Your bias in reading history

Jun 2011
1,439
There are school of interpretations. Obviously a historian from a Whig school would have a certain framework in which he fits his material.

But there are lesser known biases as well. Class, social gender, etc. Even the way you see the progression of history can be a bias. If, like Marx, you think it's an on-going class struggle. If you believe that individuals make history. Or social movements. Whatever it may be, it might be a bias.

The easiest is political bias. For example, if you are reading about the New Deal are you more prone to see the positives, the negatives, or are you able to stay neutral and just absorb the facts?

We should all strive to do the latter. But let's face it, we probably don't always do that.

I realize this will probably be an unpopular thread with no responses. But it's important to realize your biases if you have any hope in overcoming them.

For me, I do personally see history as a class struggle. Whether reading about ancient Rome or the recent U.S. deficit debacle it seems to stink of class struggle to me.

I also tend to think that Government can help people more than hinder them. One topic that I've read a lot on is the War On Poverty. Opinions on this vary considerably and almost always hit the two political sides. It was either and absolute failure or one of the greatest achievements of government. In reading on this subject I've tried to strip myself of the bias. It's not about a political party it's about what works the best.

I'm just wondering if anyone else has a bias. If so, in what area? Are you trying to overcome it? I could even admit that some bias is probably a good thing.
 
Oct 2010
6,502
Éire
My bias is Nationalism. I am not working too hard to overcome it ... I see history as the struggles of nations... I don't believe there is anything wrong with that as long as I don't obstruct or change facts to suit a hypothesis.
 

irishcrusader95

Ad Honorem
Aug 2010
6,740
Ireland
when reading about any war or battle there will always be one side i will favor over the other for any number of reasons
 

tjadams

Ad Honoris
Mar 2009
25,362
Texas
I consider myself an amateur-historian and that keeps my mind on facts.
But the problem I run into with others is how we can see the same event
and have two different conclusions (US Civil War). I always have room in my mind
for information, a subtraction is just as good as an addition, but I'm not
overtly biased in historical matters.
 
Dec 2010
1,946
Newfoundland
I am biased based on my nationality. I favour the British and Candian sides of history and work hard to find excuses for any of their questionable actions.
 

KGB

Ad Honorem
Apr 2011
3,389
My bias is Nationalism. I am not working too hard to overcome it ... I see history as the struggles of nations... I don't believe there is anything wrong with that as long as I don't obstruct or change facts to suit a hypothesis.
Yeah, same with me. And besides, my bias is objectivism. I strongly believe, that there are facts and that interpretations are something separated by the objective facts.
 
Dec 2010
1,946
Newfoundland
Sports are a lot less interesting to watch if you don't root for, and attach yourself to a team. I find the same with history. I attach myself to Canada and Britain, my countries of origin, and view outside history using the Canadian and British perspective as my jumping point.