Historical Sociology

Historical sociology is difficult to define and hard to explain in a short entry, but some possible definitions and a brief overview are offered here. Some provisional definitions include the following: (a) Historical sociology is an attempt to explain modern society. (b) It seeks to understand certain key historical events that have led to significant changes within society. (c) It is the study of social change—meaning a study not about objects but the study about processes. It does not have a specific topic, but it seeks to account for history.

These changes may be gradual and subtle, but they are often rapid and forceful. They include the rise of modern capitalism and the shifts in colonialism and empire; they also include social and economic upheavals as ...

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