Beiträge zur Kulturforschung


104. Jahrgang, 1/2008

Entdeckungsreisen in die Fabrik. Bürgerliche Feldforschungen

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Jens Wietschorke


This article accompanies ‘social explorers’ from the bourgeoisie on their expeditions into the unknown world of the factory. In a mixture of empirical social research, social reportage and selfexperiment they devoted themselves to the question, which specific social and cultural place should be assigned to the working classes, and tried to make the workforce speak. They describe their experiences – just in the wake of exoticising descriptions of the other side of the own society e.g. by Salvation Army or Inner Mission – in a catchy, also on the adventure novel oriented manner. The article traces the ways of the authors into the field, describes their field studies, including the data collection, which was in parts designed for longer stays, and asks for the factors that made the bourgeois observers being attracted by the factories. Finally, the (political) intentions and interests of the bourgeois researchers are described and discussed.

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