Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure
The Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure was founded in 1964. In the fifty years since then, members of the Group have made a spectacular series of discipline-transforming contributions to social science history. These include work on historical demography and household structure, on the interdependence of these elements with welfare systems, and on occupational structure. The unique intellectual culture of the Group has combined demography, economic and social history and other social sciences in analyses spanning a thousand years.
The Group has four research themes:
Population - The Group's research seeks to understand the demographic pressures and choices people in past societies experienced, from the medieval period to the recent past. It focuses primarily on the population history of the world's first industrial nation, Britain, understood within the context of European and global developments.
Economy - Radical changes in the form and location of economic activity, income and wealth have occurred in Britain and Europe in various phases from Medieval times up to the present. These affected personal economic opportunity, the occupational choices of the population, their welfare, mobility, skills, consumption and demographic structures. These in turn influenced the development of business growth and innovation, and the economies of localities, regions and nations.
The occupational structure of Britain 1379-1911 This research program aims ultimately to reconstruct the evolution of the occupational structure of Britain from the late medieval period down to the early twentieth century.
Society - Welfare systems both past and present rely upon a combination of support supplied by kin and charity, either legally enforced or voluntary. This research theme is concerned with exploring the demographic, legal and economic underpinnings of past welfare regimes in order to throw light on the different strategies which societies have adopted to support their most vulnerable members. More broadly, this research theme encompasses the economic and social implications of demographic change.
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