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Serendipities : Journal for the Sociology and History of the Social Sciences
Number of Followers: 0  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Online) 2521-0947
Published by U of Graz Homepage  [1 journal]
  • Authoritarianism, Ambivalence, Ambiguity

    • Authors: Andreas Kranebitter, Christoph Reinprecht
      Pages: 1 - 12
      PubDate: 2023-01-10
      DOI: 10.7146/serendipities.v7i1-2.135380
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1-2 (2023)
  • The Authoritarian Institution

    • Authors: Andreas Huber
      Pages: 13 - 29
      Abstract: Else Frenkel was associated with the University of Vienna for more than five years in total. She was studying eight semesters, from 1926 to 1930 at Austria’s biggest university, reached the position of a research assistant in the study year 1931/32 and worked a second time as temporary employee in 1936. The political climate in these years was characterized by racist Antisemitism and attacks against the parliamentarian democracy, by violence against “Jewish” and left-wing students and discrimination against scientists who did not fit into the “Aryan” and German national template. Fascism and National Socialism had a huge backing especially in the student body, many years before Austria became a part of Nazi Germany. This article wants to draw an atmospheric picture of the University of Vienna in these years, especially from 1926 to 1932, when Frenkel was almost continuously connected with the institution.
      PubDate: 2023-01-10
      DOI: 10.7146/serendipities.v7i1-2.129575
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1-2 (2023)
  • Allowing for Ambiguity in the Social Sciences

    • Authors: Andreas Kranebitter, Fabian Gruber
      Pages: 30 - 59
      Abstract: This paper gives a micro-sociological view on the methodology used by Else Frenkel-Brunswik in the famous study The Authoritarian Personality (Adorno et al. 1950). A thorough reconstruction of the theoretical and methodological concepts of Else Frenkel-Brunswik eventually allows for a full appreciation of her works from a today’s social research perspective, especially of her role in the field of authoritarianism-research. The paper deals with (i) Else Frenkel-Brunswik’s role in the research team of The Authoritarian Personality, (ii) the way she followed up on her earlier work, (iii) the question of in which ways her parts of the study were object of criticism by the numerous critics of TAP, and (iv) the ways she herself responded to these critics. The material basis for such an approach is the archival material available in the “Archive for the History of Sociology in Austria (AGSO)” in Graz, Austria, which holds parts of the estate of Else Frenkel-Brunswik, most of all her correspondence and unpublished typoscripts of later publications, as well as at the Institute for Jewish Research (YIVO) in New York, which holds the papers of the American Jewish Committee, i.e., draft reports, memoranda, and some interview protocols of the TAP study.
      PubDate: 2023-01-10
      DOI: 10.7146/serendipities.v7i1-2.132541
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1-2 (2023)
  • Else Frenkel Brunswik and Contemporary Sociologists

    • Authors: Christian Fleck
      Pages: 60 - 73
      Abstract: The article presents and discusses an unpublished critical remark written by Robert K Merton which addressed Else Frenkel Brunswik's contribution to The Authoritarian Personality. The author contextualizes both Merton’s remarks and the book’s reception by other contemporary sociologists.
      PubDate: 2023-01-10
      DOI: 10.7146/serendipities.v7i1-2.133108
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1-2 (2023)
  • How the Fascist and Non-Fascist Self May Develop

    • Authors: Lucyna Darowska
      Pages: 74 - 101
      Abstract: In the context of several authoritarian regimes around the world, there is growing interest in explain­ing these processes of change. This article follows the tradition of the social sciences in striving to understand the social mechanisms of motivational structures of the self in interaction with societal contexts. The author draws on the qualitative contributions to the studies on fascism by the Berkeley University Group, published in 1950 as ‘The Authoritarian Personality’ by Theodor W. Adorno, Else Frenkel-Brunswik, Daniel J. Levinson and R. Nevitt Sanford (1950). This article analyses the quali­tative sections of the Study presented by Else Frenkel-Brunswik and compares these with the results of selected studies on resisters. Based on this analysis, the article discusses the results of the com­parison and the relevance of Frenkel-Brunswik’s contribution, as well as the implications for further research.
      PubDate: 2023-01-10
      DOI: 10.7146/serendipities.v7i1-2.132979
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1-2 (2023)
  • Logical Positivism or Critical Theory as the Methodological Foundation of
           The Authoritarian Personality'

    • Authors: Peter Schmidt
      Pages: 102 - 133
      Abstract: In this paper, the central research question discusses to what extent logical positivism or critical theory forms the methodological core of the seminal work on the authoritarian personality. A central thesis is that due to her background in psychology, logical positivism and psychoanalysis and her neglected but central role in the authoritarian personality study, Else Frenkel-Brunswik has had a much more lasting and productive influence on authoritarianism research than Adorno as the rep­resentative of critical theory. This was certainly not reflected in the public discourse or in intellectual discussions, at least in Europe. This article shows how the original F-Scale was changed in subse­quent research and how the application of psychometric techniques improved. However, by employ­ing Lakatos’ concept of the research programme, I analyse how authoritarianism research developed in a degenerative way by reducing the number of factors from nine to three and giving up the psy­choanalytic explanation of the underlying mechanisms, a systematic test of sociological and contex­tual factors, and the original mixed method approach of combining surveys and qualitative inter­views. Finally, the issue of the effects of idealisation of parents on the measurement of the items and the use of typologies were not tackled in later research. Employing data from the German General Social Survey (ALLBUS), I describe how some of Frenkel-Brunswik’s central methodological and theoretical ideas have been tested using confirmatory factor analyses and structural equation mod­els. Finally I summarise the way in which the research programme can be developed more fruitfully by integrating developmental psychology, sociology, political science, psychoanalysis and statistical generalised latent variable models.
      PubDate: 2023-01-10
      DOI: 10.7146/serendipities.v7i1-2.132327
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1-2 (2023)
  • Thriving in Ambiguity – A Dispositive of Self-Optimisation

    • Authors: Grit Claudia Heinrich
      Pages: 134 - 147
      Abstract: This paper explores a discrepancy between research and application in the operationalisation of ambiguity tolerance. Observational results from the practice of human resource development raised the question: How does the umbrella term ambiguity tolerance relate to the Frenkel-Brunswik theorem, and has this possibly become a dispositive of self-optimisation' Methodologically, the article follows a literature-based approach. Tracing three shifts in the reception of the term, the trend around tolerance of ambiguity is linked to its theoretical construct. While by no means exhaustive, by recontextualising the Frenkel-Brunswik theorem in this way and bringing it into focus, the article aims to open up further discussion.
      PubDate: 2023-01-10
      DOI: 10.7146/serendipities.v7i1-2.131726
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1-2 (2023)
  • Interview with Daniel J. Levinson

    • Authors: Dietmar Paier
      Pages: 148 - 167
      PubDate: 2023-01-10
      DOI: 10.7146/serendipities.v7i1-2.134099
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1-2 (2023)
  • Helping Hands

    • Authors: Christian Fleck
      Pages: 168 - 171
      Abstract: Book Review of: Leff, Laurel (2019) Well Worth Saving: American Universities’ Life-and-Death Decisions on
      Refugees from Nazi Europe. New Haven; London: Yale University Press
      357 pp.
      ISBN 978-0-300-24387-1
      Price: $30.00 Mulder, Bertus (2021) Sophie Louisa Kwaak und das Kapital der Unternehmerfamilie Weil: Ein
      Beitrag zur Wirtschaftsgeschichte der Frankfurter Schule [Sophie Louisa Kwaak and the capital
      of the entrepreneurial family Weil: A contribution to the economic history of the Frankfurt School].
      Translated from Dutch by Arne Braun. Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag
      283 pp.
      ISBN 978-38353-3915-6
      Price: €24.90
      Stöckel, Tommy (2020) Wissenschaftsorganisatoren in den Sozialwissenschaften 1890–1940
      [Managers of the social sciences 1890–1940]. Wiesbaden: Springer Fachmedien (Humboldt
      University Berlin Dissertation)
      575 pp.
      ISBN 978-3-658-38168-4
      Price: €64.99
      PubDate: 2023-01-10
      DOI: 10.7146/serendipities.v7i1-2.134283
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1-2 (2023)
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