Bemerkungen zu einer Sozialgeschichte der Sozialgeschichte
In the past few years a renewal of the debate on the history of historiography, and especially of „Social History" has emerged. In the course of an obvious establishment of their discipline in the academic world, social historians want to describe and analyze it in terms of its historical formation. There is no doubt that this kind of research is necessary, representing an essential move towards improved self-knowledge on the part of the scientific world. Nevertheless, it must be stressed that this reconstruction is still relying on concepts inherited from different traditions of historiography, such as „author", ,,mentality" or „work". In order to unfold the potential belonging to the specific approach of „Social History", the authors examine concepts derived from the history of science and from the sociology of knowledge. These provide the notions of „discursive formation" and „social field" for an analysis of the relations and transformations constituting the birth and growth of a new historical practice. The research on the present as well as the historical position of „Social History" in the intellectual world may constitute a better understanding of the transformations of historical practice and scientific debate which accompany developments in knowledge and perception.