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Seminar: Robber Barons, The Third Reich and the Invention of Empirical Social Research

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Uploaded on Oct 28, 2011

Professor Christian Fleck joined us from Graz University to discuss his acclaimed book: "A Transatlantic History of the Social Sciences: Robber Barons, the Third Reich and the Invention of Empirical Social Research" .

From the beginning of the twentieth century, scientific and social scientific research has been characterised by intellectual exchange between Europe and the US. The establishment of the Third Reich ensured that, from the German speaking world at least, this became a one-way traffic.
In his book Christian Fleck explores the invention of empirical social research, which by 1950 had become the binding norm of international scholarship, and analyses the contribution of German refugee social scientists to its establishment. The major names are here, from Adorno and Horkheimer to Hirschman and Lazarsfeld, but at the heart of the book is a unique collective biography based on original data from more than 800 German-speaking social scientists. Published in German in 2007 to great acclaim, Fleck's important study of the transatlantic enrichment of the social sciences is now available in a revised English language edition.

'A meticulous and engaging social and institutional account of European-émigré social scientists' experiences in America. Fleck's book is a remarkable contribution to our understanding of the development of social science in the 20th century.' - Robert Jackall, Williams College, USA

'Christian Fleck's investigation is at once a history of philanthropic foundations, a sociology of academic homelessness and institutional adaptation, and a morality tale of cooperation and rivalry told against the backdrop of economic depression, ideological fanaticism and war.' - Peter Baehr, Lingnan University, Hong Kong

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