Academic journal article Journal of Social History

Preface

Academic journal article Journal of Social History

Preface

Article excerpt

There is no tidy means of dividing the essays that follow as, quite properly, they overlap in many ways. We decided, for example, against a special section on "non-Western" regions (an inappropriate designation in any case), because in fact essays on Africa and India relate even more clearly to other subjects--but the issue of appropriate regional decisions, and the need to reconsider national focus and introduce more active comparison and transregional social forces runs through the collection.

* A first set of essays introduces the general subject of social history today, from both an American and European perspectives.

* Part II revisits the cultural turn, and its impact on social history as well as future prospects now that the turn may be turning, but of course the subject informs many other contributions as well. Social history is regaining attention now that the cultural turn plays out, but the cultural-social division was never hard and fast which means that opportunities the turn provided can be maintained as well.

* Part III engages central issues not only of geography, but also narrative, causation, social structure, and agency. The comments on social structure, once a sociohistorical staple, gain urgency in addressing the cultural turn and its aftermath. …

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