumental . But thisdeclaration has provedto be a dead letterboth in his own later work and in mostcontemporaneous linesof sociologicalresearch. ends.whenone assumes to investigate. onlyin termsof the particularmeans.and morallife." Neitherhe nor criticsof his positionon this point raise any question whateverabout the extentto which social regularities obtain because humans also act in more nonreflective. Parsonshas. and normswithwhich givenactorsare concerned (1937. religious. it is true.acknowlof many concretephenomena edged that "the adequate understanding ofanalytical drawnfrom" outside mayrequiretheemployment categories thesciencesofaction(1937. forthree reasons.12.135. p. 102). 733-34. see also Warner1978. habitual ways. . 757). p. pp. that action always takes the formof a reflective weighing. For thinkers like Durkheimand Weber.pp.First. In accord withhis reflective conceptualization ofaction. .127 on Wed.Habit Parsons.including thosethatrelatedirectly to thecentraltaskthatParsonssetsfora theory ofaction-the taskof"account[ing] forthe element of orderin social relationships" (1937. onlyin their substance-that is. * * * If we take a largerhistorical perspective on the matter of habit than that adopted by those who dispensed with the concept. and normatively obligatedaction. 24 Jul 2013 06:20:10 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . forhabitualphenomena simply do notcongeal as salientempiricalrealities forthosewho operatewitha modelof actionthatallots no place to habit. p. postulatesthat all action exhibitsa "commonstructure": that actionprocesses do notvaryin their forms.Parsonsholds(in Munch's [1982. And herelies the problem. Zaret 1980. political. then to homogenize actionprocesses in theway thatParsons'sworkillustrates so well is. 1194).Even less does the Parsonsianmodelof actionaccommodate a moreWeberianmacrosociological perspective on theissue:thepossibility 1075 This content downloaded from 128. by various normative standards. p.and elsewhere are notsomething as well.thehomogenized unsatisfactory view ofactioneffectively oftheempirical roleof blocksout consideration habitin the social world. A secondproblem withthismodelis itsneglect ofthetheoretical implicationsof habitualaction.

Parsonsdeclaresthat"themostfundamental criticism ofutilitarianism is thatit has had a wrongconception of the concrete human personality" (1937.beliefs. or to refashion.withtheresult thattheadvantagedactorsmaypursuecoursesofconductthatserveto perpetuate.as thehomogenized view of action proposedby Parsons codifiedthe outcomeof the werewaging campaignagainsthabitthathe and hisoldercontemporaries on behalfof the cause of sociology.as habit was progressively forward ofsociologists who discardedfrom thelanguageofsociology.135. CONCLUSION For the present. that the implications for actual conductof any particular norms. What he does not perceive.however. thesehabitualways and theorderthey imply (cf. Znaniecki. and ideas are highly contingent on thebasic cast or form of the wholepersonality of whichthesecomponents are parts-on a generalizeddispositionwhose very shape may ofdifferent differ in thesocialization withvariations practices groupsand as social formations may undergomajor reorganization change historiwas lostsight cally.Since theterms that were current embracedaction only to the extentthat it was of a reflective variety.Bourdieuand Passeron 1970). p.too. 24 Jul 2013 06:20:10 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .127 on Wed.Missingaltogether preciation forthepointthatDurkheimand Weberurgedwhenadopting theconceptof habitus. Park.namely.or theincreasingly prominent Parsons. new cohorts learnedthislanguageafresh own thoughts inevitably came to couchtheir and theories in termsotherthan habit.is themarkedsimilarity between the alternativehe develops and the formulation he criticizes.thatpersonality is a gooddeal morethan the tidy sum of attributes like these. The thirddifficulty withhomogenizing action as Parsonsdoes lies in theresulting oftherelationship conception betweenthehumanpersonalityand thesocial world. theunderlying assumption is thatthe human personality is essentially the aggregate of variousend preferences and normative orientations-attributes whose content Parthe basic in different sons sees as varying social groupsand constituting hereis an apsubstanceof the socializationprocess. whether or not theywere at all cognizantof the rejectionof the conceptby the likes of Thomas.This way ofseeingpersonality of.the work of thesecohortstendedineluctably (though oftenunwittingly) to recapitulateParsons's course in The Structure of 1076 This content downloaded from 128.It is enoughto recordthat.12.Journalof Sociology American thatsomeactorsmayderivereal or ideal advantagesbecause other actors proceed(in some areas) in habitualways. For whether actionis depictedas thepursuit ofeconomicends via normsof efficiency. 387). Faris.In his famousattackon theutilitarian tradition.thereis no need to carrythis historical investigation in time. or whethermore sublimeends and obligatory moralnorms are also takenintoconsideration.

theyhave ceased to afford groundsfortrampling in theheat oflong-forgotten thatwereblighted circumceptualresources to light the stances. this confrontation particular withpsychology was one thatendedquicklyand was soonforgotten-though at thesame timethatit left forgotten permanenteffects on the innerconceptualstructure of sociologicalthought. furthermore.But thesebenefits have longsince on conbeen secured. it is instructive to investigate the intellectual consequencesof the interdisciplinary disas an independent putesthataccompaniedtheestablishment of sociology academic discipline and. 1077 This content downloaded from 128. 24 Jul 2013 06:20:10 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . As struggles go. but that. on with aside and getting verytangibleway.thatsociology as a whole benefited. to examine the conceptual framework of thosefieldsfromwhich sociologists of earliergenerations wereseekingto differentiate their own discipline. from leavingthesematters otherbusiness:thattheexcisionof habiteffectively abettedinstitutionalizationof the disciplineas well as the varioussubstantive achievements thatinstitutionalization made possible.12. theterm was intentionally expunged from thevocabulary of as American sociology sociologists attempted to establish theautonomy of theirdisciplineby severingits ties with the fieldof psychology.thisstudy ofhabitwas longa stapleitem in the idiom of Westernsocial thinkers.thisarticlehas proposedthatrecent presentist approachesto thestudyofsociology's past be expandedso that worksother than classicsand ideas other thanacknowledged sociological thoseoccupying the foreground as of the classics come to be recognized integral to understanding thehistory ofsociological thought. that to appreciate how the conceptualfabricof sociology initially acquiredcertain of its basic properties.127 on Wed.Habit all social actionas possessing a commonstrucSocial Action:to portray and theoretical tureand thento overlookboththeempirical significance of the of habitual conduct and the role of habitus in the organization humanpersonality. thesesuggesApplying has foundthattheconcept tions.to be sure.By uncovering and thusbringing thesecircumstances historical processthrough whichtheconceptual ofsociology has structure a cometo have itsdelimited on sociology's focus. that it served as a ramifying background forcein the workof bothDurkheimand Weber.exerting a decisiveeffect even as theycame to termswiththe centralsociological issues posed in theirwritings. in connection of behavioralism) notion of habit had come into very widespread usage. In undertaking that is the to examine the history of the alternative efforts to overcome conceptofhabit. in a One mightargue.research pastconstitutes clear invitation and to those who currently work withinthat structure takeitsfocusforgranted the at last to look without and consider seriously broaderalternatives thatare in factavailable to them. It has maintained. where withthe growth a restricted (esp.duringthe earlydecades of the 20thcentury. in so doing.135.

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