Comparative analysis is a mode of research, that due to its outstanding merits is widely used within many fields of scientific inquiry. Focusing on its application in historical research, this article aims to contribute to a more systematic discussion of some of the methodological strategies associated with this mode of analysis. For this purpose, this article presents first a few typologies regarding the functions and leverages of comparative analysis. In the next step different styles in which comparative method is applied are exemplified, with especial attention paid to the comparative studies of large-scale, macro-level societal changes. This article ends then with a critical discussion of the potentials and limitations of comparison as a methodological strategy of generating historical generalisations.
This essay is about the Swedish working woman in the early 1930s. The empirical data consists mainly of Arbetarkvinnornas Tidning (AKT), a Swedish Communist magazine which was launched in December 1929. A qualitative discourse method has been used. Texts, articles, letters to the editor and reports about social conditions in Sweden and Soviet during the years 1929-1932 has been examined. Soviet women models and ideal types are compared with the image of the Swedish working woman. How was the Swedish working woman and her everyday life presented out of a Communist perspective? How was the Soviet woman ideal imaged? Was the Soviet ideal determinative for the Swedish communism?
How was the national agenda of a previously subordinated, ruling Latvian majority reconciled with established academic practices for appointments and enrolment – candidates judged on merit irrespective of ethnicity? Following the disintegration of the Russian Empire, the ethnic Latvian majority assumed power and used state resources to further their national project. Complex national issues arose when a new university, teaching in Latvian, was founded in 1919 – Latvian was a language previously regarded as a peasant vernacular wholly unsuitable for cultural or academic purposes. During the same period the Latvian state was a multi-ethnic parliamentary democracy containing several ethnic minorities, all with full citizenship rights. Some of these minorities, the Baltic Germans and the Jews in particular, possessed considerable cultural capital and experience of academia. The inherent conflicts and compromises in this double agenda are the main focus of Between National and Academic Agendas.