Bulmer and the Historical Sensibility

Document Type


Publication Date



Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial, history of sociology, Chicago School of Sociology, Robert E. Park, philanthropy, Beardsley Ruml

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)



Martin Bulmer made distinguished and groundbreaking contributions to the history of sociology, particularly in his classic study of the Chicago School, which spanned the era of personal memory and archival history. His work particularly emphasized empirical research, which led him to problems relating to the Laura Spelman Rockefeller fund and its leader, Beardsley Ruml, as well as to the problematic of the relation of sociology to the social survey movement. His work on funding led to the “Fisher-Bulmer” debate, over the aims of the fund, which Bulmer regarded as primarily scientific and concerned with the improvement of research, rather than political. In later years the idea of history of sociology as reparations for the neglect or exclusion of women and minority scholars was a source of controversy, which Bulmer responded to with a defence of traditional historiographic values.

Was this content written or created while at USF?


Citation / Publisher Attribution

Ethnic and Racial Studies, v. 45, issue 5, p. 1415-1425