Comparative Method in Sociological Research Essay
According to Andre Beteille, comparative method is used distinctly by two sets of scholars. Firstly, the ‘enthusiasts’ those who make cross board analysis. These include Edward Tylor, Herbert Spencer, Emile Durkheim and Radcliff Brown . Secondly the ‘skeptics’- those who …show more content…
Radcliff Brown and Bronislaw Malinowski, both inspired by Durkheims work, assert that we must study a society or a culture as a whole if we are to understand its major institutions and explain why its members behave as they do. According to Radcliff Brown, the first tast of the comparative method is to look for “parallels” that is similar social features appearing in different societies in the present or in the past. He asserts that sociological theory must be based on continually tested by systematic comparison: E.g. some tribes in the interior of New South Wales have division of population into two parts which are named after the eaglehawk and the crow (Kilpara and Makwara) There is a rule by which a man should only take a wife from the division other than his own, and the children will belong to the same division as their mothers. The system is described in technical terms as one of totemically represented exogamous matrilineal moieties.
Radcliff Brown used the comparative method through the procedure of replication analysis and diachronic analysis. Replication analysis is the re-study of society. It reveals certain new features whereas