Hobhouse, Leonard Trelawney

An early British sociologist and social philosopher, author of a multi-volumed evolutionary treatise on the Principles of Sociology (1921-4), and a number of other comparative studies of societies. By comparison with (say) Max Weber, his German contemporary, Hobhouse's work (almost as broad-ranging in scope) seems dated and naïve, although his The Elements of Social Justice (1922) contains a stimulating discussion of the relationship between individual freedoms and an economically regulating state. John E. Owen's excellent biography (, Sociologist, 1974) disputes this rather negative overall assessment of Hobhouse's achievements and attempts heroically to rescue him from comparative obscurity as a classic founder of the discipline.

Dictionary of sociology. 2013.

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