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Historical Sociology

  Historical sociology means a merging of the two disciplines of sociology and history in terms of their interests and methods of study.

Historical sociology can be used in a general sense to refer to any sociology focused particularly on the study of past societies or using historical sources. More specifically the term is used to refer to a certain form of comparative sociology, which focuses on historical societies and the order and change within these societies. Historical sociology in this second sense fell out of favour for some time, though more recently interest has been rekindled.

There is a sense in which all general theories of social change are historical sociologies. This has led some sociologists, for example P. Abrams, to assert that historical sociology forms the core of traditional sociology, and that its importance should be reaffirmed in modern sociological thought. Abrams argues that history is at the heart of sociology because sociology is expressly concerned with the transition to industrialism as a specific historical process; concerned with the life-histories of individuals in social contexts; and concerned with the relationship between human action and social structure as an empirical issue in world history. DA

See also bourgeoisie; evolutionism; globalization; Marxism; theories of modernity.Further reading P. Abrams, Historical Sociology; , Fernand Braudel, On History.



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