Placing people in the past: Family history and understandings of inequality
Workaround: In current version of Panels 3.8, it seems this body field needs to be populated in order for title above to appear. This note is hidden by custom CSS style. Jack Latimer.
How do social comparisons over time shape perceptions of inequality? In thinking about subjective inequality, it is important to ask which social comparisons matter in establishing people’s sense of relative social position and wider inequalities. These issues are discussed by drawing on a qualitative study of popular genealogy, which examines how people make sense of social position in the past, and explores how social change affects people’s sense of relative inequalities. The gaze of family history promotes certain sorts of social comparisons, between ‘then and now’, and between immediate kin, which can flatten the sense of past social hierarchies. However, the ability to determine social position also depends on the quality of information available, and how different practical engagements facilitate ‘sideways’ comparisons between contemporaries, affording different fields of vision on relative inequalities.
Keywords: social comparison; social position; genealogy; family history; subjective inequality; social class.20117104