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Schwab, Christiane (2020): Die Welt im Journal. Das Pfennig-Magazin für Verbreitung gemeinnütziger Kenntnisse (1833–1855) als populäres Wissensformat. In: Historische Anthropologie, Vol. 1, No. 28: pp. 185-206 [PDF, 1MB]

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Following the success of the British Penny-Magazine (1832), illustrated knowledge journals were adopted and commercialized in many parts of Europe. This article explores the German Pfennig-Magazin für Verbreitung gemeinnütziger Kenntnisse as a format of knowledge production and its place in the context of early social research. It first outlines the transregional history of the illustrated knowledge journal and examines the Pfennig-Magazin as a medium between reference work and entertaining periodical. In a second step, the article looks at how the Pfennig-Magazin constructs knowledge about society and culture, and thereby adopts traditions of encyclopedic, moralistic and ethnographic knowledge production. I will demonstrate that the Pfennig-Magazin, rather than taking part in the development of pre-disciplinary social research, must be considered as an intermediary of a previously existing knowledge base. The significance of the popular knowledge magazine for to the dissemination of knowledge about society (and the resulting political impact), as well as for the systematization of sociological and ethnographic research, is yet to be determined.

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