Introduction
in The houses of history
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Both past and present are always intertwined in historical practice. Historians seek to understand people whose lives and sensibilities were very different to their own. One criticism often made of the historical profession is that the theorization upon which historical accounts are constructed is rarely made explicit. In the absence of explicit theorization in a historical text, it can be difficult to identify the theory or concepts upon which it rests. This chapter provides a detailed account of four interlinked themes: context, temporal framework, causation or drivers of change, and subjectivities. These themes will also enable readers to interrogate the assumptions and perspectives, theories and concepts upon which historians draw to analyse and interpret the past. The chapter also presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in this book.

The houses of history

A critical reader in history and theory, second edition

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