Topic review

Sociology and History

Subjects: Sociology View times: 293
Submitted by: Sandro Serpa

Definition

Sociology and History as consolidated scientific and academic projects have maintained a peculiar and paradoxical relationship. The growing disciplinary and subdisciplinary specialisation of these two sciences poses relevant epistemological and methodological challenges in order to face potential situations of isolation, fragmentation and enable the apology of an interdisciplinary perspective characterised by the historicity of social structures, actions and senses.

1. Introduction

History can be defined as the study of human societies, with an emphasis on the differences between them and the changes over time in each one (Burke, 1980). However, as Braudel reiterates, History privileges in social reality analysis a perspective that emphasizes social duration "those multiple and contradictory times in men's lives that are not only the substance of the past, but also the matter of current social life" (Braudel, 1958, p. 9).

Sociology and History as consolidated scientific and academic projects have maintained a peculiar and paradoxical relationship. The growing disciplinary and subdisciplinary specialisation of these two sciences poses relevant epistemological and methodological challenges in order to face potential situations of isolation, fragmentation and enable the apology of an interdisciplinary perspective characterised by the historicity of social structures, actions and senses.

2. Interaction of Sociology and History 

apprehending social phenomena as "studies the (dis)order of the social world, and that deals with interactions, what results from interaction and has implications in this interaction between human beings, such as objects, practices, representations and values, inserting them into their social context" (Serpa & Ferreira, 2018, p. 841).

This reality is present in countless sociological studies, despite the fact that, at times, history also exerts an influence on sociology.

There are several scientific reasons (epistemological and methodological), disciplinary closure, institutional reasons for maintaining a somewhat watertight separation, and social reasons for preserving professional identity, which explain this fluid movement of rapprochement/separation between Sociology and History, in what can be called contained dialogues.

The social structures and forms of social interaction that shape contemporary societies cannot be understood and explained without the mobilisation of a historical perspective, enhancing historicity, as opposed to naturalisation, of certain structures, actions and senses.[1][2][3]

Note: Text based on Serpa, S., & Ferreira, C. M. (2019). Sociology and History: Contained Dialogues. doi:10.20944/preprints201909.0321.v1, and Serpa, S., & Ferreira, C. M. (2019). Sociology and History: Contained Dialogues. International Journal of Higher Education, 8(6) (accepted for publication). For further development see these texts.

References

  1. Burke, P. (1980). Sociology and History. London: George Allen & Unwin.
  2. Braudel, F. (1958). Histoire et sciences sociales: "la longue durée", Annales E.S.C., n.º 4, Oct.-Dec., Débats et Combats, 725-753.
  3. Serpa, S., & Ferreira, C. M. (2018). Sociological problem and social problem: Contributions to a discussion. Sociology and Anthropology, 6(11), 840-844. doi: 10.13189/sa.2018.061104.

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