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Mass Observation and Everyday Life
 
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Mass Observation and Everyday Life
Culture, History, Theory
 
 
Palgrave Macmillan
 
 
 
 
 
01 Nov 2005
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£87.00
|Hardback Print on Demand
  
9781403935557
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09 Apr 2010
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£22.99
|Paperback In Stock
  
9780230247888
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eBooks ebook on Palgrave Connect ebook available via library subscriptions ebook on ebooks.com 
 
 


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DescriptionReviewsContentsAuthors

The innovative social-research organization Mass-Observation was founded in 1937 by three men:Tom Harrisson, ornithologist and anthropologist , the English surrealist and documentary filmmaker, Humphrey Jennings and the communist poet and Daily Mirror reporter, Charles Madge . This book explores the true extent and significance of the special role of Mass-Observation, with its unique formula of observation of the masses by the masses for the masses, in the formation of postwar Britain's idea of itself. .

The reason for Mass-Observation's unprecedented success was its pioneering interdisciplinary approach. The co-founders were amongst the technically minded professionals that George Orwell described as most at home in the classless mass society emerging in Britain during the late 1930s. The work they initiated has produced the most extensive collection of everyday life material in the world and is now a major resource for social historians.

This study situates Mass-Observation within the historical and theoretical contexts of everyday life in the long twentieth century. By showing in detail how they combined poetical perception and surrealist inspiration with political purpose and anthropological understanding - and so changed a nation - it demonstrates how a mass movement can transform society.


Description

The innovative social-research organization Mass-Observation was founded in 1937 by three men:Tom Harrisson, ornithologist and anthropologist , the English surrealist and documentary filmmaker, Humphrey Jennings and the communist poet and Daily Mirror reporter, Charles Madge . This book explores the true extent and significance of the special role of Mass-Observation, with its unique formula of observation of the masses by the masses for the masses, in the formation of postwar Britain's idea of itself. .

The reason for Mass-Observation's unprecedented success was its pioneering interdisciplinary approach. The co-founders were amongst the technically minded professionals that George Orwell described as most at home in the classless mass society emerging in Britain during the late 1930s. The work they initiated has produced the most extensive collection of everyday life material in the world and is now a major resource for social historians.

This study situates Mass-Observation within the historical and theoretical contexts of everyday life in the long twentieth century. By showing in detail how they combined poetical perception and surrealist inspiration with political purpose and anthropological understanding - and so changed a nation - it demonstrates how a mass movement can transform society.


Reviews

"An insightful new history" - Caleb Crain in The New Yorker


Contents

List of Abbreviations
Acknowlegdements
INTRODUCTION: THE MASS-OBSERVATION PROJECT
Defining Mass-Observation
A Brief History of Mass-Observation
Everyday Life and Social Transformation
PART 1: HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
Everyday Life in the Long Twentieth Century
Social Surveys: From Booth's Life and Labour of the London Poor to Kracauer's Die Angestellten and the Lynd's Middeltown
PART 2: THE SPACE OF FORMER HEAVEN
Cambridge Experiment
Letter to Oxford
British Social Anthropology
Popular Poetry and the 'Thirties'
PART 3: THE INTELLECTUALS AND THE MASSES
Profane Illumination and New Objectivity; English Surrealism and British Democracy
Empson's Imaginary Solution
PART 4: EARLY MASS-OBSERVATION
The Formation of Mass-Observation
Coronation Pastoral
PART 5: BRITAIN BEGINS AT HOME
First Year's Work
First Year's Reception
The Munich Crisis
The Lambeth Walk
PART 6: THE MOBILISATION OF EVERYDAY LIFE
Active Leadership and the Civilian Army
The Ministry of Everyday
Co-operating with the Tax Collector
PART 7: THE DEMOBILISATION OF EVERYDAY LIFE
Politics, Pubs, Penguins
Society in the Mind
Resumption of the People's War
Conclusion: Mass-Observation Reassessed
Bibliography and Sources
Index


Authors

NICK HUBBLE is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Suburban Studies, Kingston University, UK. A former Research Fellow at the Mass-Observation Archive, he has also taught for the English departments at the University of Sussex and the University of Central England, Birmingham, UK.