"Truth Plus Publicity": Paul U. Kellogg and Hybrid Practice, 1902-1937
Lanza, Caroline Anne
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Abstract “Truth Plus Publicity”: Paul U. Kellogg and Hybrid Practice, 1902-1937 Caroline A. Lanza Chair of the Supervisory Committee: Professor Susan P. Kemp School of Social Work Intended as a historical starting point for a critically informed assessment of the state of multimedia social work research, advocacy and practice, this dissertation explores the methods and practice models envisioned by Progressive Era social work leader and media producer, journalist, and editor Paul U. Kellogg (1879-1958). Kellogg harnessed the most advanced visual technologies of his time in service of progressive social change. In social surveys such as The Pittsburgh Survey and in his editorship of two widely read periodical publications, The Survey and Survey Graphic, Kellogg brilliantly combined documentary photography, art, maps, data, and textual narratives with the goal of making unavoidably visible the inequities of industrializing America. Key aspects of Kellogg’s contributions—particularly his vision for a social work practice deploying media production in service of community-based research, education, and political advocacy—have largely been forgotten, particularly in social work. Responding to this historical amnesia, this dissertation aims to document and analyze, in their innovation and limitations, the projects Kellogg undertook during his career. I aim to enrich the field’s historical memory of Kellogg’s variation on the social survey method, which sought to assess conditions of health, environmental safety, and labor in a given geographic area as carried out during the Pittsburgh Survey, 1907-1908. Representing a moment in which the social work profession was focused on environmental intervention in low-income urban communities, Kellogg’s variation on the social survey method emphasized the significance of multidisciplinary teams and partnerships with local community organizations. In light of a recent re-commitment by social welfare researchers to environmental, place-based practice (Kemp & Palinkas, 2015), it feels especially timely to explicate Kellogg's social survey methodology. Kellogg’s approach was distinctly journalistic in that it demanded that social workers produce media in order to disseminate findings not only to community stakeholders but also to the larger voting public in order to influence social action and policy-making. As social work research methods employing media approaches ranging from photography and video to participatory mapping rise in popularity, there seems to be little awareness of this prior rich period of media-based practice and research during the Progressive era. Revisiting Kellogg’s methodology counters a presentism in current scholarship regarding media-based methods. Several scholars of social research have measured the success of the Pittsburgh Survey by contemporary standards of empirical, quantitative research and found it lacking (Bulmer, 1991, 1996; Turner, 1996; Zimbalist, 1977). I believe I bring a fresh perspective by considering it as a genealogical forebear of community-engaged approaches operating in epistemological frameworks that appreciate the significance of both emic and etic knowledges of place and community. Paul U. Kellogg’s publications positioned social workers as public pundits in regards to interventions in poverty and social welfare policy (Chambon, 2012), providing them with a public voice that the field has largely lacked since his journals closed down in 1949 and 1952. By exploring Kellogg’s publishing collective, Survey Associates, and their publications, The Survey and Survey Graphic, I hope to raise questions regarding the loss of a media platform upon which social work practitioners and scholars can engage each other and the public regarding a variety of issues and to consider what the legacy of what this period means for current practitioners of public scholarship in social work.