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How Is Sociology Informed by History?

Larry J. Griffin
Social Forces
Vol. 73, No. 4 (Jun., 1995), pp. 1245-1254
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.2307/2580445
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2580445
Page Count: 10
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How Is Sociology Informed by History?
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Abstract

Often mischaracterized as merely the application of social theory to past events and happenings, historical sociology is actually a distinct way of approaching, explaining, and interpreting general sociological problems. By situating social action and social structures in their historical contexts and by examining their historical unfoldings, historical sociologists exploit the temporality of social life to ask and answer questions of perennial importance to social theory. I draw on recent research and literature both in sociology and in history to argue that we should and can continue to deepen the discipline's "historical turn" by more thoroughly historicizing how we conduct research, understand and use basic analytic concepts, and develop and test general social theories.

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