We Europeans?: Mass-Observation Race and British Identity in the Twentieth Century

We Europeans?: Mass-Observation Race and British Identity in the Twentieth Century

by Tony Kushner
     
 

ISBN-10: 0754602060

ISBN-13: 9780754602064

Pub. Date: 12/30/2004

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

We Europeans is the first book-length study of the original mass observation project. It is also the first detailed historical study of the formation of ordinary people's 'racial' attitudes in Britain. Drawing upon historical, literary, cultural and anthropological approaches, this book examines the sources of cultural identity in Britain in the twentieth century, and…  See more details below

Overview

We Europeans is the first book-length study of the original mass observation project. It is also the first detailed historical study of the formation of ordinary people's 'racial' attitudes in Britain. Drawing upon historical, literary, cultural and anthropological approaches, this book examines the sources of cultural identity in Britain in the twentieth century, and how these were shaped through the influences of family, education, and everyday 'high' and 'low' culture. The examination focuses on the archives of the British social-anthropological organization Mass-Observation, and is the first detailed history of it to be published. Founded in the 1930s by poets, psychoanalysts, surrealists, and sociologists, among others, the purpose of the organization was to create an anthropology of the British people by the 'natives' themselves, through the use of diaries, directives and special surveys. The organization was active from 1937 to 1951, then revived in the 1980s, when a new group of Mass-Observers were recruited to keep diaries and respond to directives. Both the historical archive of Mass-Observation and the more recent material provide fascinating insight into the everyday lives and formation of identities of ordinary people in Britain. Kushner places the material from these archives in the context of other contemporary writings; through them he explores grassroots identities in Britain in relation to the outside world, especially Europe but also the former Empire and the USA. This study will be of interest to scholars of sociology, cultural studies, literary studies and history who are particularly interested in 'race', race relations, immigration and cultural difference.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780754602064
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
12/30/2004
Series:
Studies in European Cultural Transition Series
Pages:
292
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Part 1 Contexts: Introduction: mass-observation, difference and the 'anthropology of ourselves'; Mass-observation, 'race' and nation. Part 2 Praxis - From Fieldwork To Directive: Exploring otherness: mass-observation in 'darkest' Britain; Beyond the opinion poll? The mass-observation directive. Part 3 Of Ourselves, By Ourselves: The Mass-Observation Diaries: Mass-observation and the genre of diary writing; Racism with the boots off? From Individual prejudice to collective violence in the mass-observation diaries; 'I am all women who are tortured': persecuted Jews at home and abroad and the mass-observation diaries; The intimacy of difference: confronting minorities in everyday life through the mass-observation diaries. Conclusion and afterword: reclaiming the Volvox; Bibliography; Index.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >