Logics of History: Social Theory and Social Transformation

Logics of History Social Theory and Social Transformation 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 the

  • Title: Logics of History: Social Theory and Social Transformation
  • Author: William H. Sewell Jr.
  • ISBN: 9780226749181
  • Page: 282
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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 toWhile 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 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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    About "William H. Sewell Jr."

    1. William H. Sewell Jr.

      William H. Sewell Jr. Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Logics of History: Social Theory and Social Transformation book, this is one of the most wanted William H. Sewell Jr. author readers around the world.

    270 thoughts on “Logics of History: Social Theory and Social Transformation”

    1. This book puts into "theoretical" form what Sewell takes good mainsteam history / social science "practice" to be. With this book, you get it all, the history of the discipline/confession (social -> cultural history :: Fordism -> post-Fordism), working definitions of "culture," "structure," "event," and "the social," a healthy dose of materialism to succor those of us who have survived the linguistic turn, a re-arming of "Heroes" Giddens, Bourdieu, Geertz, and Sahlins, and a cogent defense [...]


    2. This is a book of theory. Sewell writes about his experience as a historian and evaluates the various approaches to history that he has been involved with. Starting as a social historian, using numerical methods to write about those without a voice, he moved into cultural history, which meant looking at texts for the meaning they shed on events. He thinks that the social sciences have much to teach historians, but he also argues here for what historians have to teach social scientists interested [...]


    3. This is an excellent book, and very readable as long as you are familiar with the concepts involved. Sewell manages to make an impressively viable argument for incorporating useful aspects of the heavily structuralist social history into the contemporary cultural turn. This kind of argument for synthesis and moderation in theory is too rare, and refreshing to see.


    4. Stimulating and largely persuasive. Recommended to all my fellow history students, particularly those doing social or cultural work -- which is to say, recommended to everybody who knows what's good for you.Sewell's goal is to bring historians and social scientists together. He argues that each of these groups has a useful theoretical contribution to make to the other. Too often, however, historians either neglect theory or copy it unmodified from the other disciplines into their own writing. Th [...]


    5. I am all about chapters 7, 8, and 9 in this book. The others are reasonably compelling, but they lack the historical context that make 7, 8, and 9 so fascinating. In chapter 7, he analyzes Marshall Sahlin's "Possible Theory of History" in the context of Sahlin's work on Captain Cook's ill-fated trip to Hawaii. There is probably no better example of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, which means that Sahlin has a great appreciation for historical contingency and human agency. Chapter 8 d [...]


    6. Despite a healthy degree of repetition and reinforcement, this collection of essays presents so many discrete concepts and arguments about historiography that it is often quite challenging (but always invigorating) simply to begin to assimilate its ideas as guides for the writing of history. Yet more so than most theoretical works, Sewell clearly intends his work as an aid for historians who struggle with the conceptual thinness of many core practices in the field, who would like to reground the [...]


    7. A very useful book for social science students to get the sense of historians and history students to know the utility of developing conceptual tools. The first chapter is espcially interesting as the author traced his own intellectual career and related it not only to shifts of academic paradigmns but also to structural changes in our contempoary world in which the academias are situated. Later chapters go deep in to methodological issues grounded in his detailed presentation of the writings of [...]


    8. I'm not that big on reading pure theory, but really like this book about events, social structures, and social temporality. Drawing together insights from social science and history, I believe that this collection of essays should transform how both are done.


    9. Lucid, example-rich writing on the thorniest topics - "a theory of structure" alone is worth grabbing a copy for giving Bourdieu's theories a much-needed shot of adrenaline/agency.



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