Changing the Narrative, Again

Transitions and Transformations


  • Anton Schuurman Wageningen University



In this article I argue that the development of postmodernism and the return of the narrative in the1970s did not just happen for internal scientific reasons but were a reaction to the societal developments and theories at the time. To this end I use the contemporary criticism concerning postmodernism by Beck and Giddens. In the second part I highlight three monographs to argue that social science history in recent decades also renewed itself against this background, thus helping us to understand our contemporary world in which questions of transitions and transformations are central. They use history to inform and diagnose our current situation, which they therefore need to understand as an ongoing process, though not necessarily a continuing one.


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Author Biography

Anton Schuurman, Wageningen University

Anton Schuurman (1953) is emeritus associate professor at the chair of Rural and Environmental History of Wageningen University. Currently he is finishing a book, in Dutch, on The Making of Dutch Agriculture Inc.,1840-1920. For more information see his website:




How to Cite

Schuurman, A. (2022). Changing the Narrative, Again: Transitions and Transformations. TSEG - The Low Countries Journal of Social and Economic History, 19(1), 87–108.



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