Historical context and stories

Existing narrative delivery methods of "dry" subjects should be copied and adapted to a local context.

Why the contribution is important

Governance policies, legislation, policy decisions by themselves are a very dry subject if they are distilled and stripped down to their bones - just a couple of chemical letters of the alphabet all in a pile. The meaning, the spirit behind them is absent if the historical and concrete associations with them isn't there.

The ancient Hebrews approached this problem by padding their laws and philosophy and values with a narrative. I believe most have heard of them. It was such a great idea that the later spin-offs also adopted this book. This book was not purely of laws, but encapsulated the laws in a format that human people just soak up: a drama, a narrative.

People like a good story.

The historical novel "Sarum" is an excellent example of how the context of how society and law has changed, encapsulated in an engaging tale. The story which followed the family from the very beginning, through the different ages, illustrating how they made their living, their good times and their suffering and what the role of religious and secular governance was as a background to this - such as the soot-covered animal emerging from the coalmines, later identified as a rural child younger than 10 who was used in coalmines so the mine shafts did not need to be as large, and this being an introduction to the history of the UK's first minimum labour age laws and consequent compulsory school age laws - makes far more of an almost-traumatic fleshed-out recount of our labour laws and education laws for example, than any simple and dry recount.


by land077 on March 02, 2021 at 05:58PM

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  • Posted by Harry May 10, 2021 at 10:42

    Seems reasonable, just so long as it's not written with a spin narrative, such as is common in these days of identity politics, where it's though that one section of the community is more important than another.
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