Edward Shils

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Edward Albert Shils (1911-1995), American sociologist, studied the sociology of culture, with special attention to the role of ideology in culture and the part played by intellectuals in the formation and shaping of ideology. He also studied the sociology of science, of higher education, and of literature, plus the sociology of sociology itself.

One can best learn of Shils as person and sociologist by reading his own work. Collections of his papers include:Selected Essays (1970), whose contents cover the breadth of his concerns and include what has become a sociological classic: "The Calling of Sociology." In addition, there are The Intellectuals and the Powers and Other Essays (1972) and Center and Periphery: Essays in Macrosociology (1975). He is the author of The Present State of American Sociology (1948); Political Development in the New States (1962); The Torment of Secrecy (1974 reprint with new introduction); Tradition (1981); Cambridge Women: Twelve Portraits (1996); and Portraits: A Gallery of Intellectuals(1997). He edited with Talcott Parsons Toward a General Theory of Action (1951); and, with Parsons, Kaspar D. Naegele, and Jesse R. Pitts, Theories of Society (1961). He also was the editor of a selection of articles from Minerva, Criteria for Scientific Development: Public Policy and National Goals (1968). The titles indicate the subjects of the books. 

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