Scott 50

In genius studies, Scott 50 (Scott 50:#) refers to the 50 key sociologists (see: greatest sociologist ever) found in English sociologist John Scott’s 2007 multi-contributor treatise Fifty Key Sociologists: the Formative Theorists. [1]

The following is the methodology as to how the list came to be: [1]

“Any selection of key sociologists is bound to be contentious. Each person will make their own particular choices and will have their preferred criteria for choice. Ask fifty people to choose fifty key thinkers and you are likely to end up with fifty different lists — well, almost. From within the mainstream of sociology certain theorists will find their place in almost any list: Max Weber and Emile Durkheim, for example, are perhaps the strongest contenders for inclusion. Beyond this core of certain inclusions, however, matters become more complex. Many would agree with the inclusion of Georg Simmel and George Mead, together with earlier theorists such as Auguste Comte and Herbert Spencer — but how far beyond this core would most people be willing to go in counting someone as a 'key' contributor? The further we get from the core, the greater the disagreement that there will be.

My particular selection of key sociologists reflects my own interests and concerns: that is inevitable. I have, however, taken advice in order to ensure that my selection is as representative as possible. My initial selection of writers was referred to a panel of colleagues at Essex University, the leading Department of Sociology in Britain. Colleagues were asked to vote for those they felt should definitely be included and those they felt should be excluded. They were also asked to identify any further writers whom they felt warranted inclusion in the book. A revised list was produced from these suggestions and this was then, in its turn, sent around the panel for further consideration. Finally, the overall list was divided into two lists — of ‘formative’ and ‘contemporary’ writers — and each list was trimmed down to the essential fifty thinkers that it seemed reasonable to include in the definitive list.”


The following is the listing of the Scott 50: [1]

1. Jane Addams
2. Theodor Adorno
3. Charles Booth
4. Helen Bosanquet
5. Auguste Comte
6. Charles Cooley
7. Oliver Cox
8. William DuBois
9. Emile Durkheim
10. Edward Evans-Pritchard
11. Sigmund Freud
12. Antonio Gramsci
13. Ludwig Gumplowicz
14. Maurice Halbwachs
15. Leonard Hobbouse
16. Frederic le Play
17. Gyorgy Lukacs
18. Bronislaw Malinowski
19. Karl Mannheim
20. Herbert Marcuse
21. T.H. Marshall
22. Harriet Martineau
23. Karl Marx
24. Marcel Mauss
25. George Mead
26. Lewis Morgan
27. Gaetano Mosca
28. Gunnar Myrdal
29. Vilfredo Pareto
30. Alfred Radcliff-Brown
31. Seebohm Rowntree
32. Ferdinand de Saussure
33. Max Scheler
34. Alfred Schutz
35. Georg Simmel
36. Albion Small
37. Werner Sombart
38. Pitirim Sorokin
39. Herbert Spencer
40. William Sumner
41. Gabriel Tarde
42. Alexis de Tocqueville
43. Ferdinand Tonnies
44. Edward Tylor
45. Thorstein Veblen
46. Lester Ward
47. Lloyd Warner
48. Beatrice Webb
49. Max Weber
50. Florian Znaniecki


1. Scott, John. (2007). Fifty Key Sociologists: the Formative Theorists (methodology, pg. #). Routledge.

TDics icon ns

More pages