CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

The international circulation of sociological ideas between France and the United States is an issue that has traditionally interested both historians and sociologists. This article studies the modalities of this transatlantic circulation, drawing on the specific case of French sociologist Raymond Boudon. It uses archives that have recently been made available, particularly the correspondence between Boudon and two central US sociological figures: Paul F. Lazarsfeld and Robert K. Merton. The dialogue, initiated in the early 1960s, between Boudon and the two “leading figures” of Columbia’s Sociology Department, remained intense and lively for many years. The article shows how both Lazarsfeld and Merton contributed to increasing the international circulation of Boudon’s work, and, reciprocally, how Boudon tried to import into France the qualities of the scientific ethos for sociology developed by the sociological duo from Columbia.

  • Robert K. Merton
  • correspondence
  • ethos
  • internationalization
  • Paul F. Lazarsfeld
  • personal network
  • Raymond Boudon
Michel Dubois
Sylvie Mesure
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