History and Social Theory

History and Social Theory

3.71 (146 ratings by Goodreads)
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What is the use of social theory to historians, and of history to social theorists? In clear and energetic prose, a pre--eminent cultural historian here offers a far--reaching response to these deceptively simple questions. In this classic text, now revised and updated in its second edition, Peter Burke reviews afresh the relationship between the fields of history and the social sciences and their tentative convergence in recent decades. 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, such as the opposition between structure and human agency, which 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 post--colonialism.
The second edition of History and Social Theory will continue to stimulate both students and scholars across a range of disciplines with its challenging assessment of the roles of history and social science today.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 154 x 226 x 19mm | 360g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 2nd Edition
  • 0745634079
  • 9780745634074
  • 348,017

Table of contents

* Preface *1 THEORISTS AND HISTORIANS * A Dialogue of the Deaf * The Differentiation of History and Theory * The Dismissal of the Past * The Rise of Social History * The Convergence of Theory and History *2 MODELS AND METHODS * Comparisons * Models * Quantitative Methods * The Social Microscope *3 CENTRAL CONCEPTS * Roles and Performances * Sex and Gender * Family and Kinship * Communities and Identities * Class and Status * Social Mobility and Social Distinction * Consumption and Exchange * Social and Cultural Capital * Patrons and Clients * Power and the Public Sphere * Centres and Peripheries * Hegemony and Resistance * Social Protest and Social Movements * Mentalities, Ideologies, Discourses * Communication and Reception * Postcolonialism and Cultural Hybridity * Orality and Textuality * Memory and Myth *4 CENTRAL PROBLEMS * Rationality versus Relativism * Concepts of Culture * Consensus versus Conflict * Facts versus Fictions * Structures versus Agents * Functionalism * The Example of Venice * Structuralism * The Return of the Actor *5 SOCIAL THEORY AND SOCIAL CHANGE * Spencera s Model * Marxa s Model * A Third Way? * Essays in Synthesis * Patterns of Population * Patterns of Culture * Encounters * The Importance of Events * Generations *6 POSTMODERNITY AND POSTMODERNISM * Destabilization * Cultural Constructions * Decentering * Beyond Eurocentrism? * Globalization * To Conclude * Bibliography * Index
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Review quote

"This remains an excellent and (still) timely call for greater cross--fertilization between two disciplines that approach the same subject from different but complementary angles. Alongside the quality of the writing and the argument this book provides many useful references on the a classicala works that have shaped both disciplines. For the relative newcomer as for the specialist this is a reminder of how much we can glean not just from social theory and history today, but also from the social theorists and historians who preceded us." History "A work of great clarity and wide scope, History and Social Theory offers the reader quick access to the key issues in the field with pithy and focused discussions of its problems, claims, contentions, and work yet to be done." Herman Lebovics, SUNY Stony Brook "This is a really excellent book and should be prescribed reading for any serious student of history or social theory at any teaching level. It should also attract large numbers of admiring general readers." Robert W. Scibner, Clare College, Cambridge
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About Peter Burke

Peter Burke is widely--recognized as a world leader in historiography and has been particularly influential in the convergence between history and the social sciences. He is the Professor of Cultural History Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge.
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Rating details

146 ratings
3.71 out of 5 stars
5 18% (27)
4 44% (64)
3 29% (43)
2 7% (10)
1 1% (2)
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