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ERIC Number: EJ943358
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-May
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2680
Reflections on History, Education, and Social Theories
Franklin, V. P.
History of Education Quarterly, v51 n2 p264-271 May 2011
Historians need social theories to conduct their research whether they are acknowledged or not. Positivist social theories underpinned the professionalization of the writing of history as well as the establishment of the social sciences as "disciplines," in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. August Comte's "science of society" and theories of evolution were attractive to U.S. historians and other researchers dealing with rapid social and economic changes taking place under the banner of American and Western "progress." Progressive and "pragmatic" approaches were taken in dealing with the social wreckage created by the expanding industrialization, increasing urbanization, and huge influx of southern and eastern European immigrants. In addition, social theories and philosophical trends also served as the ideological underpinning for historians writing about the "white man's burden" that was said to have brought European and American "civilization" to the indigenous peoples in Asia, Africa, the Americas, and the islands of the Pacific who came to be dominated by military might with collaboration from local elites. In this article, the author reflects on history, education, and social theories; and suggests that historians should be eclectic and selective in the choice of social theory that best explains the social, political, and economic processes under analysis. (Contains 18 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A