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Abstract

In the fi rst half of the 20th century, the German historiography of medicine created genuine ideas of methodology of research on the history of the medical sciences and medicinal practice. They were a continuation of the native historiographic tradition which was present in German university didactics and literature about the history of medicine in the 19th century. The uniqueness of German anti-positivist methodologies was based on a perception of cultural context in the genesis of medical theories and doctrines. They were researching cultural factors in the overall structure and analysing their infl uence on academics’ and common folk’s perception. There were two rival methodological trends — neoromantic and sociocultural ones, and the second gained wider infl uence in the historiography of medicine. The sociocultural trend had a few research schools, among them: Kulturgeschichte der Medizin, Sozialgeschichte der Medizin and Alltagsgeschichte der Medizin. The main purpose of this paper is to show the genesis of German anti-positivist trends in 20th century, the most important achievements of sociocultural historiography in Germany till 1933 and after 1945, and its infl uence on the standard American historiography of medicine in 20th century. The paper also presents a wide range of literature printed in both Germany and USA about the aforementioned historiographic trends.
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