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Provided by: Social Sciences Research Methods Programme

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Historical Sociological Methods


The aim of this course is to introduce students to comparative historical research methods and encourage them to engage with practical exercises, to distinguish between different approaches in comparative historical research methods in social sciences.

Through the reading and seminars students will learn how to distinguish between different texts, theorists and approaches and learn how to apply these approaches to their own research and writing.

Comparative historical sociology studies major social transformations over periods of time and across different states, societies, and regions.

Target audience
  • University Students from Tier 1 Departments
  • Further details regarding eligibility criteria are available here
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  • Moore, Barrington. 1966. Social Origins of Dictatorship. Boston: Beacon Press.
  • Mann, Michael. 1994. “In Praise of Macro-Sociology: A Reply to Goldthorpe,” British Journal of Sociology 45 (1): 37-54.
  • Skocpol, Theda (ed.). 1984. Vision and Division in Historical Sociology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Skocpol, Theda. 1987. “Social History and Historical Sociology.” Social Science History 11 (1): 17-30.
  • Abbott, Andrew. 1990. “Conceptions of Time and Events in Social Science Methods: Causal and Narrative Approaches,” Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History 23 (4): 140-50.
  • Abbott, Andrew. 2007. “Against Narrative: A Preface to Lyrical Sociology,” Sociological Theory 25 (1): 67-99.
  • Abbot, Andrew. 2016. Processual Sociology. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
  • Bennet, Andrew and Colin Elman. 2006. “Complex Causal Relations and Case Study Methods: The Example of Path Dependence,” Political Analysis 14: 250-297.
  • Calhoun, Craig. 1998. “Explanation in Historical Sociology: Narrative, General Theory, and Historically Specific Theory,” American Journal of Sociology 104(3): 846-71.
  • Mahoney, James. 2000. “Path dependence in historical sociology,” Theory and society 29(4): 507-548.
  • Mahoney, James and Dietrich Rueschemeyer (eds.) 2003. Comparative Historical Analysis in the Social Sciences. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Skocpol, Theda and Somers, Margaret. 1980. The uses of comparative history in macrosocial inquiry. Comparative studies in society and history, 22(2): 174-197.
Elements of Social Science Research

Events available