skip to primary navigation skip to content
 

Research themes

Research themes

The Cambridge Group for the History of Population & 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.

Since October 2013, the Cambridge Group has been an interdisciplinary research unit shared between the Department of Geography and the Faculty of History. It is run by a Management Committee and Leigh Shaw-Taylor is Director.

The occupational structure of Britain 1379-1911

The occupational structure of Britain 1379-1911

This research program directed by Leigh Shaw-Taylor and Tony Wrigley aims ultimately to reconstruct the evolution of the occupational structure of Britain from the late medieval period down to the early twentieth century. The project has been designated as a British Academy Research project since 2007 (renewed for a further five years in 2012).

Historical epidemiology and determinants of mortality

Historical epidemiology and determinants of mortality

Infectious disease mortality is a major cause of death in historical populations, but the age, social status and gender of those most susceptible has shifted markedly over time and between regions. Urbanisation and population growth have led to altered geographies of mortality. Our research makes use of demographic sources such as population listings, parish registers and the Census to investigate the changing pattern of mortality in Britain from the medieval period to the early 20th century.

Welfare, economy and society

Welfare, economy and 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.

Economy

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.