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French sociologist Cyril Lemieux wondered whether we should finish with comparativism

On March 18, 2019 Cyril Lemieux (France), sociologist, the director of Research of the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences  (EHESS) made a presentation on the topic ‘Should we finish with сomparativism?’. The presentation was held within the framework of the scientific seminars on sociology organized by the Institute for Social Policy HSE and the Center for French-Russian Studies, Moscow.

Today comparative studies themselves can be seen more rarely than claims of their importance for the social science. The most common type of research is monographs, which examine only one country, one region, or one epoch.  Indeed, the comparativism has faced a lot of criticism in  recent years. Cyril Lemieux pondered on the crisis of comparativism and made a connection between the said crisis and the revision of the idea of a national state, both from political and state-centric epistemological views. He reminded that comparativism, at least due to its aspiration for reflexivity, was at the foundation of the social sciences. The current revision of these ideas strives for applying truly comparable concepts, not just ‘half-comparable’ ones. 

Cyril Lemieux, sociologist, Director of Research of School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS), Head of the Interdisciplinary Laboratory for the Study of Reflexivities – Jan Thomas Fund (LIER-FYT).

The author of the papers on journalism and media (La subjectivité journalistique, Editions de l’EHESS, 2010), sociological theory (Le devoir et la grâce, Economica, 2009; Pour les sciences sociales, Editions de l’EHESS, 2017; La sociologie pragmatique, La Découverte, 2018). An issue of Politix journal on globalization and modernization was published under editorship of Cyril Lemiuex and historian Pablo Blitstein («Paradoxes de la modernité», vol. 31, n°123, 2018).

The presentation was made in French with translation into Russian.