Transregional study of class, social groups, and milieus

Authored by: Christof Dejung

The Routledge Handbook of Transregional Studies

Print publication date:  November  2018
Online publication date:  November  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138718364
eBook ISBN: 9780429438233
Adobe ISBN:


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Global historical and transregional approaches have fundamentally transformed historical research in the past decade. However, there has been a remarkable conceptual vacuum in literature produced recently. The concept of ‘society’, which had been at the centre of many theory-based historiographical endeavours two or three decades ago, is scarcely used today. Global historians and scholars in area studies are primarily interested in imperial expansions, global regimes of racism, and transnational networks; however, they barely connect these topics explicitly to the examination of a particular social order or the concept of class. Jürgen Osterhammel (2001: 475) therefore points out that most global and transregional approaches are lacking a sociostructural foundation. Scholars such as Patrick Manning (2003: 201–13), Jürgen Kocka (2007), and Lynn Hunt (2014) likewise lament the neglect of the social in global historical accounts. And Kenneth Pomeranz (2007: 70) maintains that ‘world history has much to gain from developing research agendas with a strong social history component and from thinking of social history in broad terms’. Notwithstanding, none of these scholars have brought forth more than some general proposals on how to link social history more profoundly with global historical approaches. 1

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