"Sociology has been based on the idea that human beings create society, and that society in turn creates its institutions, and thereby the reality for the human beings, in a dynamic process. That is where the roots of symbolic interactionism are located, and that is the basis for constructionism."
"Determinism is a term usually used pejoratively to describe an argument or methodology that simplistically reduces causality to a single set of factors acting more or less directly to produce outcomes. So, for example, economic determinism attributes social, political, and cultural effects to economic relations as the fundamental causal factors; technological determinism does the same with technological innovation; textual determinism attributes the impact of mediated messages on individuals and audiences to the textual attributes of the messages or the medium, and so on. A related but different term is reductionism, where an analysis is accused of reducing a complex set of circumstances to a limited set of supposedly salient characteristics."
"Historical methods refers to the use of primary historical data to answer a question. Because the nature of the data depends on the question being asked, data may include demographic records, such as birth and death certificates; newspapers articles; letters and diaries; government records; or even architectural drawings."
Multiple (and contradictory) meanings: - that ideal, cultural, and social realities cannot be described and explained by means of general theories and therefore cannot be assessed by universal norms either; - that the process of history is throughout determined by general laws and that any science of history must therefore rely on these laws in its explanations and predictions; - a radical rejection of an “objective” historical knowledge. [and instead belief in the] historical constructedness of ideas and beliefs.
"Historiography, the writing of history, especially the writing of history based on the critical examination of sources, the selection of particular details from the authentic materials in those sources, and the synthesis of those details into a narrative that stands the test of critical examination. The term historiography also refers to the theory and history of historical writing."
[T]he culture of modernity is characterized by a growing belief in the power of reason, rationality, and truth as well as a faith in the ability of science and technology to harness the powers of humans and nature for the betterment of society.
In writing about this historical moment, the [historian] understands that there is no privileged position of absolute spectator, for how can the postmodern self write about itself when the very postmodern stuff it is made of conditions what it says, sees, feels, and hears? Of course, any hint of objectivity predicated on the privileged position of the absolute spectator must be relinquished. As an observer of the postmodern scene, I must recognize that I am grafted into every action and situation I write about.