Logics of History

Author: William H. Sewell Jr.
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226749198
Format: PDF, Docs
Download Now
While social scientists and historians have been exchanging ideas for a long time, they have never developed a proper dialogue about social theory. William H. Sewell Jr. observes that on questions of theory the communication has been mostly one way: from social science to history. Logics of History argues that both history and the social sciences have something crucial to offer each other. While historians do not think of themselves as theorists, they know something social scientists do not: how to think about the temporalities of social life. On the other hand, while social scientists’ treatments of temporality are usually clumsy, their theoretical sophistication and penchant for structural accounts of social life could offer much to historians. Renowned for his work at the crossroads of history, sociology, political science, and anthropology, Sewell argues that only by combining a more sophisticated understanding of historical time with a concern for larger theoretical questions can a satisfying social theory emerge. In Logics of History, he reveals the shape such an engagement could take, some of the topics it could illuminate, and how it might affect both sides of the disciplinary divide.

Work and Revolution in France

Author: William Hamilton Sewell
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521299510
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
Download Now
Sewell synthesizes the material on the social history of the French labor movement from its formative period to the first half of the 19th century. Centers on the Revolutions of 1789, 1830 and 1848.

Time Matters

Author: Andrew Abbott
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226001029
Format: PDF, Mobi
Download Now
What do variables really tell us? When exactly do inventions occur? Why do we always miss turning points as they transpire? When does what doesn't happen mean as much, if not more, than what does? Andrew Abbott considers these fascinating questions in Time Matters, a diverse series of essays that constitutes the most extensive analysis of temporality in social science today. Ranging from abstract theoretical reflection to pointed methodological critique, Abbott demonstrates the inevitably theoretical character of any methodology. Time Matters focuses particularly on questions of time, events, and causality. Abbott grounds each essay in straightforward examinations of actual social scientific analyses. Throughout, he demonstrates the crucial assumptions we make about causes and events, about actors and interaction and about time and meaning every time we employ methods of social analysis, whether in academic disciplines, market research, public opinion polling, or even evaluation research. Turning current assumptions on their heads, Abbott not only outlines the theoretical orthodoxies of empirical social science, he sketches new alternatives, laying down foundations for a new body of social theory.

New Contributions to the Philosophy of History

Author: Daniel Little
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9789048194100
Format: PDF, Mobi
Download Now
Insights developed in the past two decades by philosophers of the social sciences can serve to enrich the challenging intellectual tasks of conceptualizing, investigating, and representing the human past. Likewise, intimate engagement with the writings of historians can deepen philosophers’ understanding of the task of knowing the past. This volume brings these perspectives together and considers fundamental questions, such as: What is historical causation? What is a large historical structure? How can we best conceptualize “mentalities” and “identities”? What is involved in understanding the subjectivity of historical actors? What is involved in arriving at an economic history of a large region? How are actions and outcomes related? The arguments touch upon a wide range of historical topics -- the Chinese and French Revolutions, the extension of railroads in the nineteenth century, and the development of agriculture in medieval China.

Eventful Archaeologies

Author: Douglas J. Bolender
Publisher: SUNY Press
ISBN: 1438434243
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
Download Now
The potential of events for interpreting changes in the archaeological record.

Interpretation and Social Knowledge

Author: Isaac Ariail Reed
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226706729
Format: PDF, Docs
Download Now
For the past fifty years anxiety over naturalism has driven debates in social theory. One side sees social science as another kind of natural science, while the other rejects the possibility of objective and explanatory knowledge. Interpretation and Social Knowledge suggests a different route, offering a way forward for an antinaturalist sociology that overcomes the opposition between interpretation and explanation and uses theory to build concrete, historically specific causal explanations of social phenomena.

Colonialism in Question

Author: Frederick Cooper
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520244141
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
Download Now
"Probably the most important historian of Africa currently writing in the English language. His intellectual reach and ambition have even taken influence far beyond African studies as such, and he has become one of the major voices contributing to debates over empire, colonialism and their aftermaths. This book is a call to reinvigorate the critical way in which history can be written. Cooper takes on many of the standard beliefs passing as postcolonial theory and breathes fresh air onto them."—Michael Watts, Director of the Institute of International Studies, Berkeley "This is a very much needed book: on Africa, on intellectual artisanship and on engagement in emancipatory projects. Drawing on his enormous erudition in colonial history, Cooper brings together an intellectual and a moral-political argument against a series of linked developments that privilege 'taking a stance' and in favor of studying processes of struggle through engaged scholarship."—Jane I. Guyer, author of Marginal Gains

Understanding Family Change and Variation

Author: Jennifer A. Johnson-Hanks
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9789400719453
Format: PDF, Kindle
Download Now
Fertility rates vary considerably across and within societies, and over time. Over the last three decades, social demographers have made remarkable progress in documenting these axes of variation, but theoretical models to explain family change and variation have lagged behind. At the same time, our sister disciplines—from cultural anthropology to social psychology to cognitive science and beyond—have made dramatic strides in understanding how social action works, and how bodies, brains, cultural contexts, and structural conditions are coordinated in that process. Understanding Family Change and Variation: Toward a Theory of Conjunctural Action argues that social demography must be reintegrated into the core of theory and research about the processes and mechanisms of social action, and proposes a framework through which that reintegration can occur. This framework posits that material and schematic structures profoundly shape the occurrence, frequency, and context of the vital events that constitute the object of social demography. Fertility and family behaviors are best understood as a function not just of individual traits, but of the structured contexts in which behavior occurs. This approach upends many assumptions in social demography, encouraging demographers to embrace the endogeneity of social life and to move beyond fruitless debates of structure versus culture, of agency versus structure, or of biology versus society.

The Politics of Dialogic Imagination

Author: Katsuya Hirano
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022606073X
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
Download Now
In The Politics of Dialogic Imagination, Katsuya Hirano seeks to understand why, with its seemingly unrivaled power, the Tokugawa shogunate of early modern Japan tried so hard to regulate the ostensibly unimportant popular culture of Edo (present-day Tokyo)—including fashion, leisure activities, prints, and theater. He does so by examining the works of writers and artists who depicted and celebrated the culture of play and pleasure associated with Edo’s street entertainers, vagrants, actors, and prostitutes, whom Tokugawa authorities condemned to be detrimental to public mores, social order, and political economy. Hirano uncovers a logic of politics within Edo’s cultural works that was extremely potent in exposing contradictions between the formal structure of the Tokugawa world and its rapidly changing realities. He goes on to look at the effects of this logic, examining policies enacted during the next era—the Meiji period—that mark a drastic reconfiguration of power and a new politics toward ordinary people under modernizing Japan. Deftly navigating Japan’s history and culture, The Politics of Dialogic Imaginationprovides a sophisticated account of a country in the process of radical transformation—and of the intensely creative culture that came out of it.