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American Sociological Association: Arthur Stinchcombe Award Statement
Arthur Stinchcombe, Northwestern University, received this award in 2004. After earning his PhD from the University of California-Berkeley in 1960, Stinchcombe went on to become one of the founding figures of what came to be known as the "theory construction movement." While many people had criticized Talcott Parsons for proposing "grand theories" rather than theories of the "middle range," it remained very difficult to formulate empirical tests of the big ideas from functionalist sociology or from conflict theory. Through powerful syntheses and empirical studies ranging over school conflicts, police practices, craft organization, industrial efficiency, farm management, offshore oil exploration, financial markets, and Caribbean slavery, Stinchcombe has both set the agenda and provided major theoretical directions for much of the last four decades' work on organizational processes.