Social Theory and Social History (Theory and History) by Donald M. MacRaild, Avram Taylor

By Donald M. MacRaild, Avram Taylor

This publication examines the quick improvement of social historical past over the last a hundred years, exploring the hyperlinks among old process, social idea and the altering nature of what pursuits us concerning the earlier. delivering a path map for common readers and scholars alike, the ebook charts different territories, from the increase of social background from negative relation to fiscal historical past and the emergence of Annales and Marxist views to the new demanding situations awarded via post-structuralism and cultural historical past.

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C. 63 The 1960s also saw an intersection of social and gender history. The context for the flowering of interest in women’s history is provided by the political struggles of the women’s movement in this period, when, as with labour history, contemporary issues and struggles prompted a reconsideration of the necessary historical context for such dramas. The revolution in understanding of working-class males, which accompanied the works of the British Marxists, had not been matched by a growth in concern about the larger part of that class, women.

In so doing, these works were offering a preface to what would become a thriving area within social and economic history: that of labour history, with its central concern about the organisations, lives and social protests of the working classes, as well as laying the foundations for British empirical sociology. A common view among its practitioners was that economic history was the most important sub-discipline because it sought to report on those issues that mattered most to past societies. This stress echoed Marx’s view, outlined in his expositions on historical materialism, that the economic basis determined other aspects of society.

In practice, it could be that the label we attach to this type of work may largely be the result of whether it is carried out in a department of ‘history’ or ‘sociology’, or even within another related discipline. One of the positive aspects of such difficulties is that it forces us to think afresh about what history is, how it should be practised, and whether some of the disciplinary boundaries we consider as ‘natural’ or ‘fixed’ are, in fact, artificial. In what ways can we combine history and sociology, though?

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