cil committee on Basic Research in the Behavioral and Social
Sciences (1981–88), which produced three major reports on the
present, past, and future of the behavioral and social sciences.
This involved frequent travel to Washington, D.C. These years
of institution management and service to the profession were
not without their gratifi cations, but as time passed I became
progressively more impatient with the slowdown in my research.
In particular, I was very anxious about my lack of progress on
a major monograph on the history of working-classeducation
1981, 1984, 1988b, 1991b, 1995); I had organized and edited a general
handbook of sociology (Smelser 1988a); I had coedited and written
288 s o m e r e c e n t r e f l e c t i o n s
theoretical essays for all three of the German-American theory projects;
and I had completed essays on a variety of other subjects. None of these
were full scholarly realizations in my mind, however, and I increasingly got
the feeling that I was involved in too many distracting activities. Worst of
all, my work on British working-classeducation lay fallow, inching for-
Smelser, Neil J.
1959 Social Change in the Industrial Revolution: An Application of Theory to the Lan-
cashire Cotton Industry, 1770 – 1840. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
1962 Theory of Collective Behavior. New york: free Press.
1969 The optimum Scope of Sociology. in A Design for Sociology: Scope, Objectives,
and Methods, ed. Robert Bierstedt. Philadelphia: american academy of Political
and Social Science, 1 – 21.
1976 Comparative Methods in the Social Sciences. englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
1991 Social Paralysis and Social Change: British Working-Class