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SourceSociologische Gids, 47, 1, (2000), pp. 40-43
Article / Letter to editor
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Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen
Important influences on the author's development as a sociologist are surveyed. F. van Heek's (1954) empirical study of birth levels among Catholics as compared to other population groups in the Netherlands is remembered as the first work that showed the possibilities provided by comparative methodology. S. M. Lipset, M. A. Trow, and J. S. Coleman's Union Democracy (1956), in which Michels's law of increasing oligarchy in democratic societies is refuted with data demonstrating that the democratic ideal can be attained and maintained in various contexts through continuous communication, is found inspirational for its content as well as its multilevel analysis. Jurgen Habermas et al's Student und Politik ([Student Protest Science and Politics] 1969) is deemed the clearest and most adeptly written existing example of normative sociology; its description of the intimate relations between society and democracy is highly convincing. Finally, H. Alpheis's (1988) is commended as an excellent example of a contextual analysis using rational choice theory.
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