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Class UnknownUndercover Investigations of American Work and Poverty from the Progressive Era to the Present$
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Mark Pittenger

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814767405

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814767405.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 17 June 2021

War and Peace, Class and Culture

War and Peace, Class and Culture

(p.117) 4 War and Peace, Class and Culture
Class Unknown

Mark Pittenger

NYU Press

This chapter examines how undercover investigation fared amid celebrations of postwar affluence. The return of peace and rising postwar prosperity in the later 1940s and 1950s was accompanied by a decline in the number of classic undercover investigations. The worlds of skid row, hobohemia, and itinerant labor that had nourished them were shrinking. Some anthropologists and sociologists continued to argue in favor of the undercover technique, but scientific objectivity was evidently pushing subjectivist approaches out to the disciplines' margins, where they were viewed with growing skepticism. In addition, from the 1950s through the century's end, periodic crises over professional ethics would increasingly delegitimize deceptive research practices. This chapter considers how the central concerns of social science shifted away from a Depression-era emphasis on class and toward race and culture.

Keywords:   undercover investigation, class, peace, prosperity, professional ethics, social science, race, culture, scientific objectivity, deceptive research practices

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