Social Theory and Social Structure
Social Theory and Social Structure (STSS) was a landmark publication in sociology
Sociology is the study of society. It is a social science—a term with which it is sometimes synonymous—which uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity...

 by Robert K. Merton
Robert K. Merton
Robert King Merton was a distinguished American sociologist. He spent most of his career teaching at Columbia University, where he attained the rank of University Professor...

. It has been translated into close to 20 languages and is one of the most frequently cited texts in social sciences. It was first published in 1949, although revised editions of 1957 and 1968 are often cited.

The book introduced many important concepts in sociology, like: manifest and latent functions and dysfunctions
Manifest and latent functions and dysfunctions
Manifest and latent functions are social scientific concepts first clarified for sociology by Robert K. Merton. Merton appeared interested in sharpening the conceptual tools to be employed in a functional analysis....

, obliteration by incorporation
Obliteration by incorporation
In sociology of science, obliteration by incorporation occurs when at some stage in the development of a science, certain ideas become so accepted and common-use that their contributors are no longer cited...

, reference groups, self-fulfilling prophecy
Self-fulfilling prophecy
A self-fulfilling prophecy is a prediction that directly or indirectly causes itself to become true, by the very terms of the prophecy itself, due to positive feedback between belief and behavior. Although examples of such prophecies can be found in literature as far back as ancient Greece and...

, middle-range theory and others.

Further reading

  • Robert K. Merton, Social Theory and Social Structure, Free Press, 1968, ISBN 0-02-921130-1
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