The Salaried Masses: Duty and Distraction in Weimar Germany
A fascinating study of Germany society on the eve of Nazism. First published in 1930, Siegfried Kracauer's work was greeted with great acclaim and soon attained the status of a classic. The object of his inquiry was the new class of salaried employees who populated the cities of Weimar Germany. Spiritually homeless, divorced from all custom and tradition, these white-collar workers sought refuge in entertainment -- or the "distraction of industries," as Kracauer put it -- but, only three years late, were to flee into the arms of Adolf Hitler. Eschewing the instruments of traditional sociological scholarship, but without collapsing into mere journalistic reportage, Kracauer explores the contradictions of this caste. Drawing on conversations, newspapers, adverts and personal correspondence, he charts the bland horror of the everyday. In the process, Kracauer succeeds in writing not just a prescient account of the decline days of the Weimar Republic, but also a path-breaking exercise in the sociology of culture which has sharp relevance for today.
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Introduction by Inka MulderBach 1
Short break for ventilation
Enterprise within the enterprise
Alas so soon
A few choice specimens
Shelter for the homeless
Seen from above
Dear colleagues ladies and gentlemen
A An outsider attracts attention
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according Adorno Afa-Bund Angestellten appeared aptitude tester attitude become Berlin big firm Bloch boss bourgeois capitalist civil servants clerk colleagues commercial employee consciousness critique culture departmental manager Deutsche director dismissal distraction E. T. A. Hoffmann economic Egon Erwin Kisch employee unions enterprise Ernst Bloch essay existence explains fact feuilleton film Frankfurt am Main Frankfurter Zeitung Georg Simmel German girls glamour Hans Speier human ideological individual industry intellectual interest Labour Court labour exchange least live machine Marbach am Neckar Marbacher Mass Ornament means modern morally pink nature neue newspaper older employees once organization perhaps person precisely production proletarian rationalization reality redundant relations reportage representatives retrenchment salaried employees Salaried Masses salaried staff Schriften seeks shorthand typist Siegfried Kracauer social sphere spiritual strata stratum Suhrkamp Verlag things trade unions Weimar works-council chairman works-council member writes young youth