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Romano-British people and the language of sociology

By Michael R. McCarthy

Abstract

YesDespite the vast amount of work and the huge database for Roman Britain, the people of the province remain very difficult to discern. There are many reasons for this, but one is that we have not yet learned to look behind the disjecta membra of archaeology in order to understand the structure and nature of society, and how the Roman Conquest may have impacted upon it. The language of sociology offers scope for thought, especially when combined with examples drawn from historically documented societies in later periods. Whilst models drawn from the classical world are important, attention also needs to be focused on the local, and on the factors that determined the shape of people¿s lives and influenced their daily activities. Not all these are archaeologically detectable, nevertheless an appreciation of their existence is an important pre-requisite in attempting explanations of patterns in the data.\ud `The self image of some historians makes it appear as if they are concerned in their work exclusively with individuals without figurations, with people wholly independent of others. The self image of many sociologists makes it appear as if they are concerned exclusively with figurations without individuals, societies or `systems¿ wholly independent of individual people. ¿ both approaches, and the self images underlying them, lead their practitioners astray. On closer examination we find that both disciplines are merely directing their attention to different strata or levels of one and the same historical process¿. (Elias, The Court Society, Oxford 1983

Topics: Romano-British People, Sociology, Roman Britain, Roman Conquest
Year: 2006
OAI identifier: oai:bradscholars.brad.ac.uk:10454/749
Provided by: Bradford Scholars

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