Comparative Sociology as an Inquiry and Teaching Discipline

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Comparative Sociology as an Inquiry and as a Teaching Discipline: An Attempt of Comparative Analysis

Comparative Sociology as an Inquiry and as a Teaching Discipline: An Attempt of Comparative Analysis

Andrey V. RezaevProfessor and Chair, Comparative Sociology,St. Petersburg State University, Russia anrezaev@yandex.ruXVIII ISA World Congress, Research Committee on Sociology of Migration, RC 31Yokohama, Japan, July 17, 2014

Concise Encyclopedia of Comparative Sociology. (2014) Masamichi Sasaki, Jack Goldstone, Ekkart Zimmermann(Eds.), Brill: Leiden&Boston, p.xi

Web-site designed by the PhD students and young scholars at the Comparative Sociology Chair, St. Petersburg State UniversityOverviewObjectives and GoalsBasic definitions and understanding of Comparative SociologySix casesSociology's founding fathers were all comparative researchers (Concise Encyclopedia of Comparative Sociology. (2014) Masamichi Sasaki, Jack Goldstone, Ekkart Zimmermann(Eds.), Brill: Leiden&Boston, p.xi).To some scholars, the term comparative sociological research is strictly limited to comparisons of social indicators and institutions across nations (also known as cross-national research), but other scholars prefer to widen the scope to include comparison of many different types of social and/or cultural entities, while yet others use the term to encompass comparisons of subcultures or other social substrata either within or across nation-states or other cultural and social entities and their boundaries (Ibid., p.xii).

The ultimate aim of comparative sociological research is to develop concepts and generalizations based upon identified similarities and differences among the social entities being compared (Ibid., p. xii).Compare:

It is generally recognized that Karl Marx, Max Weber, Emil Durkheim are the patriarchs of sociology; the same thinkers are considered to be the founding fathers of comparative sociology (p. 13).Comparative sociological research is about developing approach to find out similarities and differences among the social structures, institutions, and processes (p. 2).

(2014) Rezaev Andrey (Ed.) Comparative Sociology. St. Petersburg State University Press, Approaches to Comparative Sociology:

Comparative Sociology as a branch / subfield of Sociology.Comparative Sociology as a method. A third way of understanding Comparative Sociology :

Comparative Sociology is an Ideal Type of SociologyComparative Sociology is a Process Comparative Sociology is a CritiqueSociology as such is potentially comparative. But this potential is realized quite differently.

Method-centric approach: Comparative Sociology is a subfield of sociology / synonym of Comparative Method.

Our position emphasizes the central place of the research question. It is the research-questions-centric position

Comparative sociological research as a process of comparisons on every level and stage of the sociological research. Research-questions-centric approach: an answer to the research question is nothing but material for a new set of research questions.

Comparative sociology is not a field, but a critique of whatever seems narrow and reductionist in sociology (I. Wallerstein).

The problems of teachingResearch implies continuous and permanent comparisons WHILE the teaching courses dissolve them into separate problems and operations.Comparative sociologist is critical towards preconditions and results WHILE education presupposes above all learning of these preconditions.Comparative sociology is an ideal type of sociology WHILE contemporary differentiation of knowledge and departamentalization substitutes it with multiple sociological branches and subfields.Hypothesis: CS is acknowledged by sociologists and social scientists in general but the reality of teaching sociology doesnt follow this acknowledgment.

Hypothesis: Presence / absence and the character of the gap between CS as an inquiry and teaching discipline depend on national specifics in organization of sociological education.ORHypothesis: The gap is universal and transcends national features of institutionalization of sociology.Comparative sociology as an inquiryContent analysis of national sociological journals Search conditions: time of publication 2000-2012/3/4 (depending on access); words: comparison / comparative and their equivalents; location: title or abstract.CaseJournalWords USAAmerican Journal of Sociology; American Sociological ReviewComparison, comparativeBritainThe British Journal of SociologyComparison, comparativeFranceRevue franaise de sociologie (French Review of Soiology)Comparaison, comparatif, comparative; comparison, comparative (for English articles)GermanyZeitschrift fur Soziologie (Journal of Sociology)Vergleigh, vergleichend; Komparation, komparativ, comparison, comparative (for English articles)ChinaShhu xu ynji (Sociological Studies)BjioRussiaSotsiologicheskiye issledovaniya (Sociological Research)Sravneniye, sravnitel'nyy

American Journal of SociologyAmerican Sociological ReviewThe British Journal of SociologyRevue franaise de sociologieZeitschrift fur SoziologieShhu xu ynjiSotsiologicheskiye issledovaniyaNumber of articles published in 2013/12/1037 articles130 reviews44 articles34 articles25 reviews22 articles (18 in French, 4 English translations of articles already published)47 reviews24 article62 articles231 articles22 reviewsAverage number of `pages of article published in 2013/12/1039,4 for article2,6 for review24,9 for article20,2 for article2,6 for article for review30,1 for article3,1 for review23,7 for article21,6 for article7,4 for article3,4 for articleAverage number of thousands of symbols in the article in 2013/12/10105 for article7 for review104 for article59 for article10 for review96 for article13 for review85 for article___16 for article9 for reviewNumber of articles that meet the search conditions22 articles24 reviews62 articles21 article8 reviews34 articles (29 in French, 5 English translations of articles already published)4 reviews31 article (30 in Deutsch, 1 in English)62 article69 article3 reviews

USAThe most popular specification of comparison is cross-national / cross-country.Distinctive subfields of comparative social science based on comparison are comparative history, comparative law, comparative social policy. For comparative mobility research; race, class and gender studies comparative perspective is determined by the topicThe notion Comparative sociology is mentioned several times.Comparative sociology is a marginal notion but it has a wide range of meaning. UKThe general usage of the term comparative is very similar to those in American journals. Cross-national and historical comparative analyses are almost equally represented. Comparison of theories is mentioned more often, but anyway episodically.

FranceComparative sociology is not mentioned.Comparative historical sociology is mentioned once with reference to Max Weber. The most popular specification of comparisons is cross-national / country. Comparison is regularly used in relations to terms and categories, in particular to their comparability. In generally, comparison is more peripheral then, for example, in Germany and China.GermanyThe most popular specification is cross-national comparison (internationalen Vergleigh ) or country comparison (Landervergleigh). Comparison of groups is widespread, especially during statistical analysis, and also comparison of indicators and coefficients. Comparison is often in relation to concepts of theories, based both on conceptual analysis and on empirical testing. Comparative sociology is not mentioned.

ChinaThe most popular term is equivalent to comparative study / research, often as comparative study of several cases or comparative case study. The terms comparative history and comparative policy studies are used. Comparative sociology is not mentioned.RussiaRussian publications are significantly less voluminous because research is described in a less strict and developed manner in all aspects: literature review, research design, methods, discussion, referencesThe articles provide reflections of several topic illustrated the theoretical or / and empirical data, not the sociological research in a strict sense.comparative sociology is not a subfieldcomparative sociology is not a methodcomparative sociology could be regarded as an ideal type of sociologycomparative sociology is a processcomparative sociology is criticalComparative sociology as a teaching disciplineAnalysis of Comparative Sociology as a teaching discipline is based on characteristics of courses taughtresearch interests of lecturers/instructorsresearch centers of sociology / social science departments of ten universities for each case. The search for each university is limited by corresponding department / faculty. There were selected universities that are on the top in the national rankings (social sciences). CaseUniversitiesUSAHarvard; Stanford; Berkeley; Upenn; Uchicago; UCLA; Princeton; MIT; Duke; YaleBritainUniversity of Cambridge; Warwick University; The University of Manchester; University of Essex; University of Edinburgh; University of Bristol; University of Oxford; University of Sheffield; Cardiff University; London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)FranceHEC Paris; Sciences Po Paris; Paris-Sorbonne University; Jean Moulin University Lyon (1 and 3); Universit de Nice Sophia Antipolis; Universit de Strasbourg; University of Paris 4 - Sorbonne; University of Lille 1; University of Lille 3; Paris West University Nanterre La DfenseGermanyHumboldt-Universitt zu Berlin; Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitt Mnchen; Universitt Bielefeld; Universitt zu Kln; Universitt Hamburg; Universitt Bremen; Goethe