Sociology Index

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Historical Sociology

The resurgence of historical sociology has been one of the most important developments in contemporary sociology and history after a setback due to Fascism and Stalinism. What are the main routes of development of historical sociology? - Karl Marx, Max Weber, Evolutionary Psychology, Functionalist Explanation. Historical Sociology studies the past to find out how societies work and how societies change. Historical sociology is deeply divided between explanatory sociological approaches and more empirical evidence approaches, like modernization theory approaches, late Marxist approaches, and historical geography. Historical sociology has become an increasingly conspicuous part of the broader field of International Relations theory. Themes in historical sociology from state formation, nationalism, social movements, social classes, patriarchy, architectural sociology, sociology of religion and moral regulation. Between sociologists and historians there has existed since the first inception of sociological ideas a sharp difference which grows out of two different sources, a psychological and a scientifico-logical.

Historical Sociology Abstracts

Have Historical Sociologists Forsaken Theory?
Thoughts on the History/Theory Relationship - JILL QUADAGNO, STAN J. KNAPP, Florida State University - Sociological Methods & Research.
With the re-emergence of historical sociology as a dominant focus of inquiry has come a renewed interest in more general methodological, theoretical, and epistemological issues that have long occupied debates about the relationship between history and theory. The authors argue that these conclusions are based on a narrow definition of the enterprise of historical sociology and on an attempt to confine the definition of theory to general laws. In this article, they first demonstrate that historical sociologists have not forsaken theory.

Historical Sociology and Time - RONALD AMINZADE, University of Minnesota
Sociological Methods & Research, Vol. 20, No. 4, 456-480 (1992).
Historical sociologists have criticized their discipline for a tendency to ignore the temporal dimensions of social life, either by studying the correlates of outcomes rather than the character of temporally connected events or by treating events as surface manifestations of large-scale and long-term processes of change.

The Fourth Wave in Historical Sociology: Lessons From and For International Relations
Lawson, George - Presented at the annual meeting of the ISA's 49th ANNUAL CONVENTION.
Abstract: In his groundbreaking study of historical sociology, Dennis Smith argued that there had been three waves of post-war historical sociology, each of which had emerged out of the challenges of a particular historical conjuncture. It is therefore little surprise that the post-Cold War world has seen the emergence of a renewed and re-emboldened historical sociology, both within and beyond IR.

Time-Sensitivity in Comparative-Historical Sociology: Temporality and the Techniques of the Late “Second Wave” -Villegas, Celso. Abstract: As comparative-historical sociology moves towards a “Third Wave,” there are implicit tensions between a more formalized comparative historical sociology, based on “big questions” and an explicitly critical comparative historical sociology that focuses on rethinking what were once “given” concepts like race, class, gender, group, etc.

Historical Sociology in International Relations: Open Society, Research Programme and Vocation - George Lawsona. Abstract: This article sets out an identifiable set of assumptions and precepts for Historical Sociology in International Relations based on deep ontological realism, epistemological relationism, a methodological free range, and an overt normative engagement with the events and processes that make up contemporary world politics. As such, Historical Sociology in International Relations can be seen as operating as an open society, a research programme and a vocation.

The Debate on Historical Sociology: Rational Choice Theory and Its Critics - Edgar Kiser, Michael Hechter. Abstract: In the past two decades, many sociologists have denied the usefulness of general theories in favor of more particularistic approaches to historical explanation, which makes it difficult to specify both the causal relations and the causal mechanisms that account for social outcomes.

Why Political Economy Needs Historical Sociology - Leonard Seabrookea. Abstract: Much of the literature in political economy seeks to capture an essential insight into the evolution of political and economic systems to provide a foundation for policy advice. Historical sociology provides a way to generate information about the complexities that make events unique, as 'contextual constellations', through two 'tonics': intentional rationality and social mechanisms. With the assistance of these tonics, historical sociology widens political economy's policy imagination.

Which historical sociology? A Response to Stephen Hobden's 'Theorising the International System' - DANIEL NEXON. Abstract: In a recent article in the Review of International Studies, Stephen Hobden does a great service by initiating a critical evaluation of the potential for historical sociology in international relations theory.

Revisiting general theory in historical sociology - The role of general theory in the field of historical sociology has been the subject of a long and heated debate.

Romancing the Field: The Marriage of Feminism and Historical Sociology - AVA BARON. This essay explores the diverse ways that the relationship between feminism and historical sociology has been represented. The author notes some of the ways historical sociology has changed over the past few decades and the ways some researchers have incorporated gender into their analyses. The relationship of feminism and historical sociology raises the broader question of whether feminism should be integrated into traditional disciplinary approaches or whether such integration threatens the basis for feminist critical inquiry.

From Universal History to Historical Sociology - J. A. Banks. Abstract: The first two professors of sociology in England thought their major research task to be to examine the writings of historians, anthropologists and others in order to write comparative and evolutionary histories of mankind. Historical sociology nevertheless languished until the impact of second-wave feminism, with its emphasis on women having been hidden from history, gave it an impetus which promises much in the future.

Transforming Localities Reflections on Time, Causality and Narrative In Contemporary Historical Sociology - Larry W. Isaac. In the Call for papers for this thematic issue of Historical Methods, I solicited empirical contributions that demonstrate the theoretical and methodological diversity, novelty, utility, and aesthetic that historical sociologists have brought to a wide variety of substantive areas.

Negotiating a Market, Performing Theory: The Historical Sociology of a Financial Derivatives Exchange - Donald MacKenzie. Yuval Millo. Abstract: This analysis of the origins and development of a key financial derivatives market, the Chicago Board Options Exchange, suggests that social interaction in such markets generates trust, permits solution of collective action problems, and affects pricing.

HISTORY AND SOCIOLOGY - by Franz Oppenheimer - in: William Fielding Ogburn, Alexander Goldenweiser, The Social Sciences and their Interrelations, Cambridge 1927.