عنوان مقاله [English]
The Emergence of Cultural history in the 1970s and 1980s and its subsequent dominance was in part a response to the perceived limitations of the social history. In describing the behavioural tendencies of social groups and emphasizing normative behaviour, often in the abstractions of numbers and charts, social historians had moved beyond an elite-dominated political paradigm but had ignored both the uniqueness of individual experience and the ways in which social life is created through politics and culture.
By bringing more marginal practices out from the shadows, cultural historians expose the presumed hegemonic assumptions to which social historians had previously been tied. But cultural history, in the absence of theories about ordinary experience as supplied by economists, sociologists and psychologists, even by biologists, has begun seriously to erode historical knowledge about large slices of human experience.
We, cultural historians, have never needed social historians more than we do today. We need to ask searching questions about the theories that have become the commonplace of cultural analysis. We need to make explicit the connections between the theory and the historical behaviour. But most of all, we need to return to that aspect of social history which asked sharply put questions and communicated them through the manner in which the research was organized.