By Andreas Killen
Berlin Electropolis ties the German discourse on anxiousness within the overdue 19th and early 20th centuries to Berlin's transformation right into a capital of the second one commercial revolution. targeting 3 key groups--railway group of workers, infantrymen, and cellphone operators--Andreas Killen lines the emergence within the Eighties after which later decline of the idea that modernity triggered frightened ailment. in this interval, Killen explains, Berlin turned arguably the main complex city in Europe. a number of alterations, many linked to breakthroughs in applied sciences of transportation, verbal exchange, and relaxation, mixed to noticeably adjust the form and pace of daily life in Berlin. The ensuing attention of sped up social switch and the shocks and afflictions that followed it came across their consummate expression within the discourse approximately anxiousness. splendidly researched and obviously written, this booklet bargains a wealth of latest insights into the character of the trendy city, the mental aftermath of global battle I, and the operations of the German welfare nation. Killen additionally explores cultural attitudes towards electrical energy, the evolution of psychiatric concept and perform, and the prestige of ladies staff in Germany's quickly industrializing economic climate. finally, he argues that the backlash opposed to the welfare nation that happened through the overdue Weimar Republic led to the ultimate decoupling of modernity and fearful sickness.
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Extra resources for Berlin Electropolis: Shock, Nerves, and German Modernity (Weimar and Now: German Cultural Criticism)
Even while many doctors saw Germany’s industrial cities, especially Berlin, as breeding grounds for mental and nervous illness, BERLIN ELECTROPOLIS 39 others, such as Grotjahn, saw them as laboratories for a new kind of social modernity. Though early in his life he had moved in socialist circles, Grotjahn’s entry into the ﬁeld of social hygiene coincided with his withdrawal from active politics. He saw medicine as a virtual surrogate for politics, a way of organizing and administering social resources along lines deﬁned by experts in a wide variety of technical, scientiﬁc, and medical ﬁelds.
5 million. The city’s vertiginous growth was fueled by the economic boom that followed uniﬁcation; by waves of immigrants from the countryside; and by the ever-expanding bureaucracies needed to administer the empire. In short order, the city acquired the structures needed to accommodate this growth: the official buildings housing the new empire’s administrative organs; the shopping districts of the West End; and the “rental barracks” (Mietskaserne) of the northern and eastern districts, where the city’s working classes lived.
Saturating the urban landscape with light and eliminating the distinction between day and night, electrical lighting broke up traditional rhythms of activity and rest and allowed individuals no respite from unending streams of light stimuli. 51 Like Eulenburg’s talk, Goldscheider’s text illustrates how the medical response to these processes was implicitly linked with a commentary on modern life. This kind of commentary could also take on a more sociological cast. The concentration of an unmoored, potentially revolutionary proletariat in Berlin fueled anxieties about the effects of new modes of work and urban life on this class.
Berlin Electropolis: Shock, Nerves, and German Modernity (Weimar and Now: German Cultural Criticism) by Andreas Killen