Time and process: an operational framework for processual analysis.

Notice bibliographique

Bidart, C., Longo, M. E. et Mendez, A. (2012). Time and process : an operational framework for processual analysis. European Sociological Review, 29(4), 743-751.


Most social phenomena are processes, and like all processes they ‘take time’. However, the dynamic aspects of such phenomena are not always taken seriously in the social sciences. Many scholars agree that objects in which the time dimension is present should be subjected to processual analysis. Nevertheless, it is seldom the case that specific methods are either theoretically constructed or explicitly put into practice. Against this background, the purpose of this article is to take up the challenge of theorising processes. It will seek to develop a set of conceptual tools based on a linkage between time and the changes observed in the phenomena under investigation. It is based on four key concepts: the ingredients derived from the context, the sequences, the driving forces, and the turning points. The precise definition of each of these concepts ensues from a number of theoretical debates that remain isolated from each other. In this paper, such approaches are enriched through the association of these four concepts within an integrated analytical framework that gives meaning to processes by shedding light on the combination of elements and dynamics on which they are based.





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