Adelheid von Saldern
»Schwere Geburten«. Neue Forschungsrichtungen in der bundesrepublikanischen Geschichtswissenschaft (1960-2000)
The article deals with the development of historiography in West Germany from the 1960s onward. It shows, firstly, the impact on new historiographical approaches by social or intellectual movements as well as transatlantic influences. Social history, neo-marxist history, Alltagsgeschichte, women’s history, and cultural history are highlighted. Secondly, the article demonstrates the extraordinarily bitter confrontations between advocates and opponents of the new trends. Finally, the article illuminates some of the reasons for the peculiarities of these fights: political contexts, academic culture, the structures of universities and research funding as well as the role of publishers and the media. A deeper level of explanation is touched when the bitter fights are set against the backdrop of a negative NS-heritage. Over the past few years, methodological competition has lost much of its venom, and more tolerance and methodological pluralism has been established. This might be interpreted as an element of belated Westernization.