Rolf Lindner

To see oneself in the other fellow’s place

Urbane Reportage, Chicago School und die New York Photo League


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“To get the news so completely and to report it so humanly that the reader will see himself in the other fellow’s place” – in this striving saw the American publicist Lincoln Steffens the true ideal of journalism. The urban reportage around 1900, the early ethnographic studies of the Chicago School of urban sociology and the camera work of the New York Photo League had in common the idea to give insight into other life worlds so that the audience is able to feel empathy with the other. In this way the aesthetic function of the media was fulfilled as formulated by the social philosopher George Herbert Mead: to stimulate communitarization by conveying experiences of others.

urban reportage, aesthetic experience, urban ethnography, street photography, humanity of method