During the POLPAN Seminar on January 9th, 2018, Dr. Piotr Filipkowski (University of Vienna / IFiS PAN) presented a paper entitled “How to Use Sociological Research (Data) in Contemporary Historical Research? A Few Answers from Germany”.
Western historiography – and German in particular – starts researching the very recent past, up to the present. At the same time sociology, or even social sciences in general, are more open than before, to take historical perspective – and this trend goes beyond subdiscipline of “historical sociology”. This convergence leads, among others, to historians’ interest in “raw” sociological data, both qualitative and quantitative, including their “mixing” in original ways, which brings not only interesting methodological discussions, but also research solutions that promise fresh substantive insights into important questions of the recent past.
I would like to present several German historical studies of this kind, which are based on “re-use” of sociological data – in particular coming from key German quantitative sociological panel study (SOEP) – to initiate methodological discussion on potentials, limits and, maybe, concrete possibilities of similar sociological-historical research projects to be conducted in Poland.