Comparative Sociology and Social Change

Research in this cluster examines the causes and consequences of cross-national, cross-cultural variations in social processes.  Comparative scholars at Harvard analyze a wide array of topics, including political institutions, civil society, cultural repertoires, labor markets, welfare systems, inequality, knowledge, violence, global and regional integration, and economic development.

News related to Comparative Sociology and Social Change

Michele Lamont stands in front of a lecturn

Lamont Presidential Lecture out in American Sociological Review

June 10, 2018

Michèle Lamont, Robert I. Goldman Professor of European Studies, Professor of Sociology and of African and African American Studies, served as the 108th president of the American Sociological Association in 2016-17. Her term took an unexpected turn with the election of Donald Trump in November 2016: it befell on her to take a leadership role in defending the professional interests of sociologists and the conditions for academic freedom.... Read more about Lamont Presidential Lecture out in American Sociological Review

Professor Mary Brinton

Gender Inequality, Employment, and Family in Postindustrial Societies

May 1, 2018

Mary Brinton has been studying gender inequality for a long time, motivated in particular by the high level of gender inequality in Japan and other East Asian societies. Her current project considers gender inequality in light of what many social demographers consider a crisis of the family as an institution—namely, the emergence of historically low birth rates throughout the postindustrial world.... Read more about Gender Inequality, Employment, and Family in Postindustrial Societies

Making Sense of a Perplexing Country and an unwieldy Subject: Studies in the sociology of development and of modern-day trafficking and slavery

Making Sense of a Perplexing Country and an unwieldy Subject: Studies in the sociology of development and of modern-day trafficking and slavery

March 1, 2018

The Confounding Island: Institutions, Culture and Mis-Development in Post-Colonial Jamaica was just delivered to the press by Professor Orlando Patterson. This book examines one of the world’s most perplexing societies. Famous for the spectacular successes of its athletes and musicians, its vibrant democracy, and its religiosity, Jamaica is equally infamous for being among the world’s most violent places.... Read more about Making Sense of a Perplexing Country and an unwieldy Subject: Studies in the sociology of development and of modern-day trafficking and slavery

Headshot of Bart Bonikowski, Assistant Professor of Sociology.

The Mobilization of Resentment: Making Sense of Populism, Nationalism, and Authoritarianism in the United States and Europe

September 7, 2017

Scholarly and journalistic accounts of the recent successes of radical-right candidates and parties in Europe and the United States tend to conflate three phenomena: populism, nationalism, and authoritarianism. While all three are relevant features of contemporary politics, they are neither coterminous nor limited to the political right. This lack of analytical clarity has hindered explanations of the causes and consequences of radicalism on both sides of the Atlantic. In a new project that builds on his past empirical research, Bart Bonikowski draws analytical distinctions between populism, nationalism, and authoritarianism, theorizes their elective affinities, and examines their shifting prevalence over the past three decades, both in political discourse and public attitudes.... Read more about The Mobilization of Resentment: Making Sense of Populism, Nationalism, and Authoritarianism in the United States and Europe

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