Mass Observation and Everyday Life: Culture, History, Theory

Mass Observation and Everyday Life: Culture, History, Theory

by Nick Hubble
     
 

Mass Observation was one of the most innovative intellectual projects of the 20th century. Triggered by the Abdication Crisis of 1936, and a sense that the views of ordinary people were not being represented by the media or political system, this social research organisation sought to establish an anthropology of everyday British life through a variety of projects

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Overview

Mass Observation was one of the most innovative intellectual projects of the 20th century. Triggered by the Abdication Crisis of 1936, and a sense that the views of ordinary people were not being represented by the media or political system, this social research organisation sought to establish an anthropology of everyday British life through a variety of projects which drew on a range of inventive and original methodologies. The Mass Observation Archive contains the most extensive collection of material on everyday life in the world and is now a major resource for social historians.

This fascinating overview of the organization situates Mass Observation within its historical context, uncovering the true extent and significant it played, with its unique formula of observation of the masses by the masses for the masses, in the formation of postwar Britain. By showing how the founders combined poetical perception and surrealist inspiration with political purpose and anthropological understanding, this study demonstrates how a mass movement can transform society.

A new Afterword examines the contexts for the revived popular and Academic interest in Mass Observation and argues that the profoundly democratic achievement of the project was to show how people's lives can be simultaneously ordinary and extraordinary.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An insightful new history" — The New Yorker

"Hubble's account is much needed, and the depth of detail and analysis that is evident in it ensure that it is likely to remain an essential guide to Mass Observation for years to come" — Textual Practice

"an excellent appreciation of Tom Harrisson and his fellow Mass Observation co-founders" — History Workshop Jourbanal

"an important book...invaluable to anyone wanting to understand what lay behind Mass Observation and how the organization developed" — Literature and History

"Hubble provides an exhaustive investigation into the origins of Mass Observation [and] their influence on successive generations of intellectuals" — Jourbanal of Interdisciplinary History

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780230247888
Publisher:
Palgrave Macmillan
Publication date:
05/15/2010
Pages:
264
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)

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