Social actors and conflict, the engines of History –

As we have said, the History study the past of men, but these men are not isolated individuals. When we think about who are the protagonists of historymany times we think of the “great men” (founders, intellectuals, politicians).

But there are also groups of people with common interests or characteristics (slaves, Catholic Churchrevolutionaries, nobility, labor movement, army, peasants, etc) who take part in the history. to each of these social groups of similar characteristics we call it social actor. They are so called because they “act” or intervene with their actions in the society.

In fact, the “great men” are also integrated into certain social actors or membership groups. A Colon we can place it within the Spanish “advanced” or “discoverers”; a Cleopatra within the royalty of the ancient Egypt.

To the concept of “social actor” we can link another key concept in the story: the conflict. In every human society there are contradictory elements, or ideas or interests in disagreement, that is to say, a Social conflict. If we look closely at any society of past or of the present, we will see that the conflicts are multiple…

Let’s think about some current examples: conflict religious (in Middle East), armed conflict (war between Iraq Y USA), conflicts over the exploitation of resources (for oil in Falklands), conflict over wages (between workers and employers).

The protagonists of conflicts they are different social actors, who seek a resolution according to their group interests, and for this they make decisions or carry out certain actions. The Social conflict pushes society to seek a change in the situation. Social conflict is the mechanism of change essential in the History.

Other articles on historical knowledge:

what is history

Historical sources, raw material of history

History and the problem of subjectivity

History: past, present and future

Historical fact and historical process

Social actors and conflict, the engines of History

Space, change and permanence… elements to understand History


Historiology on Wikipedia

ALONSO, M., ELISALDE, R. and VÁZQUEZ, E. History. Modern Europe and Colonial America. Buenos Aires, Aique, 1994

BENEJAM, PAGES, COMES and others. Teach and learn Cs. Social, Geography and history in secondary education. Institute of Educational Sciences, University of Barcelona-Horsori, Barcelona, ​​1997.


Student protest during the French Mayin Google