Lipset, Seymour Martin

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LIPSET, SEYMOUR MARTIN (1922– ), U.S. sociologist. Born in New York City, Lipset taught at Columbia University, the University of Toronto, and at Berkeley, California, before becoming professor in the department of social relations at Harvard University. He served as the Caroline S.G. Munro Professor of Political Science and Sociology at Stanford University (1975–90) and the George D. Markham Professor of Government and Sociology at Harvard (1965–75). He then became Hazel Professor of Public Policy at the Institute of Public Policy, George Mason University, and senior fellow at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University. He was also a senior scholar at the Progressive Policy Institute and the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars.

Lipset is one of the foremost representatives of political sociology in the United States. He combines a "middle range" theoretical orientation with verification in research. In his major work, Union Democracy (with M.A. Trow and J.S. Coleman, 1956), he provides a negative proof for Roberto Michels' contention that large-scale organizational structures make bureaucratic procedures inevitable: this rule does not apply to the American Typographical Union, which Lipset investigated, because of its relatively small size and the high educational standards of its members.

Lipset was president of the American Professors for Peace in the Middle East; chair of the National B'nai B'rith Hillel Commission and the Faculty Advisory Cabinet of the United Jewish Appeal; and co-chair of the Executive Committee of the International Center for Peace in the Middle East. He is the only person to have been president of both the American Political Science Association (1979–80) and the American Sociological Association (1992–93). He was a director of the U.S. Institute of Peace and was a member of the Board of Foreign Scholarships, both presidential appointments. Lipset received the Leon Epstein Prize in Comparative Politics by the American Political Science Association; the Marshall Sklare Award for distinction in Jewish studies; and the Helen Dinnerman Prize by the World Association for Public Opinion Research.

Other important publications of Lipset's, apart from numerous scholarly papers, are Agrarian Socialism (1950, 19682), Class, Status and Power (edited with R. Bendix, 1953, 19662), Social Mobility in Industrial Society (with R. Bendix, 1959), Political Man (1960), The First New Nation (1963), Berkeley Student Revolt (1965), The Left, the Jews and Israel (1969), The Politics of Unreason (with E. Raab, 1973), The Confidence Gap (1983), Continental Divide (1990), Jews and the New American Scene (with E. Raab, 1995), American Exceptionalism (1997), and It Didn't Happen Here (with M. Gary, 2001). He edited Sociology and History: Methods (with R. Hofstadter, 1968).

[Werner J. Cahnman /

Ruth Beloff (2nd ed.)]

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Lipset, Seymour Martin

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