Social and cultural history

Authored by: Dean Phillip Bell

The Routledge Companion to Jewish History and Historiography

Print publication date:  October  2018
Online publication date:  September  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138193611
eBook ISBN: 9780429458927
Adobe ISBN:


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The social sciences, and sociology in particular (see Chapter 38), have often been seen as almost the opposite of the study of history. The former is typically focused on human society and its broad developments and structures, whereas the latter compares human societies and charts changes over time. Nevertheless, increasingly the two have been seen as complementary. 1 In fact, historians have engaged with the social sciences since their inception in the nineteenth century. Social history became a popular, and even dominant, subdiscipline within history starting in the 1960s. 2 In the United States the number of doctoral dissertations written on subjects in social history quadrupled between 1958 and 1978, displacing political history as the primary area of research conducted by graduate students. 3

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