Comprendre la Grande-Bretagne du XIXe siècle à travers le prisme changeant de l’histoire culturelle.
Revue d'histoire du dixneuvieme siècle, 37 pp. 37–54.
This article examines the emergence of a new school of cultural historians in the field of nineteenth-century British history during the 1980s and 1990s. Interest in the cultural make-up and artefacts of society is not, of course, entirely “new”. Pastimes, recreations and customs especially of the ordinary people had captured the attention of social historians in the academy around twenty years earlier. However, the so-called “cultural turn” of the 1980s did, in many ways, signal a decisive break, as the new cultural historians, now approaching British history from a wider, more interdisciplinary basis, embraced a much more all-encompassing definition of “culture” and distanced themselves from the more traditional methodologies. However, the eclectic nature of the new cultural history has proved to be as much a source of weakness as of strength, and the loud concerns about the haphazard and disjointed practice of history at the turn of the twenty-first century mean that we have again reached another critical juncture in this field.
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