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Introduction. Comparer. Options et inflexions d’une pratique de recherche

Abstract : Comparative practices have evolved considerably over the last 20 to 30 years. The fields researched, objects, issues, methods and theorizations have expanded. Though we do not claim to fully account for that effervescence in this introduction, we will attempt to pinpoint a few of the theoretical and methodological matters that shape comparative research today. Two approaches — societal analysis on the one hand, the varieties of capitalism on the other — have had a long lasting influence on the comparative studies of labor, social systems and production organizations. We next turn to the ways comparative practices have recently been developed around a series of today well established theoretical and methodological issues: the critical assessment of the relevance of the national dimension, and how to empirically inform and conceptually go beyond that level of analysis; the variety of levels of reality to be compared, and of comparative analytical scales, how they interconnect; the homogeneous or heterogeneous nature of the spaces compared and where and when to reason in terms of systems or models; differentiating the entities being compared and taking interconnections into account, as well as the circulations or hybridization that make them comparable; aligning the categories that organize equivalence; the variability of protocols in empirical surveys and the need to adjust them, etc. All these matters trigger lively debates in present-day comparative work. This is a valuable indication of the vitality of this field of research.
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Didier Demazière, Olivier Giraud, Michel Lallement. Introduction. Comparer. Options et inflexions d’une pratique de recherche. Sociologie du Travail, 2013, 55 (2), pp.136-151. ⟨10.4000/sdt.11702⟩. ⟨hal-02140451⟩



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