History and Social Theory

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Cornell University Press, 2005 - History - 224 pages

"Burke attends in critically appreciative ways to a remarkably diverse array of scholars and schools in both history and social theory, from Annales figures and British Marxists to social theorists such as Pierre Bourdieu and Anthony Giddens and critical-historical philosophers such as Michel Foucault and Jürgen Habermas."?Journal of American History

"Provides an invaluable overview of prior developments and current trends in historical work by anthropologists, historians, and sociologists."?Contemporary Sociology

What is the use of social theory to historians, and of history to social theorists? In clear and energetic prose, a preeminent cultural historian here offers a far-reaching response to these deceptively simple questions. Peter Burke reviews the emergence of the fields of history and social science and traces their tentative convergence as he reappraises the relations between them.

Burke first examines what uses historians have made?or might make?of the models, methods, and concepts of the social sciences, and then analyzes some of the intellectual conflicts that are at the heart of the tension between history and social theory. Throughout, he draws from a broad range of cultures and periods to illustrate how history, in turn, has been used to create and validate social theories. This new edition brings the book up to date with the addition of examples and discussions of new topics such as social capital, globalization, and postcolonialism.

 

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Contents

THEORISTS AND HISTORIANS
1
A Dialogue of the Deaf
2
The Differentiation of History and Theory
3
The Dismissal of the Past
10
The Rise of Social History
13
The Convergence of Theory and History
16
MODELS AND METHODS
21
Models and Types
26
Myth and Memory
112
CENTRAL PROBLEMS
116
Concepts of Culture
119
Consensus versus Conflict
122
Facts versus Fictions
124
Structures versus Agents
127
Functionalism
128
The Example of Venice
131

Quantitative Methods
34
The Social Microscope
38
CENTRAL CONCEPTS
44
Roles and Performances
47
Sex and Gender
50
Family and Kinship
54
Communities and Identities
57
Class and Status
60
Social Mobility and Social Distinction
64
Consumption and Exchange
66
Cultural and Social Capital
70
Patrons Clients and Corruption
73
Power and Political Culture
76
Civil Society and the Public Sphere
79
Centres and Peripheries
82
Hegemony and Resistance
88
Social Protest and Social Movements
92
Mentalities Ideologies Discourses
95
Communication and Reception
101
Postcolonialism and Cultural Hybridity
104
Orality and Textuality
108
Structuralism
134
The Return of the Actor
136
SOCIAL THEORY AND SOCIAL CHANGE
141
Spencers Model
142
Marxs Model
151
A Third Way?
154
Patterns of Population
158
Patterns of Culture
160
Encounters
162
The Importance of Events
165
Generations
170
POSTMODERNITY AND POSTMODERNISM
172
Destabilization
173
Cultural Constructions
175
Decentring
179
Beyond Eurocentrism?
182
Globalization
186
To Conclude
188
Bibliography
190
Index
214
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Peter Burke is a fellow of Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge. His books include Eyewitnessing: The Uses of Images as Historical Evidence, also from Cornell; The European Renaissance: Centres and Peripheries; and A Social History of Knowledge from Gutenberg to Diderot.

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