Social Time and Social Change: Perspectives on Sociology and History
Oslo: Universitetsforlaget AS 1999
Sociology and the other social sciences are inevitably historical disciplines. Historical analysis in the social sciences Is thus not primarily a separate field of research and tuition. The historical perspective should be present in all kinds of analysis. Taking the historical situatedness of any social science data as the point of departure, the goal is to contribute to the selfreflection of sociology as a discipline.
Against this background, nine outstanding scholars reflect on the significance of time and social change, and apply their considerations to major social institutions. The emergence of nations, preconditions for democracy and economic growth, the function of the family, the logic of political action, and the history of the social disciplines themselves are among the major themes discussed.
The first set of contributions is related to "the stuff that history is made of". Problems of time, change and causality and periodization of historieal development are discussed by Craig Calhoun, Andrew Abbott and Elisabeth Clemens. In the second part, Robert Dahl, Sverre Bagge and Tamara Hareven explore the potentials of the systematic use of historical research to enrich empirical sociological analysis. In the final part, the encounter between history and sociology and the status of sociology as a discipline are viewed in a historical perspective by Pierre Bourdieu, Björn Wittrock and Peter Wagner.