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Two Callings of Social History

Historical Method

The article argues that social history research can be segmented into retrospective and prospective callings. The retrospective calling looks at the current world and tries to figure out how it came into being and how it affected the everyday life of ordinary people. The prospective calling asks what could have happened at important historical points and why the actual outcome prevailed over possible outcomes. Both are important as social science is in need of more historically-grounded theories.