Introduction and Further Reading

  • Martin Bulmer


Are sociology and history distinct intellectual enterprises, and if they are, wherein does the difference lie? The traditional view which would distinguish an idiographic from a nomothetic discipline and the counter-argument that history and sociology are not separable activities point in different directions. The majority of sociologists and historians would probably consider that each does entail a different mode of analysing social reality, empirically if not logically, although there would be disagreement whether this difference lay in the subject-matter, the epistemological frame of reference, the role accorded to concepts and theory, the logic of explanation, the methods used to collect and analyse data or the criteria used to evaluate data. In any case there is little doubt that differences within each discipline are as significant as differences between the two disciplines, rendering extended discussion of the relationship in the abstract relatively unprofitable.


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1984

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  • Martin Bulmer

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