Evidence of Abusive Labor, discussion help

This is a discussion forum:


For decades reformers tried to arouse public outrage against child labor, and they made significant headway at last with the help of photography—especially the photographs of Lewis W. Hine (1874–1940). A native of Wisconsin, Hine in 1908 became the staff photographer for the National Child Labor Committee, an organization committed to ending child labor. Hine’s images contributed heavily to the eventual success of the campaign to end child labor in the New Deal era. He is also celebrated as one of the fathers of documentary photography. You’ve seen other primary sources this week on on a related topic.  After reviewing Hines work (you can do so here), please answer one of the following questions for your intintial post (be sure to be specific about what you see in the images and how it relates to this part of American history:

  • Why might Hine’s graphic images have succeeded in stirring public opinion more powerfully than factual and statistical demonstrations of the evil of child labor? 
  • Given Hine’s own reform objectives, can his photographs—or any so-called documentary images—be taken at face value as literal, accurate information about the past?

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