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Analytical sociology in Tocqueville's Democracy in America

Edling, Christofer LU and Hedstrom, E. (2005) In Berliner Journal für Soziologie 15. p.511-522
Abstract
Analytical sociology seeks to explain complex social processes by carefully dissecting them and then bringing into focus their most important constituent components. It is through dissection and analytical abstractions that the important cogs and wheels of social processes are made visible and intelligible. By identifying some common features between Tocqueville's Democracy in America and contemporary analytical sociology, we argue that the explanatory approach that Tocqueville pursued in many respects is a forerunner to analytical sociology. These features are contrasted with those of other classical approaches in order to highlight the defining characteristics of Tocqueville's approach. One reason why Tocqueville is still worth reading,... (More)
Analytical sociology seeks to explain complex social processes by carefully dissecting them and then bringing into focus their most important constituent components. It is through dissection and analytical abstractions that the important cogs and wheels of social processes are made visible and intelligible. By identifying some common features between Tocqueville's Democracy in America and contemporary analytical sociology, we argue that the explanatory approach that Tocqueville pursued in many respects is a forerunner to analytical sociology. These features are contrasted with those of other classical approaches in order to highlight the defining characteristics of Tocqueville's approach. One reason why Tocqueville is still worth reading, 200 years after his birth, is as an early example of the explanatory power of the analytical approach to sociology. However, the methodological and theoretical advances that sociology has undergone since the publication of Democracy in America makes it more interesting as a classic than as a useful source of reference for today's sociology students. (Less)
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author
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
sociology, sociologi, models
in
Berliner Journal für Soziologie
volume
15
pages
511 - 522
publisher
VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften
ISSN
0863-1808
language
German
LU publication?
no
id
2d91dfe7-dc04-453f-8151-250e4d9af6d4 (old id 2301096)
date added to LUP
2012-01-24 14:14:06
date last changed
2016-06-29 08:55:49
@misc{2d91dfe7-dc04-453f-8151-250e4d9af6d4,
  abstract     = {Analytical sociology seeks to explain complex social processes by carefully dissecting them and then bringing into focus their most important constituent components. It is through dissection and analytical abstractions that the important cogs and wheels of social processes are made visible and intelligible. By identifying some common features between Tocqueville's Democracy in America and contemporary analytical sociology, we argue that the explanatory approach that Tocqueville pursued in many respects is a forerunner to analytical sociology. These features are contrasted with those of other classical approaches in order to highlight the defining characteristics of Tocqueville's approach. One reason why Tocqueville is still worth reading, 200 years after his birth, is as an early example of the explanatory power of the analytical approach to sociology. However, the methodological and theoretical advances that sociology has undergone since the publication of Democracy in America makes it more interesting as a classic than as a useful source of reference for today's sociology students.},
  author       = {Edling, Christofer and Hedstrom, E.},
  issn         = {0863-1808},
  keyword      = {sociology,sociologi,models},
  language     = {ger},
  pages        = {511--522},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0x9e0cb48)},
  series       = {Berliner Journal für Soziologie},
  title        = {Analytical sociology in Tocqueville's Democracy in America},
  volume       = {15},
  year         = {2005},
}