— Mae D'Amico, History in the Making

History and the Social Sciences: the Longue Durée, by Fernand Braudel, Thesis, Research Questions, and Conclusions

History and the Social Sciences: the Longue Durée by Fernand Braudel is a paper that focuses on how the social sciences need to come together to reach a broader conclusion about presumably, human history.  He states that because all of the social sciences are so interconnected that they cannot be seperated even if the vying fields are trying extremely hard to distinguish their own position and research.  For example, economics would do well to study a broader span of history due to the cyclical occurrences that perpetually ebb and flow in known societies.

Fernand Braudel speaking.

Braudel seems to be basing his paper off certain research questions.  Why are the social sciences so seperated?  What relation do they have to each other?  How does distance in the long term (longue durée) and shorter time periods differ when applied to social sciences?  How can the social sciences be brought together better?

Braudel’s conclusion is that he does have a point and that point is all the social sciences can and should be brought together to see some broader picture that he never really outlines clearly.  Through this compilation of social sciences, the longer, broader aspect of history will be made clearer–somehow.

Although I admit that Braudel has an interesting point to make, I personally wish that he would make it a little clearer with some sort of solution to the problem he is posing.  It seems almost as if he is sitting in an ivory tower somewhere philosophizing without giving any clear solution.