Contemporary articles citing Abbott A (1992) Sociol Method Res
historical, revolution, action, narratives, agency, approach, events, model, time, structure
- Garcelon, Marc. 2010. "The Missing Key: Institutions, Networks, and the Project of Neoclassical Sociology." Sociological Theory. 28:3 326-353.
- The diversity of contemporary ``capitalisms'' underscores the need to supplant the amorphous concept of structure with more precise concepts, particularly institutions and networks. All institutions entail both embodied and relational aspects. Institutions are relational insofar as they map obligatory patterns of ``getting by and getting along''-institutional orders-that steer stable social fields over time. Institutions are simultaneously embodied as institutional paradigms, part of a larger bodily agency Pierre Bourdieu called habitus. Institutions are in turn tightly coupled to networks between various people based on, but not reducible to, strategic interests. Yet social interaction sometimes exceeds institutional boundaries, giving rise to disjunctive fields and underscoring the prominence of institutional failures in the unfolding of antagonistic relations such as warfare. Such disjunctive fields can be tracked in relation to some transnational networks at the global level without assuming developmental convergence. This last point underscores the meaning of neoclassical sociology, which eschews assumptions of developmental convergence at the global level.
- Abbott, Andrew. 2007. "Against Narrative: a Preface to Lyrical Sociology." Sociological Theory. 25:1 67-99.
- This article develops a concept of lyrical sociology, a sociology I oppose to narrative sociology, by which I mean standard quantitative inquiry with its ``narratives'' of variables as well as those parts of qualitative sociology that take a narrative and explanatory approach to social life. Lyrical sociology is characterized by an engaged, nonironic stance toward its object of analysis, by specific location of both its subject and its object in social space, and by a momentaneous conception of social time. Lyrical sociology typically uses strong figuration and personification, and aims to communicate its author's emotional stance toward his or her object of study, rather than to ``explain'' that object. The analysis considers many examples and draws on literary criticism, the philosophy of time, and the theory of emotion. It also addresses contemporary debates in ethnography.
- Garcelon, Marc. 2006. "Trajectories of Institutional Disintegration in Late-soviet Russia and Contemporary Iraq." Sociological Theory. 24:3 255-283.
- How might revolutions and other processes of institutional disintegration inform political processes preceding them ? By mapping paths of agency through processes of institutional disintegration, the trajectory improvisation model of institutional breakdown overcomes ``action-structure'' binaries by framing political revolutions as possible outcomes of such disintegrative processes. The trajectory improvisation approach expands the trajectory adjustment model of social change developed by Gil Eyal, Ivan Szelenyi, and Eleanor Townsley. An overview of political revolution in Soviet Russia between 1989 and 1991 illustrates trajectory improvisation. The recent American invasion and occupation of Iraq shows alternative routes to institutional disintegration, indicating the independence of models of institutional breakdown from those of social movements. These cases illustrate both the diversity of situations the trajectory improvisation model speaks to, and the limitation of models of trajectory adjustment, improvisation, social movements, and invasions, illustrating why such models at best enable what are called ``explanatory narratives'' of actual historical processes.
- Kane, AE. 1997. "Theorizing Meaning Construction in Social Movements: Symbolic Structures and Interpretation During the Irish Land War, 1879-1882." Sociological Theory. 15:3 249-276.
- Though the process of meaning construction is widely recognized to be a crucial factor in the mobilization, unfolding, and outcomes of social movements, the conditions and mechanisms that allow meaning construction and cultural transformation are often misconceptualized and/or underanalyzed. Following a ``tool kit'' perspective on culture, dominant social movement theory locates meaning only as it is embodied in concrete social practices. Meaning construction from this perspective is a matter of manipulating static symbols and meaning to achieve goals. I argue instead that meaning is located in the structure of culture, and that the condition and mechanism of meaning construction and transformation are, respectively, the metaphoric nature of symbolic systems, and individual and collective interpretation of those systems in the face of concrete events. This theory is demonstrated by analyzing, through textual analysis, meaning construction during the Irish Land War 1879-1882, showing how diverse social groups constructed new and emergent symbolic meanings and how transformed collective understandings contributed to specific, yet unpredictable, political action and movement outcomes. The theoretical model and empirical case demonstrates that social movement analysis must examine the metaphoric logic of symbolic systems and the interpretive process by which people construct meaning in order to fully explain the role of culture in social movements, the agency of movement participants, and the contingency of the course and outcomes of social movements.
- Sewell, WH. 1996. "Historical Events as Transformations of Structures: Inventing Revolution at the Bastille." Theory and Society. 25:6 841-881.
- Mahoney, J. 2000. "Path Dependence in Historical Sociology." Theory and Society. 29:4 507-548.
- Reed, JP. 2004. "Emotions in Context: Revolutionary Accelerators, Hope, Moral Outrage, and Other Emotions in the Making of Nicaragua's Revolution." Theory and Society. 33:6 653-703.
- Building on the social movement/revolutions and recent social movement emotions literature and using interviews and oral history from revolutionary Nicaragua, I make a case for recognizing the significance of emotions when studying revolutions. The essay aims for a contextual understanding of the role of emotions in the making of revolution during the insurrectionary period in Nicaragua. These are examined from the vantage point of ``revolutionary accelerators,'' the conflictual event-contexts from which revolutionary actors emerge. Through the historical analysis of testimonies associated with a number of politically significant events that changed the course of political dynamics in 1970s Nicaragua, the piece illustrates: ( 1) how events function as generators of revolutionary action and ( 2) how event-related emotions such as anger and fear, but primarily moral outrage and hope, contribute to a transformation in consciousness that leads potential participants to define their circumstances as needing their revolutionary involvement. It also attempts to demonstrate how the latter two emotions - moral outrage and hope - are dominant under different event-contexts. Lastly, the relationships between these emotions and how these are connected to revolutionary accelerators are similarly explored.
- Haydu, Jeffrey. 2010. "Reversals of Fortune: Path Dependency, Problem Solving, and Temporal Cases." Theory and Society. 39:1 25-48.
- Historical reversals highlight a basic methodological problem: is it possible to treat two successive periods both as independent cases to compare for causal analysis and as parts of a single historical sequence? I argue that one strategy for doing so, using models of path dependency, imposes serious limits on explanation. An alternative model which treats successive periods as contrasting solutions for recurrent problems offers two advantages. First, it more effectively combines analytical comparisons of different periods with narratives of causal sequences spanning two or more periods. Second, it better integrates scholarly accounts of historical reversals with actors' own narratives of the past.
- Franzosi, Roberto. 2010. "Sociology, Narrative, and the Quality Versus Quantity Debate (goethe Versus Newton): Can Computer-assisted Story Grammars Help Us Understand the Rise of Italian Fascism (1919-1922)?." Theory and Society. 39:6 593-629.
- At the heart of this article is a structural approach to narrative, based on the work of Propp, Labov, van Dijk, Halliday, and others. The article highlights the structural features of narrative-basically, the organization of the genre around the semantic template actor-action-actor (syntactically rendered as subject-verb-object but where, in narrative, the subject is typically a social actor and the verb a social action) and the modifiers of each element of this triplet, such as time and space of action-and shows how to implement this structure in a computer environment and how to use this methodological tool in socio-historical research (namely, the rise of Italian fascism, 1919-22). But, taking a cue from Halliday's cover jacket of his An Introduction to Functional Grammar, with its representation of a color circle, the paper takes the reader on an intellectual journey from Newton to Goethe-and the quality versus quantity debate-to Goethe and Propp, to end, back home, with Simmel and Weber.