History and Social Theory
OverviewThis introductory book provides a major reappraisal of the relations between history and the social science.While historians and social scientists have not always been the best of neighbours, in recent years there has been a growing convergence between history and the various disciplines of the social sciences. As the practice of historical research has become influenced by sociology, anthropology and social theory, so too the social sciences have become increasingly historical in character.Peter Burke, who has played a central role in this convergence, sets out to answer what he calls two deceptively simple questions: what is the use of social theory to historians, and what is the use of history to social theorists? He discusses the emergence of the respective disciplines, the relevance of sociological concepts and methods for historians, and the relevance of historical methods and results for sociologists. He also examines the most recent developments in the areas of historical sociology and "the new history", including women's history, microhistory and the history of everyday life. The discussion of concepts and methods is supplemented by the analysis of a selection of case studies, including works by Braudel, Le Roy Ladurie, Elias, Foucault and Sahlins.
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