Sociology began as a historical discipline, created by Marx, Weber and others, to explain the emergence and consequences of rational, capitalist society. Today, the best historical sociology combines precision in theory-construction with the careful selection of appropriate methodologies to address ongoing debates across a range of subfields.
This innovative book explores what sociologists gain by treating temporality seriously, what we learn from placing social relations and events in historical context. In a series of chapters, readers will see how historical sociologists have addressed the origins of capitalism, revolutions and social movements, empires and states, inequality, gender and culture. The goal is not to present a comprehensive history of historical sociology; rather, readers will encounter analyses of exemplary works and see how authors engaged past debates and their contemporaries in sociology, history and other disciplines to advance our understanding of how societies are created and remade across time.
This illuminating book is designed for use in graduate and advanced undergraduate courses as an introduction to historical sociology and as a guide to employing historical analysis across the discipline.