Vision and Method in Historical Sociology

Front Cover
Some of the most important questions of the social sciences in the twentieth century have been posed by scholars working at the intersections of social theory and history viewed on a grand scale. The core essays of this book focus on the careers and contributions of nine of these scholars: Marc Bloch, Karl Polanyi, S. N. Eisenstadt, Reinhard Bendix, Perry Anderson, E. P. Thompson, Charles Tilly, Immanuel Wallerstein, and Barrington Moore, Jr. The essays convey a vivid sense of the vision and values each of these major scholars brings (or bought) to his work and analyze and evaluate the research designs and methods each used in his most important works. The introduction and conclusion discuss the long-running tradition of historically grounded research in sociology, while the conclusion also provides a detailed discussion and comparison of three recurrent strategies for bringing historical evidence and theoretical ideas to bear upon one another. informative, thought-provoking, and unusually practical, the book offers fascinating and relevant reading to sociologists, social historians, historically oriented political economists, and anthropologists - and, indeed, to anyone who wants to learn more about the ideas and methods of some of the best-known scholars in the modern social sciences.
 

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Contents

Sociologys Historical Imagination
1
The Social and Historical Landscape of Marc Bloch
22
Theoretical Generalization and Historical Particularity
129
Understanding the Process of History
211
Charles Tillys Collective Action
244
vii
308
Emerging Agendas and Recurrent Strategies
356
An Annotated Bibliography
392
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About the author (1984)

Theda Skocpol is professor of government and sociology at Harvard University and the author of Boomerang: Health Care Reform and the Turn Against Government.

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