Narratives and the internet

History is at its core all about telling stories. Historians choose certain evidence from sources to come up with a plot to tell their chosen narrative. Traditionally history has been told by a top-down approach. These historians told the story of the elites and rulers but ignored the stories of the common men and women. They would choose only the evidence that suits the narrative they have weaved. Many rulers and elites knew the importance of having control over the history and gained a lot from it. They knew if their stories were accepted by the people this would give their right to rule legitimacy and they would retain their power.

The elites and rulers no longer have a monopoly over history. As a result there are many hidden histories that have come to light. The internet has helped people access these histories that they otherwise would never have known about. It has empowered groups of people that have been marginalized in society to spread their own narrative of a certain history. This has helped people all over the world gain different perspectives regarding classic narratives.

The internet is revolutionary in the way it can spread information all over the globe. It is exciting seeing more hidden histories being discovered and how this will change peoples perspectives on certain narratives that we have become accustomed to.


Here is an interesting link to check out:



4 thoughts on “Narratives and the internet

  1. hoidtellsstories

    I completely agree with you that the internet is a great asset to expressing stories of minorities and empowers those represented and widens the views of community on history.

  2. inalloftheland

    Is history really about telling stories? Isn’t academic history about constructing arguments and solving problems? When is the last time you got told a story by a professional historian?

    1. ags319 Post author

      Both amateur and professional historians tell stories. What separates them is that academic historians treat it more as a science to try and be as accurate as possible in their narrative. I agree with you that they are overall constructing arguments and solving problems. But at the essence it is still a story.

      1. inalloftheland

        Interesting… when you say ‘more as a science’, do you mean historians do experiments and test theories like scientists? or do they test which *stories* best map onto the past… in which case how would they know which story maps best? … I mean, what is this scientific story of which you speak?

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