Interactions about social theory, between historians and social scientists, are often one-directional in nature – from the social sciences to history – and usually regard macro-sociological theses and comprehensive schemes regarding the functioning of society. In his book Logics of History, William H. Sewell laments the absence of a true dialogue, arguing at the outset of the manuscript that historians can make important contributions to social theory, especially with respect to the question of temporality. In the remainder of the book, Sewell critically engages central concepts in social theory, such as structure, culture, and agency.
In this seminar, I aim to advance that dialogue, but shift towards micro-sociology – the analysis of social (inter)action at the individual and group level. I shall make two arguments. First, I argue that attention to micro-sociology is necessary for historians for fully and effectively exploiting trends in the humanities with respect to comparative and quantitative analysis. Second, I claim that attention to context and historical change is necessary for quantitative social scientists who study micro-sociological questions pertaining to cases that unfold(ed) outside contemporary Europe and North America. I support these arguments through a discussion of four socio-historical projects, including cases from South Sudan (Juba) and the Dutch Indies (Batavia).
Daniel Blocq is a PhD candidate in the department of sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In his research, Daniel focuses on questions related to collective action and political violence. At present, Daniel is a fellow at the KITLV, where he supports the project ‘Dutch Military Operations in Indonesia.’ Further information can be found on www.danielblocq.com.
If you wish to attend please register with Yayah Siegers: [email protected]