Research topic: Social history

Social history is the history of society in a broad and basic sense, and not merely the history of politics and events. This implies that social history is the history of all people.

Social history emerged as an academic discipline in its own right in the 1960s in response to the concentration of traditional history writing on politics, though it had precursors in the field of history.

From this basis, social history has been defined and practised in different ways. It can be the history of people’s daily life, either in work or in leisure. It can be the history of formerly anonymous groups in history, such as the unpropertied, working people, ordinary people, children, women, minorities.
Social history has perhaps most often been understood as the history of society as a whole, and it has offered a holistic understanding of society. Society is therefore studied in its most important components, such as gender, age groups, occupational groups, social strata or classes. Not least, the social relations between these constituent groups of society are studied. The history of social movements has usually belonged to field of social history.

Social history also concentrates on basic social processes, such as urbanisation, modernisation, industrialisation, individualisation. It seeks experimentally to characterise entire forms of societies, for example feudal society, estate society, class society or welfare society. Social history has often, but not always, had a structural understanding of history.



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Published Feb. 5, 2013 10:15 AM - Last modified Nov. 29, 2017 11:39 AM