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Methods in Comparative and Historical Sociology

2020/2021
Учебный год
ENG
Обучение ведется на английском языке
5
Кредиты
Статус:
Курс по выбору
Когда читается:
1-й курс, 3 модуль

Преподаватель

Course Syllabus

Abstract

Comparative and historical sociology (CHS) tries to give causal explanation to historical outcomes. CHS employs comparative method, social scientific theories and concepts, traces large-scale trajectories and transformations and long-term historical processes for offering more holistic understanding of the origins of our times. Comparative historical methods examines historical events in order to create explanations that are valid beyond a particular time and place, either by direct comparison to other historical events, theory building or with reference to the present day. CHS is highly interdisciplinary in nature. Using readings drawn from disciplines such as sociology, history, geography, anthropology, institutional economics and political science, this course discusses the methods of comparative and historical sociology – mainly qualitative aspects and, to some extent, mixed methods. There can be no method without a theoretical base, and CHS is particularly theory-intensive and places emphasis on theory-laden narratives. These narratives include cases such as changing dynamics of state–society relations, revolutions, and other kinds of macro-transformations. Based on research and cases from western and non-western worlds and perspectives, this course covers the range of methodological and geographical aspects of comparative and diachronic studies of societies. In doing that, the course discusses various kinds of research designs, techniques, reasoning, issues of causality and methodological approaches such as single and small-N case studies, process tracing, necessary and sufficient conditions, and contingency-path dependency, which are used in CHS.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • To study contemporary texts on CHS
  • To study the methods in CHS
  • To acquire updated knowledge on CHS theories and methods
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Learn fundamentals of comparative and historical research and case study method in qualitative sociology.
  • Develop methodological, conceptual, and analytical capabilities required for undertaking Small N case study analysis i.e. comparing 2-9 cases qualitatively.
  • Develop basic understanding of negative cases, deviant cases, outlier cases, and learn how to do counterfactual case analysis in qualitative CHS.
  • Develop capacity to analyse single cases (exceptional, deviant or normal) and conceptualise single case research designs, and draw inferences.
  • Learn basic aspects of causality in positivism, realism, and critical realism, and learn how the notion of constitutivity is different from causality and can be used in interpretive analysis of social change.
  • Develop methodological, conceptual, and analytical capabilities required to apply process tracing and causal mechanism research design, mostly in single-N case analysis, and draw inferences.
  • Learn why temporality is a crucial dimension of CHS analysis, and how to theorise interconnected spatio-temporal dimensions of social processes through periodization.
  • Learn why 'evenemential temporality' (as opposed to teleological and experimental temporality) is a crucial research design that can radically rethink events, orders, sequence, and timing in CHS, and learn the techniques of contingency-path dependency model of CHS analysis.
  • Learn how the ethnographic method can be applied across large scale time and space, through the qualitative technique of extended case study method in CHS.
  • The students will learn about the impotnace of theory in CHS, to identify historical and sociological sources and evidences that can be succesfully used in CHS research and then how to use these sources to theorise and compare large scale social processes.
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Basics of CHS and Case Study Methods
    This lecture gives an overview of fundamental aspects of comparative and historical methods used in sociology (CHS). It gives a general view of case study method and comparative framing of cases.
  • Small N Comparative Analysis
    This lecture is about how to compare small number of cases and draw significant inferences from these, and methodologically defend the findings.
  • Negative Cases and Counterfactuals
    This lecture is about how negative,deviant, exceptional and outlier cases are crucial for framing small-N CHS methodological framework, and how to construct/frame a counterfactual analysis along with case study method to draw inferences, with the help a strong theoretical framework.
  • Single N Cases
    This lecture is about how infer from a single cases study, and from those cases which do not fit a theory/model and hence is regarded as exceptional cases.
  • Causality and Constitutivity
    There is a direct relation between cause and effect in deterministic and positivist explanations, this lecture explains how causality has different meanings in objective, subjective and historical realms, and how objects/subjects in historical pathways are ‘constituted’ through subjective agencies.
  • Process Tracing of Causal Mechanisms
    This lecture is about how causal processes operate in the socio-historical realm and how they can be traced through process tracing, and how causal mechanisms can be further hypothesized and conceptualized.
  • Temporality and Periodization
    This lecture is about why temporality is one of the most crucial dimensions of CHS, and how to classify temporal dimensions by periodizing events and processes in different phases and according to various conceptual schemas to draw inferences.
  • Path Dependency and Contingency
    This lecture is about how history matters and has enduring influence on a particular path that has been chosen over other paths, and the way it influences discourses, institutions,organisations, and individuals in ‘path dependent’ manner. But sudden changes in path also occur through contingencies.
  • Extended Case Method
    This lecture is about how ethnographic study can be used in a translocal and historical context by linking, everyday life to the contemporary and the historical
  • Sources, Evidences and Theories
    This lecture discusses various kinds of sources that are used in CHS, and which kinds of evidences are allowed in CHS, and how innovative and methodologically sound sources and evidences can be used in CHS. It also deals with theoretical framing of cases, and highlights the supreme importance and role of theory in CHS methods.
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • Partially blocks (final) grade/grade calculation Final Essay
    Detailed instructions regarding assignments and the evaluation process will be provided by the teacher during the first lecture and eventually through an e-mail to all the students.
  • Partially blocks (final) grade/grade calculation Final Presentation of the essay
    Detailed instructions regarding assignments and the evaluation process will be provided by the teacher during the first lecture and eventually through an e-mail to all the students.
  • Partially blocks (final) grade/grade calculation Participation in regular class discussions
    Detailed instructions regarding assignments and the evaluation process will be provided by the teacher during the first lecture and eventually through an e-mail to all the students.
  • Partially blocks (final) grade/grade calculation Final Essay
    Detailed instructions regarding assignments and the evaluation process will be provided by the teacher during the first lecture and eventually through an e-mail to all the students.
  • Partially blocks (final) grade/grade calculation Final Presentation of the essay
    Detailed instructions regarding assignments and the evaluation process will be provided by the teacher during the first lecture and eventually through an e-mail to all the students.
  • Partially blocks (final) grade/grade calculation Participation in regular class discussions
    Detailed instructions regarding assignments and the evaluation process will be provided by the teacher during the first lecture and eventually through an e-mail to all the students.
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (3 module)
    0.4 * Final Essay + 0.3 * Final Presentation of the essay + 0.3 * Participation in regular class discussions
Bibliography

Bibliography

Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Beach, D. (2016). It’s all about mechanisms - what process-tracing case studies should be tracing. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.F3E4458D
  • Emigh, R. J. (1997). The power of negative thinking: The use of negative case methodology in the development of sociological theory. Theory & Society, 26(5), 649–684. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1006896217647
  • Hay, C., & Gofas, A. (2008). Causal, Constitutive or Constitutively Causal? The Explanatory Status of Ideas in Post-Positivist Political Analysis. Conference Papers —— American Political Science Association, 1–52. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=poh&AN=36951699
  • Isaac, L. (2008). Movement of Movements: Culture Moves in the Long Civil Rights Struggle. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.A1B6A9EA
  • John Gerring (2013) Case Study: What is and What it Does?, The Oxford Handbook of Political Science, edited by Robert E. Goodin, Online Version, DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199604456.013.0051
  • Lieberson, S. (1991). Small N’s and Big Conclusions: An Examination of the Reasoning in Comparative Studies Based on a Small Number of Cases. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.5ACBF27C
  • Mahoney, J. (2000). Path dependence in historical sociology. Theory & Society, 29(4), 507. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1007113830879
  • Mariampolski, H., & Hughes, D. C. (1978). The Use of Personal Documents in Historical Sociology. American Sociologist, 13(2), 104–113. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=sih&AN=4946210
  • Michael Burawoy. (1998). The extended case method. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.6FB6B8B7
  • Sewell Jr., W. H. (1996). Historical events as transformations of structures: Inventing revolution at the Bastille. Theory & Society, 25(6), 841–881. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00159818

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Blackledge, P. (2000). Perry Anderson and the End of History. Historical Materialism, 7(1), 199–219. https://doi.org/10.1163/156920600794750801
  • Ebbinghaus, B. (2005). Can path dependence explain institutional change? : two approaches applied to welfare state reform / Bernhard Ebbinghaus. Köln: Max-Planck-Inst. für Gesellschaftsforschung. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edswao&AN=edswao.116880341
  • Eddie Murphy and the Dangers of Counterfactual Causal Thinking About Detecting Racial Discrimination. (2019). Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.6E2E4D85
  • Eliasoph, N., & Lichterman, P. (1999). “We Begin with Our Favorite Theory …”: Reconstructing the Extended Case Method. Sociological Theory, 17(2), 228. https://doi.org/10.1111/0735-2751.00076
  • Ermakoff, I. (2015). The Structure of Contingency. Conference Papers —— American Sociological Association, 64–125. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=sih&AN=111784945
  • Goldstone, J. (2010). From Structure to Agency to Process: The Evolution of Charles Tilly’s Theories of Social Action as Reflected in His Analyses of Contentious Politics. American Sociologist, 41(4), 358–367. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12108-010-9106-x
  • Griffin, L. J. (1993). Narrative, Event-Structure Analysis, and Causal Interpretation in Historical Sociology. American Journal of Sociology, 98(5), 1094. https://doi.org/10.1086/230140
  • Hawkins, J. R. (2014). Historicizing the state in development theory: Michael Mann’s model of social power. Progress in Development Studies, 14(3), 299–308. https://doi.org/10.1177/1464993414521333
  • HESS, A., & FLECK, C. (2014). Knowledge for whom? A critical note on the uses and abuses of “Public Sociology.” Irish Journal of Sociology, 22(1), 143–154. https://doi.org/10.7227/IJS.22.1.10
  • Jill Quadagno, & Stan J. Knapp. (1992). Have Historical Sociologists Forsaken Theory? Sociological Methods & Research, (4), 481. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsrep&AN=edsrep.a.sae.somere.v20y1992i4p481.507
  • Jochen Glaser, & Grit Laudel. (2019). The Discovery of Causal Mechanisms: Extractive Qualitative Content Analysis as a Tool for Process Tracing. Forum: Qualitative Social Research, (3). https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-20.3.3386
  • Kiser, E., & Hechter, M. (1991). The Role of General Theory in Comparative-historical Sociology. American Journal of Sociology, 97(1), 1. https://doi.org/10.1086/229738
  • Mahoney, J. (1999). Nominal, Ordinal, and Narrative Appraisal in Macrocausal Analysis. American Journal of Sociology, 104(4), 1154. https://doi.org/10.1086/210139
  • Mahoney, J., & Goertz, G. (2004). The Possibility Principle: Choosing Negative Cases in Comparative Research. American Political Science Review, (04), 653. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsrep&AN=edsrep.a.cup.apsrev.v98y2004i04p653.669.04
  • Meyer, S. B. (2016). Abductive Analysis: Theorizing Qualitative Research. British Journal of Sociology, 67(1), 182–183. https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-4446.12170
  • Palabıyık, M. S. (2019). Broadening the Horizons of the “International” by Historicizing it: Comparative Historical Analysis. All Azimuth: A Journal of Foreign Policy & Peace, 8(2), 307–325. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=poh&AN=137302380
  • Ronald Aminzade. (1992). Historical Sociology and Time. Sociological Methods & Research, (4), 456. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsrep&AN=edsrep.a.sae.somere.v20y1992i4p456.480
  • Skocpol, T. (1979). STATE AND REVOLUTION: Old Regimes and Revolutionary Crises in France, Russia, and China. Theory & Society, 7(1/2), 7. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00158678
  • Vanhala, L. (2017). Process Tracing in the Study of Environmental Politics. Global Environmental Politics, 17(4), 88–105. https://doi.org/10.1162/GLEP_a_00434