Mass-Observation, surrealist sociology, and the bathos of paperwork

Boris Samuel Jardine
British social survey movement 'Mass-Observation' (M-O) was founded in 1937 by a poet, a film-maker and an anthropologist. It purported to offer a new kind of sociology – one inflected by surrealism and working with a 'mass' of observers, all recording day-to-day interactions. Various commentators of 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. In this paper I argue...
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