American Sociological Association

Carl C. Taylor

Carl Cleveland Taylor

Carl Cleveland Taylor

December 16, 1884 - February 10, 1975

Carl Cleveland Taylor was born December 16, 1884 in Harlan, Iowa, the son of Luntellas S. Taylor and Mary Ellen Mershon.  The Taylors were farmers, which likely played a role in their son's professional focus on agricultural and rural issues. 

In 1933, Taylor joined the Roosevelt Administration where he worked with the Subsistence Homesteads Program, the Farm Security Administration, and the Division of Farm Population and Rural Life. Sociologist T. Lynn Smith later wrote that Taylor "brought the use of sociology in formulating government policy, planning, and programs to a new level through the division's research and service in areas such as rural community, farm population, farm labor, rural levels and standards of living, and the rural disadvantaged." 

Taylor wrote one of the first textbooks on rural sociology (Rural Sociology, published in 1926) and was a major figure in the study of rural life in the United States.  Later in life he visited Argentina and India to study rural life in those countries as well. 

Taylor served at the 36th President of the American Sociological Society (name later changed to Association). His Presidential Address, "Sociology and Common Sense," was delivered at the organization's annual meeting in Chicago in December 1946.

Upon his death in 1975, an obituary was published in the August 1975 issue of Footnotes. Carl C. Taylor's professional papers are housed in the Rare and Manuscript Collections, Carl A. Kroch Library, Cornell University; a finding aid for this collection is available at The Taylor Collection includes the following brief biographical sketch of Carl C. Taylor:

Carl Cleveland Taylor was born in Iowa on December 16, 1884. He taught college-level economics and sociology and in 1933 was appointed sociologist with the Subsistence Homesteads Division of the United States Department of the Interior. He was regional director with the Land Policy Section of the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, 1934-1935. Later he was chief of the Division of Farm Population and Rural Welfare, Bureau of Agricultural Economics, United States Department of Agriculture. He spent a year of research in rural sociology in Argentina with the State Department, 1942-1943. He was a member of the American Country Life Association, the American Sociological Society, and the Rural Sociology Society. He was a joint author on many surveys, and wrote The Social Survey - Its History and Method, 1919; Economics and Social Conditions of North Carolina Farmers, 1923; Rural Sociology, 1926; Human Relations, 1927; The People of the Drought States (with Conrad Taeuber); and Disadvantaged Classes in American Agriculture (with Helen Wheeler and E.L. Kirkpatrick).