Historical sociology

Historical sociology is a branch of sociology focusing on how societies develop through history. It looks at how social structure that many regard as natural are in fact shaped by complex social processes. The structure in turn shapes institutions and organizations, and they affect the society - resulting in phenomena ranging from gender bias, income inequality and war.

Contemporary historical sociology is primarily concerned with how the state has developed since the Middle Ages, analyzing relations between states, classes, economic and political systems.

See also


  • John Baylis, Steve Smith, Globalization of world politics: An introduction to international relations, Oxford University Press, 3rd ed., 2005, ISBN 0199271186, p.276-278

Further reading

  • Charles Tilly, Historical Sociology, in Scott G. McNall & Gary N. Howe, eds., Current Perspectives in Social Theory. Vol. I. (1980) Greenwich, Connecticut: JAI Press, online
  • Charles Tilly, Historical Sociology, in International Encyclopedia of the Behavioral and Social Sciences (2001) Amsterdam: Elsevier. Vol. 10, 6753-6757, online
  • Charles Tilly, Three Visions of History and Theory, in History and Theory (2007) 46: 299-307, online
  • Charles Tilly, History of and in Sociology, introduction to the didactic seminar on methodologies of the history of sociology, American Sociological Association annual meeting, Montréal, May 2007, online

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