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Theda Skocpol

By Joyce Tinsman
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Who Is She
Political sociologist Born in Detroit Michigan on May 4, 1947 PhD from Harvard University MA from Harvard University BA from Michigan State University
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Harvard Highlights
Harvard professor of Sociology and Political Science immediately after graduation in 1975 until 1981 when she was denied tenure Files a sexual discrimination law suit against Harvard. Upon winning, she became Harvards first tenured female in Sociology.

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Focus on U.S. politics in a historical and comparative perspective in order to trace patterns of civic engagement in American democracy Revolutions political and social

Focus on inequality in American society, women and public policy, and the development of voluntary associations in U.S. history

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Intellectual Fit
Barrington Moore - her graduate professor at Harvard Daniel Bell Seymour Martin Lipset George Homans Talcott Parsons I John Stuart Mill Marc Bloch Emmanuel Wallerstien Charles Tilly

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Paradigmatic Fit
Skocpol's conception of social revolution draws upon Marxist emphasis on socialstructural change and class conflict. Skocpol approaches revolutions from a structural perspective. Theda also incorporates a feminist perspective into her analysis of our national welfare system.
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Paradigmatic Fit
(i) structuralist - identifies the objective conditions necessary for the emergence of revolutionary situations; (ii) internationalist - traces how transnational economic relations and the international structure of competing states influence domestic developments; (iii) statist - the analysis of emergence of revolutionary situations centers on the relationship of the state, with its administrative and coercive powers, to military competitors abroad, and to dominant classes at home.

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Theoretical ideas
Elite Managerial theory

Theoretical fit
challenges behavioral and pluralist approaches Parsons structural functionalism or Marxism a social revolution is both a change in state institutions (a political revolution) and a change in social structures
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Social science approach

Social Revolutions theory

Theoretical ideas
Civic engagement theory

Theoretical fit
a civic sphere dominated by professionals

New polity-centered model

institutions at the center of analysis / new ways to analyze the links between state and society
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Theoretical Linkages
Macro-analytic comparative-historical social science
Who we compare How we compare

Feminine Structuralist rooted in Historical Institutionalism

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First Notable Contribution

States and Revolutions in 1979 New Institutionalism

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Thank you!

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