home port facePitirim Alexandrovitch Sorokin (1889-1968) was born in a very remote part of Northern Russia west of the Ural Mountains, homeland of the Komi people. In the course of his life he survived six imprisonments by the Czarist and Communist governments for political activism, a death sentence, and nearly five years of Red Terror that followed the 1917 October Revolution. He was forced to leave his native country in 1922 and start over again in the United States, where he became a leading American sociologist and in less than 10 years the founder of the Department of Sociology at Harvard University. His studies are characterized by an impressive intellectual sweep and breadth of outlook that have won him a place among history's foremost analysts of social change. Pitirim Sorokin was an outspoken public figure as well, standing against the cold war alongside Albert Einstein and a number of other courageous professionals during that period. Sorokin's books have been translated into over 50 languages; his ideas remain vital, especially in today's world of cultural, religious, and economic turmoil.

0 160x160 images stories about thumbsPITIRIM. The biographical section is mainly devoted to Pitirim Sorokin's own account of his extraordinary life journey. In this he discusses factors in his personal life and world events that contributed to his intellectual development, and how particular historic events drew him to particular topics of research interest. This provides light on what some consider the main puzzle in Pitirim Sorokin's biography-- "What enabled the son of an itinerant artisan in the remote Komi territory to become a world-famous scholar and a leading figure in American Sociology?" Apart from his academic abilities, Pitirim Sorokin retained throughout life many rural and artisanal skills learned during childhood, to be later expressed as a feeling for landscaping and the ability to create beautiful gardens surrounding the family home. Regardless of the area in which Sorokin put his efforts he always tried to achieve the best results, following his principle: "one has to excel in every line of work." Other aspects of Pitirim Sorokin's personality, character, and habits are brought out in reminiscences by family members, his students, and other people who knew him.


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THEORIES. Pitirim Sorokin left a rich intellectual legacy. His contributions to social sciences are manifold, from the theoretical basis of sociology to subspecialties like rural sociology, the study of civilizations, and amitology. Pitirim Sorokin was an early advocate of "public sociology," currently in vogue, which deals with issues affecting people's lives in a more popular, less academic way. He nevertheless succeeded in incorporating all these specific studies and their aspects into a single theoretical system, which he defined "integralism." Major elements of his "integral theory" are presented in this section, along with his theoretical and methodological contributions to the subspecialties: Rural Sociology, Social Stratification and Mobility, the Sociology of Knowledge and of Science, the Philosophy of History, Social Change, Wars and Revolution, and Altruism.


home image write 160WRITINGS. Pitirim Sorokin's writings reveal his wide-ranging knowledge and a generally vigorous and sometimes down-to-earth literary style. Whether he was drafting a small piece for a newspaper, or his 4-volume monograph on Social and Cultural Dynamics, the writing was always scrupulous and captivating. He wrote 34 major books and over 2,000 scientific articles, reviews, and comments. The early ones were written in Russian and later ones in English, but throughout the more than 50 years of his intellectual life, his major works were soon translated into other languages and appeared in many countries of the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Indeed, during the first half of the 20th century Pitirim Sorokin became the world's most-published and translated sociologist. A comprehensive bibliography of Sorokin's publications will be found here; it is organized by type of publication, by subject, and by language.


home image media 160MEDIA his section contains unique materials from family albums, home movie/video clips, a documentary for television, the two tapes of lectures Sorokin made for Campus World Inc., and other more ephemeral recordings of Pitirim Sorokin's voice. Items of this sort are being added from time to time.

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EVENTS & NEWS. This section reports on various events in international sociology and the broader intellectual community that relate to Pitirim Sorokin and his scholarly legacy. It also takes note of various endeavors that invoke Sorokin's name and engage his ideas.

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FORUM. This web-site has its primary educational purpose to make Pitirim Sorokin's contributions to knowledge accessible to a wider international audience. At the same time the site is being envisioned as an arena for discussion of various topics related to his intellectual legacy, or more broadly, issues that commanded his attention most profoundly.

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ARCHIVES. There are two major locations of Pitirim Sorokin's personal archives: The Murray Library at the University of Saskatchewan (Canada) and the family archives near Boston, Massachusetts. Apart from these collections, additional materials related to Pitirim Sorokin can be found in literary archives and museums in Russia, in the Czech Republic, and to some extent at Harvard University and other locations in the United States. Most of the materials placed in this section result from an endowment by Sergei Sorokin to organize the collection at the University of Saskatchewan and make it available to the public. This project is ongoing. The collection in Saskatoon contains Sorokin's library of more than 1000 books and numerous other materials, including his own works, translations of these into some 50 languages, and the books and articles by such other eminent scholars as Arnold Toynbee, which have Sorokin's comments in the margins. It also contains some of Sorokin's original manuscripts-- books and articles, including first drafts and final revisions; some 40 or 90 notebooks on his reading and thinking; books and articles about him and his theories; his personal correspondence, some photographs, and other memorabilia.


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