Cover of Clásicos Contemporáneos no.1. Presentation

John H. Goldthorpe presents in Madrid the first title in the new Clásicos Contemporáneos collection, published by the CIS

The presentation of the book "On sociology: numbers, narratives and integration of research and theory", held on 15 September in the head offices of the CEPC, was also attended by José María Maravall, Sociology Professor at the Universidad Complutense of Madrid, and Belén Barreiro, President of the CIS.

John. H. Goldthorpe, one of today's most important sociologists, has preesented the first title in the new Contemporary Classics collection edited by the CIS: "On sociology: numbers, narratives and integration of research and theory". The collection, published in conjunction with the BOE, proposes to take in works by the most prestigious contemporary sociologists and political experts. This first title analyses the difference between social classes and the inequalities in life's opportunities, in social mobility and in educational achievement.

The act began with some words from the CIS President, Belén Barreiro, who underlined that the body she presides contributes through the production of survey data and its publishing activity, to the development and consolidation of a scientific sociology, governed by the same standards of rigour and transparency that Goldthorpe defends in his book.

Then, José María Maravall emphasised that this title, which offers an excellent recompilation of the British author's main ideas, represents a true guide as to the meaning of doing good sociology and it gives basic arguments for understanding why inequalities exist in our society today.

For his part, John H. Goldthorpe, after commenting the wide-ranging uptake his work has had in different parts of the world, defended a kind of research comprising three fundamental stages. The first documents the empirical regularities of the phenomenon that is to be analysed. The second generates hypotheses from theory to try to identify the mechanisms to explain said regularities. The third puts said hypotheses to the test by data analysis. The author defended the theory of rational choice due to its explanatory power and he insisted that qualitative research should make its methodology explicit in the same way as quantitative research does. Lastly, the author congratulated the publishing house and the translator, Teresa Casado, for her work.

John H. Goldthorpe at one moment during the presentation of the new Contemporary Classics collection John H. Goldthorpe, Belén Barreiro and José Mª Maravall at the table of the presentation of the new Clásicos Contemporáneos collection The public at one moment of the presentation of the new Clásicos Contemporáneos collection

Interview with John H. Goldthorpe published by the Scientific Information and News Service - SINC

John H. Goldthorpe is an emeritus member of Nuffield College at Oxford University. He is also a member of the British Academy, the European Academy and a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Goldthorpe is one of the main scholars of the structure of social classes and social mobility in advanced societies, a field to which he has contributed with a number of now classic research projects. His class scheme is, possibly, the most influential instrument of analysis in contemporary empirical sociology, as it has enabled comparisons to be made of social structures in one same country over time and also between different countries, and to measure their effects on behaviour.

In the last few years, as well as continuing to undertake empirical research, he has actively participated in sociology's methodological debates, presenting a clear defence of his point of view on the direction of scientific progress in furthering knowledge of societies.

José María Maravall is professor of sociology at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Honorary Fellow of St. Antony's College at Oxford University, member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and also the British Academy. In 2007 he was awarded the National Sociology and Political Science Award by the CIS, of which he is currently a member of the Advisory Council. He is also a member of the Editorial Board of the Revista Española de Investigaciones Sociológicas (REIS), published by the CIS.

His numerous publications tackle a wide range of issues which include the comparative study of the functioning of democracies and their institutions.