The Construction of an Urban Past: Narrative and System in Urban History
By: Harry Jansen
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This book offers a new theoretical basis for urban studies and for historical studies in general by addressing one of the main problems that confronts contemporary historians. How is it possible to process...Read more
This book offers a new theoretical basis for urban studies and for historical studies in general by addressing one of the main problems that confronts contemporary historians. How is it possible to process and synthesize an increasingly overwhelming amount of specialist research in the face of the theoretical deadlock caused by postmodernism? How can we move beyond its claim that the past is unknowable? Jansen's approach - in which he claims there is a reality that is accessible to our cognitive capacities - is based on Systems Theory, which has already been applied so successfully in the fields of management and organization. While focusing his attention on urban historiography, Jansen argues that an integrative systems approach can be used in any field of historical enquiry to create a meaningful picture of the past. He illustrates the importance of structuring data in this way by looking at the profound complexity of the urban environment. This book is therefore important reading not only for urban historians and geographers but also for all social scientists interested in the future study of the European city.
About the author: Harry Jansen
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