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View access options below. You previously purchased this article through ReadCube. Institutional Login. Log in to Wiley Online Library. Purchase Instant Access. View Preview. Learn more Check out. Volume 2 , Issue 4 October Pages Related Information. Close Figure Viewer. The later works—Reactions to the French Revolution , Paris and its Provinces, — , and a string of mainly personal writings—became ever more idiosyncratic and suffered as a result.
It was the ambition to connect political events to underlying social forces. In — the Communist Party Historians' Group focused on the transition from feudalism to capitalism and associated questions rise of absolutism, bourgeois revolution, agrarian problems, the Reformation. Hobsbawm's two-part article on "The Crisis of the Seventeenth Century" then prompted the salient discussion of Past and Present 's first decade, collected as Crisis in Europe, — , edited by Trevor Aston.
It connected the seventeenth-century political upheavals to forms of economic crisis graspable in Europeanwide terms, in "the last phase of the general transition from a feudal to a capitalist economy" Aston, Crisis, p. It built a case for studying religious conflict in social terms. It grasped the nettle of conceptualizing the histories of societies as a whole, with profound implications for their future historiographies, as in John Elliott's treatment of "The Decline of Spain" It reemphasized the convergence between Past and Present and Annales, for Hobsbawm relied on work sponsored by Braudel.
Above all, the debate demonstrated the "comparative method. Annales and Past and Present laid the cumulative foundations for social history's rise in the s. Past and Present 's main strength remained medieval and early modern, where its international influence became sovereign. Annales also consolidated its influence, partly from Braudel's post base at the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme.
Work was systematically translated, beginning with Braudel's Mediterranean and Capitalism and Material Life, — original French edition, , plus Peter Burke's edition of articles, Economy and Society in Early Modern Europe This further institutionalization, and concurrent transplanting to the United States, continued with Lawrence Stone's founding of the Shelby Cullom Davis Center at Princeton University , which with J. Elliott's presence at the Institute of Advanced Study became a transatlantic outpost of Past and Present.
By , when Hobsbawm published his stocktaking survey, "From Social History to the History of Society," social history had already taken off, and the next decade saw a remarkable diffusion—with conferences, international networks, new journals, and special societies like the British Social History Society, This was inseparable from events in the world at large. The big s expansion of Western higher education created a brief buoyancy of funding for scholarly history on a freshly professionalized basis. The political ferment radicalized new generations of students toward new kinds of history, pushing on the discipline's boundaries in vital ways.
The best index was the launching of new journals. Anticipating and shaping these trends was Comparative Studies in Society and History, founded in by the medievalist Sylvia Thrupp, in a program of comparative social science. The West German Geschichte und Gesellschaft was launched in Existing specialisms like labor history broadened their charge, turning from institutional histories of socialism and trade unions, and associated studies of working conditions, industrial relations, and strikes, to social histories of the working class. This was true of the British Bulletin of the Labour History Society, whose conferences reflected the new ambitions.
The same applied to the U. The influence of social science. Social history's arrival was borne by interdisciplinarity, which meant dependence on social science. In the United States, a one-sided dialogue continued between sociology and history, as a succession of Social Science Research Council Reports , , expounded the virtues of theory for historians. Berkhofer Jr. In France, by contrast, the sixth section's structure already placed history at the heart of interdisciplinary work, now reinforced by Braudel's Maison des Sciences de l'Homme. In Britain the relationship was more pragmatic.
Marxism had lost self-confidence after the crisis of Stalinism in , and Past and Present turned to dialogue with non-marxist sociology and anthropology, where sociologist Philip Abrams — and anthropologist Jack Goody were especially active. Hobsbawm's Primitive Rebels was conceived in a running conversation with Meyer Fortes , Max Gluckman — , and other social anthropologists. This first phase of interdisciplinarity saw the ascendancy of U.
The turning to sociology was eclectic, as historians sought to "learn" theory from their colleagues. The most self-conscious borrowings involved methodology rather than theory per se, with sophisticated quantification in demography, family history, mobility studies, migration, urban history, and more.
An extreme version of such dependency developed in West Germany in the s. Their new journal Geschichte und Gesellschaft was the result. Demanding a new "social structural history" embracing whole societies and the "structural function of the family in the pre-industrial world," Laslett headed the Cambridge Population Group with evangelical zeal. But aside from extreme methodological sophistication, Laslett's main achievement became his "null hypothesis" for the nuclear family's continuity across industrialization, laying to rest the myth of progressive nucleation.
Demographic historians became masters of falsification, dismantling ungrounded claims in dialogue with contemporary sociology as in Michael Anderson's The Family in Nineteenth-Century Lancashire , a response to Neil J. Smelser's Social Change in the Industrial Revolution . But their ability to retheorize social change beyond the technics of the immediate debates was far less.
From the foundational conference of , bringing twenty-two international scholars to Cambridge Peter Laslett, ed. Wrigley and Roger S. Schofield, The Population History of England, — , the broader implications were unclear. The strongest explanatory program for demographic history remained Annales, where population was the prime mover of social change, notably in Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie's The Peasants of Languedoc original French edition, Ironically given Laslett's default cautions , the first two general histories of the family in the s, Edward Shorter's The Making of the Modern Family , and Lawrence Stone's The Family , Sex, and Marriage in England — , presented bold teleologies of modernization, expressed in Stone's "rise of affective individualism.
Nonmaterialist aspects of family life remained neglected by comparison. On the other hand, Eli Zaretsky's Capitalism, the Family, and Personal Life explored territory feminist historians were about to map. This story of social history's takeoff in the s, sustained by social science, was replicated in other subfields. In Hobsbawm listed six of these: demography and kinship; urban studies; class formation; "mentalities" or "culture" in the anthropological sense; social transformations like industrialization or "modernization"; and social movements and social protest.
Urban history was a good microcosm. Distinctive to the English-speaking world, it was forged in Britain by H. Dyos — Building on Leicester University's tradition of local history and studies of local government going back to the Webbs, Dyos formed the Urban History Group — , whose newsletter was institutionalized as the Urban History Yearbook in , becoming the journal Urban History in Dyos was a tireless proselytizer, combining social science rigor with eclectic thematics, from the city's political economy and spatial organization, through the social histories of the built environment, land sales, mass transit, labor markets, slum dwelling, and suburbanization, to urban images and representations.
The two-volume showcase, The Victorian City: Images and Realities , coedited with Michael Wolff, defined urbanization as a site where social scientists, humanists, and historians could meet. The urban community study became the vehicle for studying class formation. Elsewhere as in Sweden and West Germany in the s , the subfield was slower and more narrowly convened around social science. History of youth and childhood was also invented by social historians in the s.
Impetus came from historians of population and family, especially among early modernists. Most exciting were the deconstructive implications, turning the basic categories of the human life-course into historical creations, with childhood as an artifact of the specifically modern era. Interest also focused on youth subcultures inspired by in freely cross-disciplinary ways—partly at the Birmingham Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies, partly in radical criminology and the sociology of deviance.
Such work intersected with new social histories of crime, doubly moved by the positivist excitements of social science methodology measuring change, establishing patterns, specifying causal relations and populist identification with "history from below. As so often, Hobsbawm's writings—on primitive rebellion, social banditry, social criminality—had defined the basic terrain. Charles Tilly was trained in sociology at Harvard Ph. His many books and essays across a wide variety of subjects, concentrating on nineteenth-century France and Britain, made him the preeminent sociologist and social historian of collective action in the s and s.
He stood for quantitative and collaborative research on the grand scale, specifying the bases and rationality of collective action in relation to the impact of capitalism including its demographic aspects and the growth of national states. His impact on social historians trained in the United States since the s was enormous, including William H. Sewell Jr. Scott, whose Structure and Mobility: The Men and Women of Marseilles, — and The Glassworkers of Carmaux directly reflected the social science ascendancy of social history's growth in the s.
In the s identifying with the people and learning from social science the doubled genealogies of social history, in British marxism and Annales were not in serious tension. A cognate interest concerned demographic studies of proletarianization, in Historical Studies of Changing Fertility and in many essays.
But Tilly was best known for his sociology of collective action. This required longitudinal research, with big resources, large teams, and huge machineries of quantitative production. These were quantitative histories of changing "repertoires of contention" and the rise of modern mass politics, in an argument summarized in "How Protest Modernized in France" , and "Britain Creates the Social Movement" Tilly's corpus included a programmatic textbook, From Mobilization to Revolution , and the macroanalytical European Revolutions, — , rejoining collective action to capitalism and state-making.
The populist tradition: E. Thompson and his impact. Tilly prodigiously historicized theories of social change—as in Big Structures, Large Processes, Huge Comparisons The main alternative to social science history came from E. Thompson, whose The Making of the English Working Class inspired several generations of social historians. His work advanced an eloquent counter-narrative to gradualist versions of British history as the triumphant march of parliamentary evolution, grounding the latter in violence, inequality, and exploitation instead: "I am seeking to rescue the poor stockinger, the Luddite cropper, the 'obsolete' handloom weaver, the 'utopian' artisan, and even the deluded follower of Joanna Southcott , from the enormous condescension of posterity" p.
The Making was also an antireductionist manifesto—attacking narrowly based economic history, overdeterministic marxism, and static theories of class. For Thompson, class was dynamic, eventuating through history—a relationship and a process, a common consciousness of capitalist exploitation and state repression, graspable through culture. Through The Making the move from labor's institutional study to social histories of working people gained huge momentum, embracing work, housing, nutrition, leisure and sport, drinking, crime, religion, magic and superstition, education, song, literature, childhood, courtship, sexuality, death, and more.
Thompson wrote his great work outside the academy, working in adult education in Leeds, as a Communist until , New Left activist, and public polemicist. He created the Centre for the Study of Social History at Warwick University in , directing it until , when he resigned. Beyond the networks of labor history and Past and Present, Thompson's The Making was loudly attacked. But it energized younger generations. It also inspired the reviving marxisms so central to the developing social history wave.
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Thompson's impact helped two initiatives on the margins to form. Samuel's annual History Workshops became a vital engine of social history, starting modestly, but soon mushrooming into an international event. The first thirteen Workshops met at Ruskin — , before migrating around Britain. They inspired a series of pamphlets twelve, — and books over thirty, — , a local movement, public interventions in the debate on national curriculum, — , and History Workshop Journal.
The second movement was women's history. Originally via tense contention with History Workshop and older mentors like Hobsbawm and Thompson, pioneers like Sheila Rowbotham — drew important support from both. Future leaders of women's history emerged from History Workshop's milieu, including Anna Davin — , Sally Alexander — , and Catherine Hall —.
Rowbotham's early works— Women, Resistance and Revolution , Hidden from History , Woman's Consciousness, Man's World —became markers of the future field. In the s Thompson moved back in time. His social history of property crimes and the law in eighteenth-century political order, Whigs and Hunters , and the work of his Warwick students in Albion's Fatal Tree edited by Douglas Hay, , explored customary culture's transformations under capitalism. Albion's Fatal Tree made crime and punishment "central to unlocking the meanings of eighteenth-century social history" p.
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Gatrell, Bruce Lenman, and Geoffrey Parker eds. Thompson's influence was international. His eighteenth-century essays had equal resonance, especially "The Moral Economy" the object of a retrospective international conference in Birmingham, The s internationalized social history through conferences, journals, and translation. Thompson, Hobsbawm, Tilly, and others joined a series of round tables on social history organized by the Maison des Sciences l'Homme, convening scholars from France, Italy, West Germany, and elsewhere. Large areas even of the historiographies of Britain and France could not be included here.
In France Maurice Agulhon explored the forms of political culture and working-class sociability in the first half of the nineteenth century, especially The Republic in the Village: The People of the Var from the French Revolution to the Second Republic original French edition, The social history of the nineteenth-century French peasantry has been extraordinarily rich, a gold mine for the politics of the countryside.
The proliferating social historiographies of West Germany in the s might have been presented, likewise those in Italy, Scandinavia, and parts of eastern Europe. The historiographies of Wales, Scotland, and Ireland experienced exciting renaissance after the s, and the intellectual cultures of smaller nationalities offered fertile territory for historiographical innovation. Social history's heyday was the s to late s. Greater self-confidence bridled against social science leadership, and the new journals— Social History and History Workshop Journal in Britain, Radical History Review and the short-lived Marxist Perspectives — in the United States—reflected these tensions.
Social historians emerged from the tutelage of the social science paradigms so appealing ten years before. A new generation was claiming its institutional space, flying the banner of a restlessly aggrandizing social history. This social history was more secure in its own autonomies, impatient with the authorizing function of social science. It professed an unproblematic materialism, often inspired by a marxist revival, open to other social theories, and confident of its own pedagogy.
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It was never a unitary phenomenon. But some notion of social determination, conceptualized on the ground of material life, aspiring to "society as a whole," delivered a common framework. Hobsbawm's essay, "From Social History to the History of Society," much cited, translated, and reprinted, provided the characteristic argumentation. From the later s social history lost its primacy as the acknowledged source of innovation, while the "new cultural history" became the main interdisciplinary site instead.
An eclectic and anthropologically oriented cultural analysis took its cue from the American anthropologist Clifford Geertz — and early modernist Natalie Zemon Davis — , as well as from Thompson. It was further extended by the reception of Michel Foucault — , whose philosophical works The Order of Things original French edition, and The Archaeology of Knowledge original French edition, , and highly original treatments of madhouses , hospitals , and prisons , were systematically translated in the s, as were the three volumes of his History of Sexuality original French edition, — , and various editions of essays and interviews.
Finally, feminist theory became unavoidable for social historians in the s, whereas women's history had been more easily compartmentalized and kept at bay before. The changes may be variously tracked. Between his s polemics and essays of the mids, Gareth Stedman Jones stood for a "non-empiricist" and "theoretically informed history," which was materialist in social history's common understandings of the time.
His Outcast London seemed a worthy successor to its British marxist precursors. Then, in Languages of Class: Studies in English Working Class History, — , he proposed a linguistic analysis that left the familiar ground of social historians behind. This was followed in by Joan W. By questioning the assumptions around which social analysis was ordered, Foucauldian "discourse" theory destabilized social history's recently acquired self-confidence. Social history became one site of epistemological uncertainty in the humanities and social sciences.
Leading voices were questioning social history's underlying materialism, including the determinative coherence of the category of "the social" itself. Histories of crime and punishment were an important barometer of changes in social history. During the s, social history of crime, law, and imprisonment burgeoned in one of the most popular areas, British history ranging from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries, affording an excellent handle on questions of social and political order.
Important examples were the products of E. Anthologies edited by J. Cockburn ; V. Then, from the late s historians were reading Michel Foucault. The next major anthology, edited by Stanley Cohen and Andrew Scull, Social Control and the State: Historical and Comparative Essays , already revealed Foucault's impact, with two essays by Ignatieff and David Ingleby dealing directly with his ideas.
During the s, work on prisons, hospitals, asylums and other places of confinement, social policy and public health ; and all forms of governmentality became permeated by Foucault's arguments about power, knowledge, and "regimes of truth. Foucault was not essential to the new directions taken by these authors—for instance, an excellent sampling of German work edited by Richard J.
But it became impossible to imagine the field without him. Feminism was key to this turmoil. In social historians' earlier advocacy—from Annales and Past and Present through Hobsbawm's essay to the later s—women's history played no part. When the latter's pioneering works appeared, they were consigned to a discrete subfield, conceptualized via "separate spheres" or subsumed into the history of the family, a pattern only partly broken by syntheses like Louise Tilly and Joan W. Scott's Women, Work, and Family Only the turning from women's history to gender, as the historical construction of sexual difference, made feminist work impossible to ignore.
Much social history still continued unaware. Ira Katznelson and Aristide R. Zolberg eds. But cumulative studies of gender and work, and gendered critiques of the welfare state, paralleled Scott's theoretical intervention, and by the s social history was examining its gendered suppositions. Works by Sonya O. By some historians were speaking the language of "cultural constructionism. As "race" pervaded social anxieties and political exchange, it also joined gender as a central category of historical analysis, strengthened by postcolonial studies.
Empire returned to the domestic history of European metropolitan societies, initially via anthropology, literary criticism, and cultural studies, exemplified in the work of Ann Stoler, Ann McClintock, or Paul Gilroy. Historians gradually responded in kind, mainly by route of gender. Catherine Hall's work, moving from the classically social-historical Family Fortunes: Men and Women of the English Middle Class, — with Leonore Davidoff, to more recent essays on the "racing" of empire, was especially important.
Not all such works took the "linguistic turn" or disavowed a social analytic. But social history was now enhanced by attention to language and cultural histories of representation. The result was a mobile "culturalism," not indifferent to social analysis or contextualizing, but far more drawn to the domain of meaning than before.
This eased a rapprochement with intellectual history. It pulled history toward literary theory, linguistic analysis, history of art, studies of film and other visual media, reflexive anthropology, and theories of cultural representation.
This threw open the agenda of possible histories. Another range of new journals made the point, all interdisciplinary or perhaps a-disciplinary , and all containing historical work, whether the authors were formally historians or not— Critical Inquiry — , Social Text — , Representations — , Cultural Critique — , Cultural Studies — , New Formations —. Hunt herself migrated from a previous identity.
Having begun as a Tilly-influenced urban historian of the French Revolution, she emerged with the wholly culturalist Family Romance of the French Revolution , and two related anthologies, Eroticism and the Body Politic and The Invention of Pornography: Obscenity and the Origins of Modernity, — This became a familiar pattern, contrasting W. Social histories addressed in Judith R.
The pattern was repeated many times. In German history feminism was again key, especially for work on Nazism, where studies of societal racialization became overdetermined by gender-historical perspectives, beginning with the benchmark volume, When Biology Became Destiny: Women in Weimar and Nazi Germany, edited by Renate Bridenthal, Atina Grossman, and Marion Kaplan, , and continuing through Gisela Bock's Zwangssterilisation im Nationalsozialismus: Studien zur Rassenpolitik und Frauenpolitik In the s gender history, explicitly uniting social and cultural perspectives, transformed the German field.
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In the field at large, Rudy Koshar's Germany's Transient Pasts: Preservation and National Memory in the Twentieth Century brilliantly demonstrated the value of a poststructuralist analytic, enriching social history rather than superseding it—all the more eloquently given Koshar's earlier Social Life, Local Politics, and Nazism: Marburg, — , conceived under Charles Tilly's direction.
These departures scarcely lacked controversy, particularly in labor history, with demographic history the main materialist redoubt. In German history Canning's work combining gender theory with a critical poststructuralist approach set the pace. In British history debates were fierce, as prominent figures moved polemically away from social history altogether. Other new work, like Robert Gray 's The Factory Question and Industrial England, — , Anna Clark's Struggle for the Breeches , or Sonya Rose's Limited Livelihoods , negotiated the tensions between classical and poststructuralist approaches more creatively.
Women's history moved to the center of the most innovative work in German history during the s, mirroring social history's main trends. Beginning with institutional studies of early feminism in books by Richard J. Evans and and Jean H. Quataert , research moved quickly to women's social experience in work, the family, public health, charity, and so on. Fout , Ruth-Ellen B. Atina Grossmann contributed field-defining essays on the "new woman" in the Weimar Republic and a study of the movement for birth control and abortion reform, Reforming Sex , joining Cornelie Usborne's The Politics of the Body in Weimar Germany: Women's Reproductive Rights and Duties In earlier periods, Isabel V.
This new cultural history picked up the threads from Febvre and Bloch in Annales 's founding years. Lynn Hunt's new interest, "in the ways that people collectively imagine—that is, think unconsciously about—the operation of power, and the ways in which this imagination shapes and is in turn shaped by political and social processes" Family Romance, p. Some Annalistes themselves took a cultural turn. A relative outsider to Annales, Michel Vovelle — , in Ideologies and Mentalities original French edition, , took a more extensive approach, freeing cultural history from population's and the economy's structural hold and giving it a broader anthropological and psychological read.
Among the next generation, Roger Chartier's — work on print cultures broadened into The Cultural Origins of the French Revolution original French edition, and the more general Cultural History: Between Practices and Representations Oral history became a vital tool of the social historian, drawing on work by the Africanist Jan Vansina, Oral Tradition: A Study in Historical Methodology , community history projects, and a variety of literary and folklorist traditions, institutionalized via the British-based journal Oral History —.
Rural Geography: Processes, Responses and Experiences in Rural Restructuring
The unquestioned pioneer was a nonacademic historian, George Ewart Evans — , whose democratic commitment to the history of "ordinary people" produced a remarkable series of books, from Ask the Fellows Who Cut the Hay to Spoken History Paul Thompson — shaped oral history as an international field, with an early handbook, The Voice of the Past: Oral History , and the first international conference Essex University, , editing the proceedings as Our Common History: The Transformation of Europe In the s history workshop movements in Britain and West Germany inspired a boom of popular and scholarly activity, as did the Swedish writer Sven Lindqvist's Dig Where You Stand , which built on Scandinavian traditions of ethnology going back to the s.
Die Praxis der Oral History Here oral history connected to a huge preoccupation of the s with history and memory, best approached via Patrick Hutton, History as an Art of Memory , and the journal History and Memory —. Yet Annales lost its distinctive place. It seemed an alternative to high-cultural and canonical intellectual history, promising access to popular and everyday cultures, and inviting quantitative and anthropological methods. Above all, it was moved by the drive for "total history. These exposed the fuzzy determinisms in Braudel's and Le Roy Ladurie's work.
While none of the Annales achievements were gainsaid, their primacy shrank back into a wider international discussion. Historians' treatments of culture moved on, either beyond the old early modern heartland, or to the new ground of linguistic history and cultural studies, where the dynamism came from feminists, popular culture specialists, and intellectual historians, unmoved by the Annales paradigm, or directly critical of it.
Literary texts, such as Peter Stallybrass and Allon White's The Politics and Poetics of Transgression , an imaginative use of the Soviet cultural theorist Mikhail Bakhtin , became more influential. Point out noteworthy strengths or weaknesses of subject, sources, and interpretation. Monday, 15 September Disease disease, medicine, epidemics, public health. Monday, 20 October Childhood and Youth childhood, child labor, education, youth movements, child abuse. Monday, 24 November Deviant Behavior prostitution, criminals, vagrants, the insane. Leneman, Sexuality and Social Control: Scotland, G Grau ed , Hidden Holocaust?
Gay and Lesbian Persecution in Germany, Primary Education in Rural France, L Schwarz, London in the Age of Industrialization Living Conditions, K Nield ed.