Academic journal article Journal of Social History

Introduction

Academic journal article Journal of Social History

Introduction

Article excerpt

This special issue continues a conversation launched in our Winter, 2001 issue, on the future of social history. The first set of papers focused heavily on current problems, including the knotty relationship with the "cultural turn" and its aftermath. The papers collectively generated a clear sense that a further discussion, more focused on new opportunities, would be fruitful. While all sorts of issues might organize such a discussion, including reviving some earlier debates about the role of narrative and modes of presentation in the field or the question of appropriate periodization, four topics commanded greatest attention: the question of social history and choice of geographic units of study; the ongoing analysis of power and the relationship between social history and politics; revived concerns about social structure and inequality; and the relationship between social history and teaching/reaching wider publics. The first four sections of this issue are organized around these topics in sequence with a final section, inherently more open-ended, on subjects for the future.

Papers in this volume were initially presented at a JSH working conference, held at George Mason University in October, 2004. …

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