History and Social Theory

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Cornell University Press, 2005 - History - 224 pages

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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About the author (2005)

Roland Recht is curator of the exhibition Le Grand Atelier, Europalia 2007. He is Professor of Art History at the Collège de France and a member of the Institut de France. Catheline Pèrier-d'Ieteren is Professor of the History of Art and Architecture at the Free University of Brussels. Pascal Griener is Professor of art history at the University of Neuchâtel. Peter Burke is Professor of Cultural History at the University of Cambridge. His many books include History and Social Theory and Eyewitnessing: The Uses of Images as Historical Evidence, both from Cornell.

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