A sense of identity
DOI link for A sense of identity
A sense of identity book
The development of ‘social history’, focusing on society as a whole and the different groups that constituted it, forced historians to consider how far their view of the past had previously been dominated by the particular perspective of the elite. We may not have the evidence to study the lower classes in as much detail as we would like, but at least we can be more aware of how far the sources are simply not telling us about a significant proportion of society. More recent theoretical developments have revealed a still larger blind spot: historians, even those using concepts such as class or status, have ignored more or less half the people who have ever lived, their role in society and their contribution to historical development. Traditional social analysis has ignored the most fundamental division in society in favour of identifying different groups of men, taking it for granted —as Western society has for centuries-that women are defined by the status and activities of their fathers and husbands, and therefore scarcely need to be discussed.