Review Essay: The Representation of a Pioneer of Research on Childhood Using Film: "In Search of Martha Muchow"

Katharina Miko-Schefzig


This review essay focuses on the film "Auf den Spuren von Martha Muchow" [In Search of Martha Muchow, a documentary about the psychologist Martha MUCHOW, who researched childhood and adolescence in the 1920s and 1930s. She was a pioneer of the socio-spatial perspective on childhood, as well as the method of (participant) observation. The social scientist MEY and the filmmaker WALLBRECHT explicitly label their film as performative social science. I present crucial aspects of the film's content and thus of MUCHOW's biography, but primarily I analyze the dramaturgical and filmic decisions by MEY and WALLBRECHT from a social science perspective. I also place the film within current debates on the use of film as an output of research similar to written articles in the social sciences, which is gaining more and more importance within qualitative research methods.


documentary; social science film; Martha Muchow; childhood; adolescence; National Socialism; performative social science


Copyright (c) 2019 Katharina Miko-Schefzig

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