Logics of History: Social Theory and Social Transformation

Logics of History: Social Theory and Social Transformation

by William H. Sewell Jr.
     
 

ISBN-10: 0226749177

ISBN-13: 9780226749174

Pub. Date: 08/01/2005

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

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

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Overview

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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226749174
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
08/01/2005
Series:
Chicago Studies in Practices of Meaning Series
Pages:
376
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

1Theory, history, and social science1
2The political unconscious of social and cultural history, or, confessions of a former quantitative historian22
3Three temporalities : toward an eventful sociology81
4A theory of structure : duality, agency, and transformation124
5The concept(s) of culture152
6History, synchrony, and culture : reflections on the work of Clifford Geertz175
7A theory of the event : Marshall Sahlins's "possible theory of history"197
8Historical events as transformations of structures : inventing revolution at the Bastille225
9Historical duration and temporal complexity : the strange career of Marseille's dockworkers, 1814-70271
10Refiguring the "social" in social science : an interpretivist manifesto318

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