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Alltagsgeschichte (German; lit. 'everyday history') is a form of microhistory that was particularly prevalent among German historians during the 1980s. It was founded by historians Alf Luedtke and Hans Medick.[1] Alltagsgeschichte can be considered part of the wider Marxian historical school of 'history from below'. It challenged the well-known framework of Strukturgeschichte, “structured history”, within the German historical field and advocated for a new model of social history.[2]


Alltagsgeschichte developed from the social and political upheavals of the 1960s when new social movements began to mobilize with political and academic voices.[3] The purpose of Alltagsgeschichte is to find and prove the links between the everyday, basic experiences of ordinary people in a society, and the broad social and political changes which occur in that society. Alltagsgeschichte becomes a form of microhistory because this massively broad endeavour to undertakecan only feasibly be practiced on the most minute of scales. With the political shift in Germany during the 1990s, many historians deemed Alltagsgeschichte a casualty of the move from social history towards cultural history.[3]

Alltagsgeschichte's leading proponents include Paul Veyne and Michel Rouche in France, and Peter Carr in the United Kingdom.[4][5] Alltagsgeschichte can also be linked to the Italian historical doctrine of Microstoria (microhistory).

Popular culture[edit]

An example of Alltagsgeschichte bleeding into popular culture in Europe can be seen in the Austrian documentary series of the same name, produced between 1985 and 2006 by Elisabeth T. Spira.[6] The series chronicled the everyday lives and stories of Austrian people in over 60 episodes.[6]


  • The History of Everyday Life by German historian Alf Lüdtke
  • Alltagsgeschichte - ein Bericht von unterwegs, by Alf Lüdtke, in Historische Anthropologie No. 11 (2003), pp. 278–295
  • A History of Private Life: from Pagan Rome to Byzantium, Paul Veyne, ed. (Editions du Seuil, 1985)
  • Portavo: an Irish Townland and its Peoples, Parts One and Two, by Peter Carr (White Row, 2003 and 2005)
  • The History of Everyday Life: A second chapter", by Paul Steege, Andrew Bergerson, Maureen Healy and Pamela E. Swett, in The Journal of Modern History, No. 80 (June 2008), pp. 358–378


  1. ^ Lüdtke, Alf (2003). "Alltagsgeschichte – ein Bericht von unterwegs". Historische Anthropologie. 11 (2): 278–295. doi:10.7788/ha.2003.11.2.278. ISSN 2194-4032.
  2. ^ Crew, David F. (1989). "Alltagsgeschichte: A New Social History "From Below"?". Central European History. 22 (3–4): 394–407. doi:10.1017/S0008938900020550. ISSN 1569-1616.
  3. ^ a b Steege, Paul; Bergerson, Andrew Stuart; Healy, Maureen; Swett, Pamela E. (2008). "The History of Everyday Life: A Second Chapter". The Journal of Modern History. 80 (2): 358–378. doi:10.1086/588855. ISSN 0022-2801.
  4. ^ A History of Private Life, Volume I: From Pagan Rome to Byzantium. Ariès, Philippe., Duby, Georges., Mazal Holocaust Collection. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. 1987–1991. ISBN 0674399757. OCLC 13861052.CS1 maint: others (link)
  5. ^ Carr, Peter, 1957- (2003–2005). Portavo : an Irish townland and its peoples. Belfast: White Row Press. ISBN 1870132114. OCLC 55674102.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ a b "Alltagsgeschichte". (in German). Retrieved 2019-04-07.