Comparative Method in Sociological Research

2331 WordsDec 18, 200810 Pages
The Phrase “comparative method” refers to the method of comparing different societies or groups within the same society to show whether and why they are similar or different in certain respects. Both Montesquieu and Auguste Comte, often regarded as the founders of sociology, used or recommended ‘comparison’ to establish and explain both differences and similarities between societies. The comparative method was for long considered the method par excellence of sociology. According to Andre Beteille, comparative method is used distinctly by two sets of scholars. Firstly, the ‘enthusiasts’ those who make cross board analysis. These include Edward Tylor, Herbert Spencer, Emile Durkheim and Radcliff Brown . Secondly the ‘skeptics’- those who…show more content…
His study gas been called “diachronic” but in complete, there should be a combination of diachronic and synchronic study Bronislaw Malinowski believed in the fundamental sameness of human beings. He looked into every detail of society and culture among The Trobriand Islanders, and brought their complex interrelations to light. Amongst the islanders lagoon fishing is done with the help of skill and rationality, since there are no dangers attached to it. However in the case of deep sea fishing, which is dangerous there are rituals which he interprets as magic performed before the event. Therefore he compares two activities among The Trobrianders. Max Weber used the comparative method in almost all his writings, especially those analyzing the distinctiveness of western society and culture, as compared to those of other civilizations. He produced extensive studies of the traditional Chinese Empire. India and the Near East, and in the course of these researches make major contributions to the Sociology of Religion. Through these comparisons he throws light on the relationship between Protestantism and Capitalism. According to him, one
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