Some preliminary research guidelines for a systematic comparison of French & American sociology are proffered. American sociology is argued to be more structured than French sociology, with career paths more institutionally defined & more consensus on the profits of professional investments & the ranking of departments & journals. Further, in American sociology, a stronger control is exercised over the norms of production & over professional behavior, owing largely to more substantial research & institutional resources. In terms of formal training, the research in France is conducted mainly in research laboratories, not in graduate departments, as in the US. The hegemony of quantitative sociology in the US is due to the values of populism, anti-intellectualism, & pragmatism, while the dominance of metatheory in French sociology is fostered by the status of French intellectuals. Whereas American sociology is almost exclusively empirically grounded, the historical attraction of individuals from many different fields to sociology in France has caused it to favor nonempirically based research & the hegemony of theory as research activity.
Special 20th anniversary issue on "Intellectual, Political, and Cultural relationships Between France and the United States over the Last Twenty Years."