Toogood, Mark D
Modern observations: new ornithology and the science of ourselves, 1920e1940.
Journal of Historical Geography, 37
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhg.2010.11.002
The emergence and organisation of amateur networks of observation in Britain in the period between 1920 and 1940 are addressed in this paper. It examines the geographical, organisational and epistemological associations between networks of ornithological observation (traced through the British Trust for Ornithology), which emerged from the 1920s, and amateur ethnography (traced through Mass-Observation) which emerged in the late 1930s. I
approach these ‘observational cultures’ as spaces which brought together new concepts of the local, of everyday nature and society, as well as the possibilities of changing the everyday. The paper suggests that popular observation during the period partly constituted a reframing of ways of knowing Britain differentiated through the everyday production of natural and social knowledge and the construction of the active citizen and new communities of practice.
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