Austrian and German Émigré and "Home guard" Social Scientists during the Nazi Period: A Prosopography

Christian Fleck, Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology, University of Graz, Austria, is visiting the Science Studies Colloquium Series. The lecture is open for everyone.

Christian Fleck

The lecture is part of Science Studies Colloquium Series, and is open for everyone. The lecture lasts from 14.15-15.00, followed by a short break where we serve coffee and tea, free of charge. From 15.15-16.00 we open up for questions, comments and discussion.


Austrian and German Émigré and "Home guard" Social Scientists during the Nazi Period: A Prosopography

The twentieth century saw an increase in researchers’ regional mobility. Initially, this was mainly a matter of voluntary, temporary displacements of individuals who had been granted some kind of scholarship. Later the number of those who were displaced against their will dramatically increase. The emigration of intellectuals and scholars contributed significantly to transatlantic enrichments.

The book which is the backbone of his presentation is about the evolution of four phenomena, with special emphasis on their mutual interdependencies: (1) the emergence of empirical social research; (2) the role, in this, of the funding provided by American foundations; (3) a collective biography of those German-speaking social scientists who were active in the period between the 1920s and the 1950s; with (4) special emphasis on the differences between those who emigrated and those who stayed in their home country, and between Germans and Austrians.

The center of the study is an attempt at a collective biography of German-speaking social scientists, based on an analysis of the data available for about 800 individuals. In addition, an attempt is made to factor in the reputation gained by these social scientists.


Bio: Christian Fleck, born 1954, received his Ph.D. in philosophy and sociology from the University of Graz (1979), and was appointed as university lecturer (habilitation) in 1989 at the Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences, University of Vienna, Austria. Currently he is an Associate Professor at the Department for Sociology, University of Graz, Austria.

He was the president of the Austrian Sociological Association (2005-09) and the ISA’s Research Committee History of Sociology (2006-10). He was also co-founder and partner of the "Bureau of Social Research, Graz" (1987-2000) and founding director of the "Archive for the History of Sociology in Austria (AGSÖ)" from its start in 1987 until 2006. 1993-94 he was Schumpeter Fellow at Harvard University, 1999-2000 Fellow at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, The New York Public Library; 2008 Fulbright Visiting Professor University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and 2011 Directeur d'études invite at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris.

His most recent publications are: A Transatlantic History of the Social Sciences: Robber Barons, the Third Reich and the Invention of Empirical Social Research, London: Bloomsbury Academic 2011; Soziologie, German version of Anthony Giddens' Sociology, translated and written together with Marianne Egger de Campo, Graz: Nausner & Nausner 2009; Intellectuals and their publics: Perspectives from the social sciences, ed. with Andreas Hess & E. Stina Lyon, London: Ashgate 2008; Transatlantische Bereicherungen. Zur Erfindung der empirischen Sozialforschung, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp 2007.

In addition he edited several volumes with selected writings of German speaking émigré social scientists as Marie Jahoda, Paul F. Lazarsfeld, Paul Neurath, Siegfried Kracauer.

Published Sep. 19, 2013 10:36 AM - Last modified Nov. 12, 2013 8:58 AM