Social Research Glossary


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Home


Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2012-17, Social Research Glossary, Quality Research International,

This is a dynamic glossary and the author would welcome any e-mail suggestions for additions or amendments. Page updated 2 January, 2017 , © Lee Harvey 2012–2017.


A fast-paced novel of conjecture and surprises



core definition

Synchrony refers to the treatment of events that exist or occur at the same time.

explanatory context

This is usually compared to diachrony, where events occur over time.

The difference can be explained via a musical analogy. The sequence of notes, or tune, is the diachronic progression. The harmony is the synchony.

Synchrony refers to the relation between elements of a system at a given time and synchronic analysis refers to the analysis of a structure or system at a given point in time.

Structuralist analysis is usually synchronic. In this context the term metaphor or metaphoric is sometimes used instead of synchrony or synchronic.

analytical review

Changing Minds 2002–2012 states:

Synchrony: Saussure proposed that language as a system of signs be studied as a complete system at any given point in time.
Like chess, the important part of language is how pieces move and the positions of all pieces relative to one another. The shape of each piece is only important in that its potential can be recognized.
A synchronic relationship is one where two similar things exist at the same time. Modern American English and British English have a synchronic relationship..

associated issues


related areas

See also


Researching the Real World Section 5


Changing Minds 2002–2012, Synchrony and Diachrony available at, accessed 21 January 2013,still available 29 December 2016.

copyright Lee Harvey 2012–2017

A NOVEL Who bombed a Birmingham mosque?

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Home