Back Issue Volume 16 | Nos 2-3 
Is Social Science Hopeless?

Introduction: What Can Social Science Do | Jeffrey Friedman

Proceedings of the Boston University Conference on the State of the Social Sciences

Opening Remarks
Session I: The Record of the Social Sciences
Session II: The Actual Preoccupations of the Social Sciences
Session III: The Political Leanings of the Social Sciences
Session IV: The Influence of the Social Sciences
Session V: The Nature of Science
Session VI: Are the Social Sciences in Need of Reform?
Session VII: A New Paradigm for the Social Sciences?

Essay: Class, Consciousness, and the Fall of the Bourgeois Revolution | David A. Bell

Abstract: The Marxian vulgate, which long dominated the historiography of the French Revolution, and which was broadly accepted in the social sciences, is no longer sustainable. But newer attempts to frame the issue of class in entirely linguistic terms, producing the claim that France had no bourgeoisie because few people explicitly described themselves as "bourgeois," are not entirely convincing. The Revolution brought into being, and helped to sustain, a new social group: the "state bourgeoisie," which defined itself by its education and by state service, and which was socially cohesive and exclusive. Thus, the Revolution can be seen as "bourgeois" not in the sense of having been caused by a rising bourgeoisie, but in the sense that it caused one to rise.