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Marienthal (Ppr): The Sociography of an Unemployed Community [Paperback]

Marie Jahoda , Paul Lazarsfeld , Hans Zeisel
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

15 Jan 2008
"One of the main theses of the Marienthal study was that prolonged unemployment leads to a state of apathy in which the victims do not utilize any longer even the few opportunities left to them. The vicious cycle between reduced opportunities and reduced level of aspiration has remained the focus of all subsequent discussions." So begin the opening remarks to the English-language edition of what has become a major classic in the literature of social stratification.

Product details

  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers (15 Jan 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765809443
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765809445
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 15.1 x 1.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,055,374 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In his 1972 'Foreword to the American Edition' of 'Marienthal: The Sociography of an Unemployed Community', Paul Lazarfeld wrote that socio-economic circumstances were such that discussions regarding unemployment had changed considerably since the study was first penned forty years earlier. Indeed, he said, "now we talk more generally about poverty rather than about unemployment specifically". But with structural unemployment re-emerging as an issue in Western economies, the discussion has come full circle and the reader is reminded of how timeless the insights of this slim volume are.

Marienthal is a small community twenty miles outside of Vienna, set against a rural backdrop but dominated by industry. In 1930, the factories that provided employment for the vast majority of its population closed down. This was a community that had an unemployment rate of some seventy-five percent. And though the town may have been small, the attitudes, lifestyles and predicaments of its population are in many respects universally applicable to communities in which unemployment is an endemic problem.

The study undertaken by Lazarfeld, Marie Jahoda and Hans Zeisel was almost completely experimental. Not only were there few studies of unemployment as a social issue, but there were similarly no studies which fused both statistical analysis and "Dickensian" journalism. As such, the methodology pioneered in Marienthal was as novel as it was rough. The trio were also keenly aware that the study had limitations in the breadth of its applicability beyond the town itself; that, although mass unemployment existed in major cities such as Vienna, Vienna was not in itself an unemployed community.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Marienthal-Study: a highly recommended book to study the consequences of unemployment 3 Nov 2013
By Peter de Toma sen. - Published on Amazon.com
Marienthal-Grammatneusiedl is a small town 30 km south-east from Vienna, the capital of Austria.
Born in Vienna I was aware of the "Marienthal Report" - "Die Arbeitslosen von Marienthal. Ein soziographischer Versuch" - a unique research study performed on site in 1933 in the midst of the Great Depression.
Preparing an onsite visit of Marienthal on September 3rd, 2013 I read this book very carefully.
From this study people learn and understand the problems and consequences of mass unemployment at a time without any social support infrastructure.
In the year of 1933 478 families were registered in Marienthal comprising 1486 inhabitants - 712 men, 774 women of whom 318 were younger than 14 years of age.
Readers of the study learn how they struggled for survival, day in, day out: 16% kept a strong will and did not give up, 48% gave up, 11% became desperate and 25% fell into apathy.
Daily time and motion studies explain how they "lived".
The Marienthal Research Study is one of the most famous and important studies of its time.
For me it is of the highest credibility which I would not write about the Hawthorne Study under the control of Elton Mayo.
After reading the Marienthal study any reader with a Minimum level of empathy will understand that unemployment should be avoided whenever possible. High unemployment rates are cancer for the society at large.

Corporations and companies of all sizes need to understand their responsibilities for employment.
During election campaigns politicians like to claim their role in creating jobs and employment. Most of the time government, politicians and public policy makers contribute more to unemployment than to employment.
Voters should always be aware whom they trust and whom they vote.
Today every visitor of Vienna, an excellently administered city in Europe, should make a trip to Marienthal-Grammatneusiedl where he can visit a tiny Museum with outstanding content and overview of this place and the unemployment story of 1933, the Great Depression, which is history today, but history alive - see unemployment rates in some EU countries!

We must always be alerted to engage in efforts for a free, democratic and healthy society where unemployment is the cancer destroying our well- being.
Visitors of Marienthal should and can also visit some original houses of Marienthal in 1933 (originally the homes of the workers - with their families - in the manufacturing plant nourishing the inhabitants) saved from destruction and renovated by the architect Josef Hums with the help of his wife Wilma Hums, both living in Grammatneusiedl.
Mr. Hums, a graduated engineer, made all necessary efforts to get the public funding for the renovation of an ensemble of houses for people needing a home and shelter rented by the local community.
Readers of the research study and visitors of the place today get a unique insight and impression about unemployment in the 193s, the importance of employment, and how social responsibility can be exercised.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy-to-read study on a timeless subject 18 Oct 2009
By Joelle Steffen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Jahoda's treatment of long-term unemployment in the Austrian town of Marienthal is both interesting and infromative. She addresses several of the latent benefits of employment and how mental health is affected by unemployment. A short report, but it covers a lot of ground.
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