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Cultural history

Related: Cultural Studies - culture - culture theory - history - social history - world view

Historians: Peter Berger - Patrick Brantlinger - Robert Darnton - Michel Foucault - Peter Gay - Steven Marcus - John Mullan - Colin Wilson

Compare: great man theory


Cultural history, at least in its common definition since the 1970s, often combines the approaches of anthropology and history to look at popular cultural traditions and cultural interpretations of historical experience.

Most often the focus is on phenomena shared by non-elite groups in a society, such as: carnival, festival, and public rituals; performance traditions of tale, epic, and other verbal forms; cultural evolutions in human relations (ideas, sciences, arts, techniques); and cultural expressions of social movements such as nationalism. Also examines main historical concepts as power, ideology, class, culture, identity, attitude, race, perception and new historical methods as narration of body. Many studies consider adaptations of traditional culture to mass media (tv, radio, newspapers, magazines, posters, etc.), from print to film and, now, to the Internet (culture of capitalism). Its modern approaches come from art history, annales, marxist school, microhistory and new cultural history.

Common theoretical touchstones for recent cultural history have included: Jürgen Habermas's formulation of the public sphere in The Structural Transformation of the Bourgeois Public Sphere; Clifford Geertz's notion of 'thick description' (expounded in, for example, The Interpretation of Cultures); and the idea of memory as a cultural-historical category, as discussed in Paul Connerton's How Societies Remember. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_history [Aug 2005]

see also: culture - history - cultural studies

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