International Journal of
Sociology and Anthropology

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Sociol. Anthropol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-988X
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJSA
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 305


Bridging the disciplinary divide between history and sociology in studying social change in Swaziland

Agostino M. Zamberia
Department of Sociology, University of Swaziland, Kwaluseni M201, Swaziland.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 20 June 2012
  •  Published: 31 July 2013



Historians and sociologists have consistently demonstrated a concern about the nature and dynamics of social change in society. However, despite their shared interest in documenting and elucidating the dynamics of change, disciplinary compartmentalization (especially in African academic institutions) has stifled the development of interdisciplinary research and theoretical debates in sociology and history. This paper examines a number of methodological and theoretical issues that highlight the need to analyse the processes of social and economic transformation from an interdisciplinary perspective. The paper argues that such a perspective would facilitate refinements of theoretical formulations and methodological approaches in sociology and other social sciences through the integration of theory with historical evidence. The process of social transformation over time during the colonial and post-colonial periods in Swaziland is examined to demonstrate the benefits of utilizing the research and theoretical tools of historians and sociologists jointly in exploring social change in Swaziland, in particular, and Africa, in general. The paper calls for collaborative work among sociologists and historians in order to build and strengthen an interdisciplinary approach to the study of social change and development in Africa.


Key words: Social change, Swaziland, proletarianization, capitalist penetration, social stratification.