Social history is a methodological approach to history popularized in the 1960s and 1970s that focuses on examining what the 'ordinary' people in a given time and place were doing. It is strongly influenced by the mindset and techniques of sociology and often makes heavy use of quantitative methods to make statements about groups of people who left behind few written records. This makes it a particularly fruitful approach for studying groups that have historically been under-represented in the public discourse, such as women, minorities, immigrants, and homosexuals. Social history is often contrasted with the more traditional approaches of 'great man' history or political history.
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