Christiane Schwab

Between natural history, statistics and the social novel

The production of ethnographic and sociological knowledge in the context of 19th-century sociographic journalism

Kurzlink: https://www.waxmann.com/artikelART105571

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Abstract

The rise of market-oriented publishing during the first half of the 19th century correlated with an increasing desire to inspect the modernizing societies. The journalistic pursuit of examining the social world is reflected in a unique way in countless periodical contributions that, especially from the 1830s onward, depicted social types and behaviors, new professions and technologies, institutions, and cultural routines. This article discusses the interrelationships between epistemic and political shifts, new forms of media and the systematization of social research by analyzing how these “sociographic sketches” documented and interpreted the manifold manifestations of the social universe. It focuses on three main areas: the creative appropriation of narratives and motifs of 18th-century moralistic writing; the uses of description and contextualization as cognitive and representational modes of knowledge; and the adaptation of empiricist principles and a scientific terminology. To consider 19th-century sociographic journalism to be a form between entertainment, art and science, provokes us to narrate cross-medial, transnational and interdisciplinary tales of the history of social knowledge production.

Schlagworte
history of anthropological and social thought, 19th century, journalism, periodical literature, Europe

APA-Zitation
Schwab C. (2021). Between natural history, statistics and the social novel: The production of ethnographic and sociological knowledge in the context of 19th-century sociographic journalism. Journal for European Ethnology and Cultural Analysis, 6(2), 95-112. https://www.waxmann.com/artikelART105571