This article asks how questions from social history can be more closely integrated into world history and vice versa. It highlights cases in which this has already happened and suggests avenues for further development. It divides social history into three different types: history of daily life, history of social organization, and history of social movements and deliberate attempts to induce social change, whether from the top down or from the bottom up. The last kind of social history is particularly difficult to frame as world history, partly because we lack terms for collective agents that are agreed to be useful across cultural lines. But developing such a vocabulary remains necessary. The last section of the article examines how social histories of empire offer some approaches that are promising for this purpose.


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pp. 69-98
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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