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The article I chose was Hiroshima: The strange myth of half a million American lives saved- (file:///home/chronos/u-4db9be1cbf526f265fa76f237b4e8d2ffeb9df6d/Downloads/project_muse_446163.pdf)
After reading the article, write a one to two paragraphs about which of the following lenses you believe the article is using: social, political, economic, or other. Use at least two quotes from your source to justify your choice of lens.
While there are any number of lenses a historian may choose, they fall into three basic categories: social lenses, political lenses, and economic lenses.
Social Lens: This lens focuses on people and their interactions with others. It explores areas of ethnicity, class, and gender. Examining the actions and behaviors of how different groups of people interact with each other—and within their own group—provides historians with a great deal of insight into the past.
This is perhaps the widest and most all-encompassing of the three categories of lenses. Through it, historians have examined all manner of interaction—including German immigrants adjusting to their new home in nineteenth-century United States, class disputes within African American women’s clubs in the twentieth century, and disagreement among different churches about whether or not to support the gay rights movement. The social lens includes the elite as well as the working class, the rich and the poor, and men, women, and children. It seeks, as do the other lenses, to answer the questions of who were these people, how did they think and what did they think about, and how did their thinking drive their actions and behaviors.
Political Lens: Not focusing solely on politicians and governments, the political lens looks at the relationship of those who have power and those who do not. Historians using a “political lens” seek answers about the ways in which legislation and law influence the lives of individuals. How do individuals (and groups of individuals) react and respond to these? What methods do they employ to create and/or change the “rules” under which they live?
Political history can be as simple as the recounting of organizing a community to repeal an unpopular law, or as complex as the behind-the-scenes interactions that propelled an individual to the presidency. It can examine the treaties that ended World War I, or explore the “gerrymandering” of congressional districts to maintain one party’s political control of Congress.
Economic Lens: This lens focuses on the local, national, or international economy, all of which are central to the lives of every living person. While it conjures images of corporations and economic systems, the economic lens also focuses on government regulation of businesses, the relationships between capital and labor, business strategies such as marketing or horizontal integration, and the relationships between business and consumers.
Historians use the economic lens in a number of different ways. Often, it is used to explore the growth and development of labor unions, the effect of the loss of small businesses on a community, or the havoc wrought upon farmers by price changes in the international agricultural and commodities markets. It can also be used to examine the effect of redlining on suburbs and ethnic neighborhoods, or even the effect of the Industrial Revolution on artisans and craftsmen. Economic history can provide insight into the wage differences between men and women—and the effect they have on the development of family wealth and status.
Other Lenses: Falling somewhere in between these three broad categories, or perhaps overlapping one or more of them, are other lenses available to historians. Each of these lenses helps clarify a specific area of the human past: the environment, the military, science and technology, and so forth.