The origins of the micro/macro divide

From Margaret Archer’s The Social Origins of Educational Systems pg 6:

Historically the origins of the discipline are synonymous with the origins of macro-sociology –most of the early founding fathers asked big questions to which they gave equally big answers. Yet initially there was not thought to be anything distinctive or difficult about, for example, explaining political instability by reference to sedentary culture (Ibn Khaldun) or social order by religious organization (Maistre and Bonald). The reason for this seems to be that these thinkers did not simultaneously address themselves to the explanation of smaller phenomena: for when, in the nineteenth century, various writers sought to treat both small group interaction and events of the largest scale together, the problem of scope became immediately apparent and, with it, the nature of macro-sociology was clarified.

 

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