Thursday 23 May 2013

The Journal of Mundane Behaviour

There are thousands of issues of hundreds of learned journals published every year. Some are prestigious very widely read science journals such as Nature, which was founded in 1869 and is the most highly cited of interdisciplinary science journals. Others are deeply specialised and of little interest to most people.

Then there is the most gloriously named journal I have ever come across - the Journal of Mundane Behaviour

This classic journal was published from about 2000 - 2004.  I am currently making my way through it and it doesn't disappoint. It is the preeminent journal of the prosaic, a peer reviewed outpost of the ordinary and a focus for studies of the unremarkable in life. As Wayne Brekhus points out in the first volume: "The history of mediocrity, the sociology of the boring and the anthropology of the familiar are neglected fields".

Some examples:

Fruit Stickers—The Overlooked Booty of the Lunchroom
Andrea Shiman

Yummy, Steaming Bowls of Mundanity
John D. Schwetman

and even a manifesto:

A Mundane Manifesto (2000)
Wayne Brekhus
Sociology, University of Missouri-Columbia


This mundane manifesto calls for analytically interesting studies of the socially uninteresting. I argue that the extraordinary draws disproportionate theoretical attention from researchers. This ultimately hinders theory development and distorts our picture of social reality. This manifesto paves the way for an explicit social science of the unmarked (mundane)...
The full manifesto is HERE.