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The Marxian Materialist Interpretation of History and Comparative Sociology

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For content published from 1960-2001, see International Journal of Comparative Sociology.

The paper argues that a materialistic understanding of history as Marx’s sociological research program has effectively been implemented in the comparative analysis of bourgeois societies. Both qualitative/case-oriented and quantitative/variable-oriented strategies of comparison were employed by Marx in his scholarship. The authors see the crucial dimension of the classical status of Marx in his engagement with historical comparisons – an analytical tendency he shares with Weber and, to some extent, Durkheim. A short historical exposition tracing the early reception of Marx in sociology continues with the most important contemporary criticisms of Marx’s comparative-historical analysis, focusing on the issues of Asiatic mode of production, the nature of European feudalism and the problem of capitalist rationality.

Affiliations: 1: St. Petersburg State University Russia ; 2: St. Petersburg State University Russia


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