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Print version ISSN 1517-4522On-line version ISSN 1807-0337


GIRAUD, Olivier. A comparison of the most different cases: a pioneer method in the era of globalization. Sociologias [online]. 2009, n.22, pp.54-74. ISSN 1517-4522.

This article deals with comparative methodology, focused on the most different cases, and exposes the increasing usefulness of this method in today's world, which is characterized by the rise of globalization. The "most different cases" method was developed in the sixties, when structural-functionalist approaches were privileged because they tended to show unicity or, at least, the uniformity of the trajectories of change or the development of the human societies. It was this method that demonstrated the usefulness of a methodological tool that emphasizes the plurality of social forms, such as religion, trade, conquest, labor, etc... This paper intends to define the comparative approaches, as regards the most different cases, within the context of the contemporary methodological debates on comparativism. The article then proposes a definition of globalization and the mechanisms that explain the changes in the conditions of comparison in a globalized world. In the end, it concludes with an assessment of the merits and limitations of the comparative approaches of the most different cases within the context of globalization.

Keywords : Methodology; Comparison; Globalization; Mechanisms.

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