Re-Figuration of Spaces as Long‐Term Social Change: The Methodological Potential of Comparative Historical Sociology for Cross-Cultural Comparison
Analyzing social change from a historical perspective is one of the longest established strategies of sociological comparison. Numerous classic sociologists have examined cross-cultural (long-term) social change with a historical-comparative methodology in an effort to understand the differences and similarities of transformation processes in the present by reconstructing their past. As such, there are comprehensive historical-sociological preliminary works, which are intended as a means of analyzing the long-term and large-scale social change that is currently leading to a fundamental, worldwide restructuring of spatial orders, referred to as the re-figuration of spaces. Nevertheless, no one has applied the comparative methodology of historical sociology to the empirical analysis of the re-figuration of spaces so far. Instead, research on the re-figuration is currently restricted to research designs focused on the present. Therefore, I propose considering the methodological potential of historical-comparative methodology for research on the re-figuration of spaces. I start by discussing existing preliminary historical-sociological work on comparison strategies for analyzing cross-cultural, large-scale social change. Then, I will show how the re-figuration of spaces can be understood as long-term social change. On this basis, I will outline a universally comparative, causal-analytic, historical-sociological methodology of research on the re-figuration of
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