Sociology Index

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 change. Historical sociology is deeply divided between explanatory sociological approaches and more empirical evidence approaches. Modernization Theory approaches, late Marxist approaches, historical geography, institutional approaches, cultural history, intellectual history, postcolonial and genealogical approaches. 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 Journals

The Journal of Historical Sociology. - Edited by a distinguished international panel of historians, anthropologists, geographers and sociologists, the Journal of Historical Sociology is both interdisciplinary in approach and innovative in content.

Journal of Political Ecology: Case Studies in History and Society - On-line content, with articles and book reviews on anthropology, environment, and place. 

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, Vol. 20, No. 4. (1992)
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 - Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association
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
Department of Politics, Goldsmiths College, University of London,
International Politics (2007) 44, 343–368.
Abstract: Over the last 20 years, historical sociology has become an increasingly conspicuous part of the broader field of International Relations (IR) theory, with advocates making a series of interventions in subjects as diverse as the origins and varieties of international systems over time and place, to work on the co-constitutive relationship between the international realm and state–society relations in the processes of radical change. 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
by: Edgar Kiser, Michael Hechter
The American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 104, No. 3. (1998), pp. 785-816.
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 - International Politics (2007) 44, 390–413.
International Center for Business and Politics, Copenhagen Business School
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 - Review of International Studies (2001), 27:2:273-280 Cambridge University Press
Copyright 2001 British International Studies Association
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
Article from:Social Forces Article date:December 1, 2004
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 - Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State & Society, Volume 5, Number 1, pp. 17-37
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. But the author concludes that a "feminist revolution" still has not taken place. 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
by J. A. Banks. 1989 The London School of Economics and Political Science.
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
Journal article by Larry W. Isaac - Historical Methods, Vol. 30, 1997
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, University of Edinburgh - School of Social and Political Studies
Yuval Millo, London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Accounting Department
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.

Books On Historical Sociology

Handbook of Historical Sociology. Gerard Delanty (Editor), Engin F Isin (Editor).

Vision and Method in Historical Sociology Book by Theda Skocpol (Editor)

Max Weber's Comparative-Historical Sociology Book by Stephen Kalberg

Critical and Effective Histories: Foucault's Methods and Historical Sociology. Mitchell Dean.

Introduction to Cultural Historical Sociology (Mellen Studies in Sociology) Robert Peter Siemens.

Bread and Circuses: Historical Sociology and Political Pluralism - by Paul Veyne, Brian Pearce

Historical Sociology (International Library of Sociology) (Hardcover) Routledge

Colonialism and Resistance in Belize: Essays in Historical Sociology Book by O. Nigel Bolland

The Rise of Historical Sociology Book by Dennis Smith

Natural Hierarchies: The Historical Sociology of Race and Class Book by Chris Smaje

The Rational Choice Controversy in Historical Sociology Book by Roger V. Gould

Credential Society: A Historical Sociology of Education and Stratification by Randall Collins

Reflexive Historical Sociology (Routledge Studies in Social and Political Thought, 22)
Book by Arpad Szakolczai

Historical Sociology of International Relations Book by Stephen Hobden, John M. Hobson (Editors)

Inventing Accuracy: A Historical Sociology of Nuclear Missile Guidance (Inside Technology) Book by Donald MacKenzie

Family Life and Illicit Love in Earlier Generations : Essays in Historical Sociology
Book by Peter Laslett.