Comparative-Historical Sociology - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Sociology

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Comparative-Historical Sociology

Explicit analytic attention to time and space as the context, cause, or outcome of fundamental social processes distinguishes comparative-historical analysis from other forms of social research. Historical processes occurring in or across geographic, political, or economic units (e.g., regions, nation-states, multi-state alliances, or entire world systems) are systematically compared for the purposes of more generally understanding patterns of social stability and social change (Abrams 1982; Skocpol 1984a; Tilly 1984; Mahoney 1999). Three very different and influential studies illustrate both the kinds of questions comparative-historical sociolgists address and the approaches they use.

First is the classic study by Reinhard Bendix ([1956] 1974) on work and authority in industry. Bendix initially observed that all industrial societies must authoritatively coordinate productive activities. Yet by systematically comparing how this was done in four countries during particular historical periods—pre-1917 Russia, post-World War II East Germany, and England and United States during epochs of...

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This section contains 6,022 words
(approx. 21 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Comparative-Historical Sociology Encyclopedia Article
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Comparative-Historical Sociology from Encyclopedia of Sociology. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.