Computational Models and Historical Sociology

Emily Erikson, Yale University

New methods of computational analysis are becoming increasingly common in the social sciences. Some methods, like topic modeling, appear particularly well suited for the archival research component of sociological inquiry. Others, like agent-based modeling, may be hard to implement given the data the absence of systematic data in many historical epochs. This paper considers the opportunities and pitfalls that adapting these methods to historical inquiry may bring by considering possible impacts on several concepts central to historical sociology: social structures, bottom-up vs. top down history, events, social forms, narrative vs. causal reasoning, and culture.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 175. What is the "Historical" In Historical Sociology?