What is Conjuncture?

The idea of conjuncture alludes to the sum of circumstances and factors that affect something at a certain moment. According to abbreviationfinder.org, the concept can be associated with the notion of context in its broadest sense.

For example: “Due to the economic situation, companies are not making investments in the country”, “Local football cannot escape the national situation”, “Analysts agree that the political situation in Spain is complex”.

To understand a historical event, it is important to consider the conjuncture.

The conjuncture in the field of history

In the field of history, the incidence of historical time in the development of events is known as a conjuncture. This means that events must be studied within the framework of their time, since if they are analyzed according to current criteria, their causes or motivations or their consequences cannot be understood.

To understand the process of the Russian Revolution that took place in 1917, to cite one case, it is necessary to refer to the situation: the country was governed by a tsarist regime that denied rights to the majority of the population. At that time, in addition, the First World War was developing, because of which the Russian army suffered important defeats. This situation made possible the emergence and growth of a revolutionary movement that finally managed to seize power and modify the social organization of the nation.

The situation can be understood as the set of extrinsic elements that affect a reality.

Put yourself in the context

The idea of conjuncture allows us to study events beyond the passage of time, since it gives us the tools to place ourselves at another moment in history, where the situation was different and the actions of the human being could also cause different effects. One way to define this concept is as “the present interspersed in a certain structure”, a slice of social reality located at a specific point, the only one in which it makes sense and gives it to the events that follow.

Precisely, although a conjuncture is a point in time, it gives rise to the beginning of a process that is characterized by the emergence of a structure, so that it remains open and becomes accessible from the future. Structural development is spoken of precisely when the economic or political situation is analyzed, to refer to the present as one of its stages.

The importance of the situation

The conjuncture, in a few words, is the description of a moment in history in which social actors play an active role. When preparing a thesis, for example, they must be based on a series of deductions about the past addressed and presented with a look that points to the future; it could be a research work about the Holocaust analyzing its potential consequences for the victims, their relatives and for the rest of society, both at the time and in the future.

It is important to point out that if a portion of history is analyzed leaving aside the conjunctural aspects, it usually happens that the meaning of the facts is lost, as if they were unconnected or arbitrary events. The situation can make the difference between a brutal act and a simple procedure: with the passing of decades and centuries, human beings progressively modify their points of view about good and evil, the distribution of power, the organization of the family, and that is why historical events must always be placed in their context in order to understand them properly.

Extrinsic elements that affect a particular reality

In colloquial language, the situation is linked to those extrinsic elements that affect the reality of something or someone.

Suppose that a millionaire, due to the security situation in his country, is forced to mobilize with bodyguards and build large walls with electrified fences around his home to protect his family. The man does not feel comfortable with these decisions, but the context forces him to act that way.