After World War II a rapid development of sociology occurred in the Scandinavian countries, Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. By combining national intellectual traditions with different specialities in American sociology some clearly distinctive features developed within the sociology in the four countries. The student revolt at the end of the 1960s and its aftermath had substantial effects on the development of Scandinavian sociology. The dependence on American sociology weakened considerably although it did not totally disappear. Another effect was that the differences among the sociologies of the Scandinavian countries began to disappear. Rather than national sociologies there are now various orientations and code systems more or less shared by different groups in all Scandinavian countries. Sociology has become much more pluralistic, but in the process there is also an increased fragmentation and a loss of unity among the sociologists.

In the Scandinavian countries there are studies of good quality in many fields of sociology. By using international reputation, and the impact on other domains of sociology as the two main criteria, four fields are singled out as particularly interesting. These fields are studies of welfare and the welfare state, comparative studies of social stratification and political sociology, women's studies, and cultural sociology.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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