There are several ways of approaching Robert K. Merton’s impor tant contribution to sociological ambivalence. One way would be to examine the analytical concept of sociological ambivalence with refer ence to its internal coherence, its relation to other related concepts, and its theoretical implications. Pierpaolo Donati has chosen to pursue this approach. Another way would be to compare Merton’s approach to the analysis of sociological ambivalence with the approaches found in the classical works of sociology, particularly in Simmel. It seems particularly appropriate to adopt this approach as Merton developed the concept of ambivalence after reexamining the work of Georg Simmel (Levine 1978: 1278). But it might be assumed that neither Simmel nor Merton would approve of such a personalized way of discussing sociological concepts. Yet another way of approaching the concept of sociological ambivalence would be to investigate the countercultural impact of Merton’s insistence on the social importance of dualism, contradictions, and paradoxes for American sociology. This question has already been dealt with by other scholars. Donald N.
Levine’s The Flight from Ambiguity (1986) is one prominent example. However, that debate is best left to American sociologists.