Social Science History Association

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The Social Science History Association, formed in 1976, brings together scholars from numerous disciplines interested in social history.[1]

Statement of Purpose: To bring together members of various disciplines (including economics, sociology, demography, anthropology, and history) who work with historical materials.[2]

Social Science History is a quarterly, peer-reviewed academic journal. It is the official journal of the Social Science History Association. Its articles bring an analytic, theoretical, and often quantitative approach to historical evidence. The journal's founders intended to "improve the quality of historical explanation" with "theories and methods from the social science disciplines" and to make generalizations across historical cases.[3] The first issue came out in the fall of 1976.[3][4] The journal's articles that are most-accessed and cited through JSTOR are about social and political movements and associated narratives.[5][6]

The "Social Science History Association" was formed in 1976 as an interdisciplinary group with a journal Social Science History and an annual convention. The goal was to incorporate in historical studies perspectives from all the social sciences, especially political science, sociology and economics. The pioneers shared a commitment to quantification. However, by the 1980s the first blush of quantification had worn off, as critics complained that quantification undervalued the role of contingency, and warned against a naive positivism. Meanwhile quantification became well-established inside economics, in the field of cliometrics, as well as in political science. In history, quantification remained central to demographic studies, but slipped behind in political and social history.[7]

Past Conferences[edit]


SSHA Networks are special interest groups that generate ideas and help coordinate sessions at conferences. These are the network topics for 2013:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ See the SSHA website
  2. ^ American History Association entry for SSHA
  3. ^ a b Editors' Foreword, 1976. Social Science History, 1(1): i-ii
  4. ^ Library of Congress Catalog Record: Social Science History
  5. ^ Social Science History: Most accessed at JSTOR
  6. ^ Social Science History: Most cited at JSTOR
  7. ^ Harvey J. Graff, "The Shock of the 'New’ (Histories)': Social Science Histories and Historical Literacies," Social Science History 25.4 (2001) 483-533 in Project Muse