Franklin Henry Giddings

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Franklin Henry Giddings, Ph.D., LL.D. (March 23, 1855 – June 11, 1931) was an American sociologist and economist, born at Sherman, Connecticut. He graduated from Union College (1877). For ten years, he wrote items for the Springfield, Massachusetts Republican and the Daily Union. In 1888 he was appointed lecturer in political science at Bryn Mawr College; in 1894 he became professor of sociology at Columbia University. From 1892 to 1905 he was a vice president of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.

His most significant contribution is the concept of the consciousness of kind, which is a state of mind whereby one conscious being recognizes another as being of like mind. All human motives organize themselves around consciousness of kind as a determining principle. Association leads to conflict which leads to consciousness of kind through communication, imitation, toleration, co-operation, and alliance. Eventually the group achieves a self-consciousness of its own (as opposed to individual self-consciousness) from which traditions and social values can arise.

Among his writings are:

  • The Modern Distributive Process (in collaboration with J. B. Clark, 1888)
  • The Theory of Sociology (1894)
  • Principles of Sociology (1896)
  • The Theory of Socialization (1897)
  • Elements of Sociology (1898)
  • Democracy and Empire (1900)
  • Inductive Sociology (1901)
  • Descriptive and Historical Sociology (1906)

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Preceded by
William Graham Sumner
President of the American Sociological Association
1910–1911
Succeeded by
Albion Woodbury Small