Henry Mayhew Writing Styles in London Labour and the London Poor

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Perspective

Mayhew's attempts at categorization reflect the Victorian mania for classification, which is evident in a rush to list and name every type of flower, insect, animal and mineral on earth. London Labour and the London Poor attempts to continue this spirit of scientific inquiry with regard to the impoverished residents of London. This can be viewed as one of the first attempts at Sociology, a scientific study of a human society. It can also be viewed as dehumanizing the individuals studied, reducing them to the status of beetles or rocks.

Mayhew's attempts to elevate his findings to scientific research by quantifying them are commendable. However, his methods are far from scientific. Instead of conducting statistically valid surveys or comprehensive research, he relies on a casual guess, often supplied by interviewing a single member of the trade being studied. This is partly because statistically valid methods of surveying a...

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This section contains 1,067 words
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Buy the London Labour and the London Poor Study Guide
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