We Europeans?: Mass-observation, 'race' and British Identity in the Twentieth Century
Drawing upon historical, literary, cultural and anthropological approaches, this book examines the sources of cultural identity in Britain in the twentieth century, and how these were shaped through the influences of family, education, and everyday 'high' and 'low' culture. The examination focuses on the archives of the British social-anthropological organization Mass-Observation, and is the first detailed history of it to be published. Founded in the 1930s by poets, psychoanalysts, surrealists, and sociologists, among others, the purpose of the organization was to create an anthropology of the British people by the 'natives' themselves, through the use of diaries, directives and special surveys.The organization was active from 1937 to 1951, then revived in the 1980s, when a new group of Mass-Observers were recruited to keep diaries and respond to directives.
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