Political and Historical Sociology

This cluster explores interdisciplinary scholarship in socio-economic, cultural and political history. The focus is on the nature, dynamics and interacting influences of culture, politics and institutions, explored at all levels of analysis. Research is guided by the recurring theoretical problems of causality, origins, continuity and change. Research topics include the divergent developmental paths of capitalism and socialism; slavery, colonialism and their post-colonial consequences; the historical constructions of race-ethnicity and anti-racist strategies; the relationships between collective identities, political discourse, and political change; political and economic consequences of global and regional integration; and the origins, development and diffusion of major politico-cultural values and institutions such as freedom, liberalism and democracy. The department¹s Workshop in History, Culture and Sociology provides a forum for the presentation of scholarship in this cluster from across the university and region.

The department sponsors the Workshop in History, Culture, and Society.

News related to Political & Historical Sociology

Ya-Wen Lei stands in front of a wood and glass doorway

The Contentious Public Sphere: Law, Media, and Authoritarian Rule in China

January 5, 2017

Conventional wisdom imagines political life in authoritarian contexts to be bleak and suffocating, and popular understandings of China are no exception. Nonetheless, since the mid-2000s, a nationwide contentious public sphere has developed in China—providing an unprecedented forum for Chinese citizens to influence the public agenda and demand government accountability.

The Chinese state has increasingly, if reluctantly, come to recognize this emergent public sphere as a force it must reckon with, but it is important not to overstate the stability or permanence of this political space… Read more about The Contentious Public Sphere: Law, Media, and Authoritarian Rule in China

Michele Lamont

Culture and Inequality through Various Prisms

September 1, 2016

This August, Michèle Lamont began a term as the 108th President of the American Sociological Association. This honor came with a number of responsibilities, including organizing the 2017 ASA Annual Meeting. She chose as a theme “Culture, Inequalities, and Social Inclusion across the Globe.” Participants can look forward to plenary sessions on topics such as “Dignity, Morality, and the Bridging of Group Boundaries,” “The Politics of Distribution and Recognition,” “The Pursuit of Inclusion through Law, Policies, and Narratives,” and much more.… Read more about Culture and Inequality through Various Prisms

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