Social history in the narrow sense means the history of the social system, its class (or property) composition, the relations between different social strata, the economic and political positions represented by society as a whole, the desires and actions found in them.
The involvement of scientists in social history was caused not only by the internal development of historical science, but also by the development of sociology, expressed in the growth of theoretical socialism, and the aggravation of the social problem in life itself. In particular, the emergence of social history was greatly influenced by the mutual rapprochement between history and political economy, which began in the 1840s. At that time, some representatives of cultural history saw this as the only scientific form of historiography, in contrast to mostly pragmatic history, some historians later claimed that only social history could take on a serious scientific character. In particular, social history is sometimes equated with economic history, which is far from the same thing. The integration of social history into a single economy narrows its horizons due to the important role of cultural and political factors in life, and on the other hand, many features of economic history that are of great importance in this history may go beyond its powers. Nevertheless, social history must be particularly closely linked to economic history, and in this sense economic materialism is of great importance for the development of social history, which focuses on social structure and class struggle in history.