Igor Stas 1
  • 1 University of Tyumen, Volodarskogo str., 6, Tyumen, Russian Federation 625003

Urban History: between History and Social Sciences

2022, vol. 21, No. 3, pp. 250–285 [issue contents]
The article analyzes the formation and development of Urban History as a branch of historical science before and immediately after the era of the Urban Crisis of the 1950s and 1960s. The concept of the article suggests that urban history was formed in a constant dialogue with the social sciences. At the beginning, academic urban historians appeared in the 1930s as opponents of American “agrarian” and frontier histories. Drawing their ideas from the Chicago School of sociology, they reproduced the national history of civic local communities that expressed the achievements of Western civilization. However, in the context of the impending Urban Crisis, social sciences, together with urban historians, have declared the importance of generalizing social phenomena. A group of rebels soon formed among historians. They called their movement ‘New Urban History’ and advocated the return of historical context to urban studies, and were against social theory. However, in an effort to reconstruct history “from the bottom up” through a quantitative study of social mobility, new urban historians have lost the city as an important variable of their analysis. They had to abandon the popular name and recognize themselves as representatives of social history and interested in the problems of class, culture, consciousness, and conflicts. In this situation, some social scientists have tried to try on the elusive brand ‘New Urban History’, but their attempt also failed. As a result, only those who remained faithful to the national narrative or interdisciplinary approach remained urban historians, but continued to remain in the bosom of historical science, rushing around conventional urban sociology and its denial.
Citation: Stas I. (2022) Urban History: mezhdu istoriey i sotsial'nymi naukami [Urban History: between History and Social Sciences]. The Russian Sociological Review, vol. 21, no 3, pp. 250-285 (in Russian)
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