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This volume is a provisional account of the origins and subsequent work of the Bureau of Sociological Research (BOSR) at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln (UNL). This study was prepared at the request of Julia McQuillan, Chair of the UNL Department of Sociology and a past BOSR Director, for the 50th anniversary celebration of the Bureau in April 2014.

This study falls within the field known generally as “the sociology of sociology” and this accounts for the devising of a typology of sociologies that delineates the intellectual field of play historically occupied by the Bureau of Sociological Research at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

Harriet Martineau advised, “The grand secret of wise inquiry . . . is to begin with the study of THINGS, using the DISCOURSE OF PERSONS as a commentary upon them.” Thus, the present investigation is based almost entirely on documentary sources (die Quellen) — and these are often frustratingly fragmentary. As much as possible, the author has tried to avoid the difficulties that not infrequently confront writers of organizational histories, especially in cases where many of the central protagonists are still living.

The Bureau of Sociological Research, established in 1964, was founded as a formal organization within the Department of Sociology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. It is part of a departmental heritage that is now more than a century long. Directors of the Bureau have included Herman Turk, Alan Booth, David R. Johnson, Hugh P. Whitt, Lynn K. White, Helen A. Moore, D. Wayne Osgood, Laura A. Sanchez, Dan R. Hoyt, Julia Mcquillan, Philip Schwadel, and Jolene D. Smyth.


ISBN 978-1-60962-092-9 ebook

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Zea Books


Lincoln, Nebraska


sociology, Nebraska, social science, sociology of sociologies, Lincoln, University of Nebraska


Educational Sociology | Other Sociology | Quantitative, Qualitative, Comparative, and Historical Methodologies | Regional Sociology | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Statistics | Sociology


Copyright © 2016 Michael R. Hill

The Bureau of Sociological Research at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln: A Brief History 1964–2014