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dc.contributor.authorJardine, Boris
dc.date.accessioned2019-01-15T00:31:05Z
dc.date.available2019-01-15T00:31:05Z
dc.date.issued2018-12
dc.identifier.issn0952-6951
dc.identifier.urihttps://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/287986
dc.description.abstract<jats:p> British social survey movement ‘Mass-Observation’ (M-O) was founded in 1937 by a poet, a film-maker and an ornithologist. It purported to offer a new kind of sociology – one informed by surrealism and working with a ‘mass’ of Observers recording day-to-day interactions. Various commentators have debated the importance and precise identity of M-O in its first phase, especially in light of its combination of social science and surrealism. This article draws on new archival research, in particular into the ‘paperwork’ practices of Charles Madge, arguing that M-O is best understood as an attempt to define a new relationship between the survey subject and information organiser. The latter – as sociologist, planner or artist – was a distinctive interwar persona, central to ‘scientific humanism’. Bathos, as a formal strategy in modernist aesthetics, is introduced as an explanation of the failure of this particular part of the M-O project. Questions of subjectivity and data link M-O to a longer history of heterodox sociological inquiry. This analysis resolves some of the apparent paradoxes that have been prominent in studies of M-O, and draws attention to the unfulfilled promise of a vast archive of social data. </jats:p>
dc.languageen
dc.publisherSAGE Publications
dc.titleMass-Observation, surrealist sociology, and the bathos of paperwork
dc.typeArticle
prism.endingPage79
prism.issueIdentifier5
prism.publicationDate2018
prism.publicationNameHistory of the Human Sciences
prism.startingPage52
prism.volume31
dc.identifier.doi10.17863/CAM.35306
dcterms.dateAccepted2018-10-06
rioxxterms.versionofrecord10.1177/0952695118818990
rioxxterms.versionAM
rioxxterms.licenseref.urihttp://www.rioxx.net/licenses/all-rights-reserved
rioxxterms.licenseref.startdate2018-12
dc.contributor.orcidJardine, Boris [0000-0002-9590-0102]
dc.identifier.eissn1461-720X
rioxxterms.typeJournal Article/Review
cam.issuedOnline2019-05-06
cam.orpheus.successThu Jan 30 10:53:12 GMT 2020 - Embargo updated
rioxxterms.freetoread.startdate2018-12-31


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