Soci e partner

Provincia di Ravenna

Comune di Ravenna

Fondazione del Monte

Cassa di Risparmio di Ravenna

Camera di Commercio di Ravenna

Istituto per i Beni Culturali Emilia-Romagna

Memoria e Ricerca

Per un profilo prosopografico dei sociologi di lingua tedesca in esilio

di Christian Fleck
in Memoria e Ricerca n.s. 31 (2009), p. 81


Most authors who in the past focused on the development of sociology in Germany in the 20th century agreed that sociology came to an abrupt end with the Nazi takeover in 1933 and the forced emigration of practically all well-known and productive sociologists.1 More recently this consensus has been challenged by others who claim that even after the Nazi takeover authors continued to publish books and articles with sociological sounding titles, did empirical research for different units of the Nazi state and even created research units for this endeavor.2 A comparative analysis of the two groups of scholars could settle some of the disagreements by pointing to the fact that whereas the former spoke about the outstanding members of the sociological community, the later added some details by covering minor figures and those sociologists who fell into oblivion even during their lifetime. Both sides of this controversy agree that a huge number of sociologists left Nazi-Germany during the 1930s. Highly regarded studies and dictionaries about refugee scholars list their names and tell their stories.3 Yet seldom do they differentiate between former Germans and former Austrians. Former citizens of these two countries were mingled in the one group of German exiles. Whereas some of the confusion with regard to the first controversy could be explained by the simple fact that it wasn’t, and still isn’t, clear who counted as a sociologist back in the 1930s, the inaccuracy with respect to the second issue has to do with the fact that citizens from different nation-states eventually became passport holders of the one Third Reich. Immigration officers of those countries where they were able to flee had no reason to differentiate between them, nor did their academic peers have reason to do so. Due to their common language they appeared in their new environment as ambassadors of a single culture, sometimes completely mislabeled as Weimar Culture.

From a sociological point of view amalgamation, juxtaposition and oppositions like the ones mentioned are of minor importance because as sociologists we are expected to have learned to take into account different institutional arrangements. Institutionally the situation in, let’s say, Vienna around 1925 could not be compared to that in Frankfort on Main, Königsberg or Prague. As a result of these different institutional conditions comparisons between Germany and Austria reveal some strong differences. Some telling examples are listed in table 1. Whatever one might say about the discrepancies mentioned here one has invariably to conclude that Austria produced more students, “bright young men”, to quote the catchword used by the Rockefeller Foundation to describe their fellows, and more eminent economists going into exile.

> Insert Table 1 here

What is true for institutional environments and their differences applies equally for the development of scientific disciplines such as sociology. If one is interested in the development of this particular discipline it is absolutely essential to look at it from different angles. Our approach will be the following: We will try to compare émigré scholars with individuals who remained at home, those one could call “home guards” to use one of the telling concepts Everett Hughes offers in his writings on professions.4 Secondly, we will compare sociologists from Germany with those from Austria, and finally we will try to evaluate the resonance German-speaking sociologists found in the new environment of the then established leading sociological universe in the English-speaking world.

1. Identifying sociologists…

To start with, one must answer a very simple question: who is a sociologist? Usually analyses of scientific personnel don’t spend much time thinking about such simple questions. Anyone listed in a directory of a particular discipline, or professional association, should be regarded as belonging to this discipline. Unfortunately there is no such a directory for the time span covered here, roughly speaking between the middle of the 1920s and the middle of the 1950s. Using university directories, which would be obviously the second best choice, would result in a completely distorted picture, however, because first-rank sociologists, like Alfred Schutz, Paul Lazarsfeld, and Peter Blau, never obtained entry into Austrian universities. Partly because they were too young (which is true in Blau’s case), partly because of the prevailing anti-Semitism (which partly explains Lazarsfeld’s exclusion from a post in the University of Vienna) and finally because some of them adapted their levels of aspiration, as the fox did it with the grapes, to available aims, therefore they did not even look for a place within the universities (which seems to be the crucial fact in Schutz’s case).

To limit the search for members of a discipline-in-the-making only to the lucky one, listed in a university directory, would be misleading, at the very least. Some of those listed in university directories would be incorrectly counted as sociologists, at least if one takes their self-image seriously, because at this time a not so tiny minority of German-speaking scholars named their disciplinary affiliation Gesellschaftslehre (lore of society5) instead of the Western-sounding sociology which they objected on the grounds of their weltanschauung.

A third way to identify members of a particular scientific discipline is to make use of graduation data. A person who receives a Ph.D. in a particular field of study should easily be accepted as a member of the corresponding discipline. Yet again in the interwar years almost no one earned a Ph.D. in sociology because sociology was not formally established as a distinct field of study in most of the German-speaking universities. Most people who became “sociologists” later in life graduated in broader defined areas (Dr. phil, Dr. iur. or Dr. rer. pol., meaning: Humanities, Law, and Staatswissenschaften), or switched to sociology only after graduating in a more or less different field of study.

This brief overview of the institutional conditions prevailing in Central Europe in the interwar years should show that it is neither clear who could count as a sociologist nor can it easily be determined where the boundaries of an emerging discipline should be drawn.

1.1. … by definition

To deal with these issues we decided to use a multi-level selection process which was supposed to produce an unbiased sample of sociologists. There are different ways to reach this goal. The first option is to carefully define a sociologist: A person who (a) was born between 1850 and 1920, and (b) was still alive in 1933 and 1938 respectively, and (c) published between 1925 and 1955 at least one article or at least two reviews using sociology as a keyword in the article’s title or the book under consideration in one of the then leading scientific journals, and (d) lived at least two years or more within Austria was defined as an “Austrian sociologist”.

Some additional remarks might be in order. First, the restriction to Austrians took place for pragmatic reasons only. The number of hits resulting from the application of the definition outlined above was so big that it wouldn’t be possible to apply this procedure to other German speaking countries. Secondly, to be regarded as an Austrian it was neither necessary that the chosen person was born in Austria nor that he or she was an Austrian citizen. Both make sense if you consider the historical circumstances. Not only was, and still is, the legal ruling with regard to citizenship highly restrictive, birthplace was also not a valid indicator at this time. The massive migration that took place during and after World War I from the eastern parts of the declining Austro-Hungarian Empire into the metropolis Vienna brought different people to Austria. All former citizens of the Hapsburg monarchy had to opt for one of the successor states after the dissolution of the multinational Empire. Some former subjects of the Emperor chose one of the successor states but continued to live in Vienna nevertheless. Others, who may, for example, have had the chance to opt for the resurrected Poland decided against their inclination out of a feeling of economic or political insecurity with regard to the future of this new nation-state. The number of formal stateless people was high in the 1920s, resulting in the introduction of identification papers for stateless people, named after the Norwegian explorer who became the first League of Nation’s High Commissioner for Refugees, Fritjof Nansen, Nansen-passport. In addition, shortly after the end of WWI the first wave of political refugees swept into Austria, fleeing the new Soviet Union or the counter-revolutionary purges in Hungary or pogroms in Eastern Europe. Those refugees hardly ever strived to become Austrian citizens. One prominent example was György / Georg Lukács who lived in Vienna during the 1920s, where he wrote his seminal Geschichte und Klassenbewusstein (he is excluded from the sample because he did not publish any article or review in any of the journals selected as the base of our sampling).

We selected 14 German and 22 American, English or French journals which functioned as predecessors of professional sociological journals during the period under consideration.6 We omitted others when they restricted themselves, primarily for political reasons, to a particular group of authors and or readers. The absence of any psychological journals can be explained by the fact that this discipline had by then been more or less delimited from others as a distinct field of study. Apart from that, the later sociologists started as psychologists the professional journals of psychology had closed their boundaries to neighboring fields relative early in the process of becoming a distinct discipline. Interestingly, the professional psychological journals did not even cover social psychology as a sub field.

In addition to the German journals, i.e., almost a complete set of professional, semi-professional, and para-professional publications in the field of the social sciences of these years, we focused on non-German journals for one reason. Preliminary research had shown that some of the refugee scholars were very young and may therefore not have had the opportunity to publish something before they were forced to leave Austria. Expanding the list of journals to include foreign languages accommodates to these difficulties. Particularly browsing through English-speaking journals yielded a large number of hints. That comes as no surprise since most of the refugees ended up in Great Britain or the U.S. Inspecting French journals added almost nothing to our sample. Only the young social historian Lucie Varga showed up as a contributor to the Annales where during her short collaboration with Lucien Febvre she published some articles about the rise of Nazism in Austria’s provinces.7

Similarly, the work of others could be used to identify sociologists by applying present-day definitions. The German sociologists Klemens Wittebur8 selected carefully six groups of sociologists to identify all émigré sociologists from Germany in his Ph.D. thesis. The criteria used by Wittebur were not the same as ours but there is enough resemblance to draw on his group for comparisons between the Germans and the Austrians. Clearly, we used a much wider net and for this reason our yield was larger. Our goal was not to collect as many butterflies as possible or to indulge in sheer number-crunching. Our intention was to be able to make sound statements not only about prominent scholars but about lesser important folks as well.

To compensate for any remaining biases we enlarged the population of German-speaking sociologists by using documented results of several nomination processes.

1.2. … by self-nomination

A second way to answer the question of who should be regarded as a sociologist could make use of the self-definition of scholars and writers as sociologists. It is a well-established convention to answer the question as to ‘what is sociology?’ by saying ‘sociology is what sociologists do’. Yet this does not answer the underlying question as to who is a sociologist. However, one could carry forward the decision to those who claim to be members of a particular discipline. A readily available source is the Kürschners Deutscher Gelehrten Kalender (1925ff.), a Who’s who similar to the American Men of Science directory. German here meant German-speaking scholars; therefore the Kürschner included Germans, Swiss, Austrian, German-speaking Czechs, and even scholars who lived in faraway Jerusalem. During the period under consideration six editions were published. Starting in 1925 the editors added to the subject index sociology as a separate field of professional competence. Kürschner’s selection procedure was twofold: On the one hand, the editors tried to persuade well-known scholars, especially those affiliated with or established in universities, to provide personal data; on the other hand private scholars, what one would call today independent scholars, could ask to be included. In any case selected or self-appointed scholars had the opportunity to choose their disciplinary affiliation. Using the subject index we transferred the names and data of everyone who identified themselves as sociologists, at least once, to our database.

An interesting corollary of this data-mining is the distribution of self appointed sociologists over the years. The greatest number of scholars who identified themselves at least inter alia with sociology (for short: part time-sociologists) was to be found in the 1935 edition of the Kürschner, where at the same time the number of scholars who identified themselves solely with sociology (for short: core sociologists) reached its highest peak (see table 2) With regard to the initially mentioned debate about the fate of sociology after the Nazi takeover this result is highly surprising. Two caveats should be borne in mind: On the one hand, when asked about their occupation, some of those listed in the 1935 edition responded that they were retired, dismissed etc. On the other hand, one should remember what René König had in mind when he spoke about the abrupt end sociology experienced in 1933. He was concerned about the intellectual thrust of the sociological endeavor but not about numbers.

>Insert Table 2 here

By contrast, using the data from Kürschner solves one problem of doing disciplinary history by including all who regarded themselves as members of a distinct field of study. Here one must bear in mind that this practice leads necessarily to the inclusion of outsiders and self-appointed scholars, sometimes to a seemingly unbearable extent.

Another serendipitous finding supports the earlier decision to exclude psychological journals for identifying Austrian sociologists. Only the tiny minority of 4.5 per cent of all scholars listed in the six editions of Kürschner identified themselves inter alia with psychology and/or pedagogy, whereas the largest groups of scholars identifying themselves with sociology (about 24 per cent), and any other discipline came from economics (18 per cent), philosophy (16.5 per cent), and law (16 per cent).

1.3. … by peers

A third way to solve the selection problem is to hand it over to authorities. If someone is regarded by a group of competent judges as a sociologist, any bias could be attributed to these selectors and not to the authors of the present study. If the selection is made under some restrictions, as is usually the case in publications, the decisions made are more trustworthy then in unlimited opportunities of self-nomination. An appropriate source for this option is the two volumes of the second edition of Internationales Soziologenlexikon, edited by Wilhelm Bernsdorf and Horst Knospe with the assistance of a large number of competent collaborators.9 As a directory edited in Germany one should trust it at least with regard to the inclusion and exclusion of German-speaking sociologists.

A similar way of to identifying sociologists could make use of the results of a selection process by an agency that provided young and promising scholars with fellowships to study abroad. The Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial and later the Rockefeller Foundation did exactly that when in 1925 they launched a fellowship program in the social sciences for Europeans. 130 German-speaking fellows were selected by individual national advisors or groups of advisors. Later on, former fellows were given a chance to nominate candidates. In any case, the representatives of the Foundation in Europe had a say in the selection process.

2. Two-dimensional results

Table 3 provides an overview of these sub-samples along with some key information. Some additional comments might be in order. The overlap of only 269 individuals whose names were found in more than one source proves that it makes sense to draw from more than one source. Some of the differences between the sub-samples are telling. The Kürschner preferred older folks than all of the other sources. Since Kürschner is the contemporary source par excellence – all other sub-samples rely at least partly on present-day definitions – one could conclude that at least some of them sank into oblivion before reaching a status high enough to be remembered by later generations. Scientific disciplines regularly lose some of their members because they were not active enough, or disappear from the scene without leaving a trace. If someone does not participate in the daily routines of scientific work by publishing in faraway places or does not even publish at all he or she could not be detected later. As a result the perspective of every history is distorted but that is simply the way historiography works.

>Insert Table 3 here

Besides the claim to cover all German-speaking countries the Kürschner sample is primarily a collection of scholars from Germany. 81 per cent were born within the borders of what was then Germany, 88 per cent graduated at one of Germany’s universities and 80 per cent named as their place of residence a German town. However, only 51 of the 289 scholars listed in one of the editions of the Kürschner left Germany during the 1930s. Wittebur found three times as many émigrés as the Kürschner reports.

Different institutional forces were at work in the two sub-samples with the youngest members. It is no surprise that the Rockefeller Fellows were young, as that was the very reason they were chosen by the Foundation. The youthfulness of the sample of Austrian sociologists raises another riddle that is not so easily solvable. Since no age bias could have had any influence it seems that the age distribution tells a story in itself. The simplest explanation could be that the number of people prone to higher education was higher than appropriate in Austria after the end of the Hapsburg Empire. The older practice of filling bureaucratic positions primarily with German-speaking applicants might have resulted in a positive orientation towards education in particular strata of Vienna’s population. After the collapse of the Empire civil servants quit their jobs in faraway places and relocated themselves and their families in the metropolis. They weren’t able to change their habits immediately and couldn’t persuade their offspring to choose other occupational paths. As a consequence the then tiny Austrian Republic envisioned a much higher proportion of well-educated young people than comparable nations. Statistics corroborate this interpretation (see table 1). Living in Vienna without prospects of getting similar jobs as their parents let a higher share of those underemployed turn to fringe fields like the then still new, but not fashionable, sociology.

The higher fractions of Austrians in the sub-samples of the ISL and the RF, both of which cannot be related to any undue Austrian preference, emphasize this view. Not only were there more young intellectuals dwelling in Vienna, and its coffeehouses in particular, a large proportion of them also finally found acclaim first from scouts from New York and then from fellow sociologists who were rounding up celebrities for an international directory of their discipline. To find a sound explanation for the higher rate of highly regarded social scientists with an Austrian background is more complicated. Generally, a higher density of people working in a particular field results in higher peaks.10 It goes without saying that during the first third of the 20th century Vienna was one of those places packed with intellectuals working in neighboring scholarly areas. Due to a lack of statistics, for example the amount of people with a higher education degree in cities like Vienna, Budapest, Prague, Berlin, this claim remains only hypothetical.

Along these lines one could also argue that in Vienna it must have been easier for young women to publish an apprentice piece of scholarly work in a sociological journal. Compared to all of the other samples the barriers women had to overcome in Austria must have been lower. However, this again does not answer the question as to how it had happened in the beginning young women preferred scholarly work over any other field. Probably female role models like the writer of sociological essays Rosa Mayreder and her friends from the first women’s movement, or psychologist Charlotte Bühler, one of the very first women to get a habilitation in Vienna, who later showed strong performance as an organizer of a group of young researchers, or even celebrities like the considerable number of muses who embellished artistic circles might have had a positive influence on young women.

Finally, one could explain the larger proportion of émigrés in the Austrian sub sample by pointing out again that using journal publications as the base for selecting someone as the member of a discipline broadens the population enormously. Young people with an Austrian background found it easier to move into sociology after their forced migration, whereas those who had established themselves in German and Austrian academic circles at least to the extent of being recognized highly enough to be included into the Kürschner lowered the probability of going into exile after the Nazi takeover. Looking at the same pattern from a different angle one could argue that the low percentage of émigrés from the Kürschner sub-sample corroborates the role of anti-Semitism in the years before and after 1933. Only because Jews did not find easy entry into the academic world of German-speaking countries the number of émigrés from the Kürschner was as low as shown in the table 3.

3. Multidimensional analysis

To extend our analysis further we made use of an explorative statistical tool which enables us to show connections between variables without relying on the number of cases: Correspondence analysis. Readers of Bourdieu’s La distinction may have seen these kinds of plots and should be familiar with this sort of graphical tool of data presentation.11 To understand correspondence analysis it is only necessary to recognize that it shows similarities and differences along two axes. Yet it is not allowed to compare data diagonally and interpret distances between points from the horizontal and the vertical dimension. What you could do is look at a line drawn from the intercept point to a data point and spans a vector to both sides. Points inside this angle show a higher degree of similarity.

We merged all the different sub-samples into one dataset, losing particular information because not all sources provided data for the same variables. The variables used in the following diagram are the following:

  • Sex,

  • age cohorts (in decades),

  • university where graduation took place,

  • status as an émigré or “home guard” (non-émigré)

  • national affiliation,

  • highest academic career level, reached before 1933 and 1938 respectively (categorized into Dr, Dozent, ao. Professor, o. Professor, the four main steps of career in German academia),

  • career pace, measured in years needed to reach the next higher academic steps (categorized as before).

The two-dimensional space of the first plot (Chart CA 1) explains 97 per cent of the variance (adding a third dimension could therefore only contribute another 3 per cent). The principal or horizontal axis explains more than the vertical or second axis (69 to 28 per cent).

>Insert Chart CA 1 here

The career steps are relatively clearly distributed along the horizontal axis: The highest level of “o. Professor” is plotted farthermost to the left and all lower career steps are in consecutive order to the right. Remarkable is the nearness between “ao. Professor” and “Dozent”, showing that many of the newly promoted men were appointed to the often only ceremonial status of being a professor nearly at the same time of the crucial rite de passage of habilitation. Similarly, the age cohorts are arranged from left to right too, noteworthy here that two of them are very nearby. Each of the four quadrants shows a distinct feature: In the right above the quadrant one sees “Austria”, in the right below the “émigrés”, whereas the left above quadrant shows the “home guards” and the left below “Germany.”

The very fact that “male” is very near the point of intersection point underscores that sex did not contribute in an explanatory way.

To characterize the principal axis one could make use of the following oppositions: emigration vs. non-emigration; German vs. Austrians, which is evident at the universities too (all German universities are more to the left and the Austrians to the right, with Prague as an satellite); and seniors vs. youngsters, both in terms of their absolute age and their relative or career age.

The second vertical dimension shows only one pattern. The places where sociology blossomed are at the bottom of the vertical axis (Frankfurt, Kiel, Heidelberg) whereas Graz and Prague are located at the opposite end. An unsolved mystery is the location of Vienna. Frankly speaking, we cannot offer any sound interpretation for this.

In reassembling the variables we excluded those which did not contribute much to the result and calculated the career variables differently. Looking more closely at the relative pace at which someone reached a particular rank we classified the achievement of every single step as fast (below the average), normal (near average) or slow (above average), and we combined the distinct variables of emigration status and nationality to create four new characteristics: Austrian home guards, Austrian émigrés, German home guards, German émigrés. The second plot explains 92 per cent of the variance. (see Chart CA 2)

>insert Chart CA 2 here

Again, the principal horizontal axis is best characterized as the emigration and cohort dimension, where the Austrian émigrés are on the one end and the German home guards on the opposite. Austrian émigrés could be characterized further as being young, graduating fast and holding only a Doktorat, whereas the German home guards are old, residing at the highest rank of “o. Professor” but do not show any distinctiveness with regard to the pace of their promotion. Those who reached the position of “Dozent” slowly and were promoted to “o. Professor” slowly are very much nearby, and those who climbed at the rank of “ao. Professor” slowly or fast are not far away.

Both charts demonstrate as the most distinct feature a difference between Germans and Austrians, as well as between émigrés and home guards, seniors and youngsters. The underlying assumption of this study, i.e. that there was a difference between Germany and Austria during the interwar period with regard to the development of the social sciences and the amount and shape of the émigrés, was corroborated by the correspondence analysis. It should be noted again that unfortunately crucial additional variables were not available. Therefore we cannot say anything either with regard to the religious background, especially the role of Jewishness, or with regard to the social background of the scholars.

Before embarking upon another field of analysis the reader should bear in mind that all of the data analyzed up to now were pre-emigration data. What any of our cases achieved before the watershed of Nazis’ rise to power was subjected to the exploratory device of correspondence analysis. Now we will shift to the time afterwards.

4. Measuring impact

Striving towards producing texts and seeking recognition for them lie at the very heart of the scholarly trade. Yet the measurement of productivity, recognition, and impact is more complicated and much more controversial. In the case of sociology, a scientific specialty which distributes most of its insights as texts, it seems appropriate to use as an indicator for productivity the amount of written artifacts and as an indicator for recognition the perception of these contributions by others. Sociology’s two main approaches to both producing our own texts and recognizing those of others are books and articles. Admittedly, to collect valid data on books is all but easy. Book publishing differs between cultures, but over the years also inside one scientific culture. High-brow publishing houses and shoe-string book production marked the two poles of a continuum. Multiple editions of a single highly influential book should count far more than publishing a lot of separate books no one even noticed them.

Given the unevenness of book production in sociology we decided to make use of a newly established database to analyze the productivity and the recognition of our group of German-speaking sociologists. JSTOR, short for Journal Storage, was started some years ago as an electronic device to make easily accessible to present-day readers older issues of high-ranking English, especially American scientific journals. Since more than two third of our émigrés ended up in the U.S., this database fitted our requirements well. While JSTOR was not designed for scientometric analyses it does offer features which could be adopted for this kind of analysis.12 Slightly misusing its original purpose, we utilized JSTOR for a two-fold analysis. On the one hand one could take an author, given his or her name is distinctive enough, and explore how many articles he or she contributed to the 85 journals stored in this database. On the other hand one could use JSTOR to measure the recognition a particular author gained.13

The potential of such an analysis becomes evident in the results for some indisputable social scientists in table 4. Of minor value are the “author, all” and the “review” results. Whereas the former reports every single citation of the name, thus favoring scholars who acted as editors like Small and Hughes, the review search did not distinguish between reviewers and reviewed. For instance, from the 85 reviews attributed to Parsons only 26 were written by him, whereas from the 211 Hughes reviews at least some 190 were attributable to him. Since it was not practical to scrutinize every single scholar’s list of contributions with the same care we decided to exclude reviews from the analysis. The time span of the search hint did not disclose much, after all. A final caveat concerns the potential distortion of the results by the suspicious practice of self-citation. However, close examination of a sample of authors did not reveal a strong prevalence of the latter. After this pretest we decided to make use of the “author, all”, “author, article” and the “full text, article” search option to determine visibility, productivity and the recognition of any individual sociologist from two sub-samples of our population.

> insert table 4 here

The numbers, e.g. for Weber and Parsons in the “full text, article” search, demonstrate their validity as a measure of recognition; the number of authored articles, e.g. for Small on the one hand and Weber on the other hand, shows that JSTOR is strongly committed to the English-speaking world of publishing. Nevertheless it provides an opportunity to measure more or less correctly the contributions made by a given author to leading journals with access to these types of scholarly communication. Authors who devoted much of their publication effort to non-scholarly or fringe journals, like Encounter in Daniel Bell’s case as well as authors whose “house journal” was not in JSTOR at the time this study was under way, like Social Research, the short-lived Studies in Philosophy and Social Science or more recently Social Problems, were penalized.

A more serious problem was the potential unfairness shown to authors from the home-guard faction. We started with the Austrian sub sample where one fourth of all scholars were not émigrés. We saw immediately that home-guard type scholars neither contributed articles or even reviews to the journals stored in JSTOR nor were their contributions quoted there. Only few exemptions have been found. On the one hand members of the older generation like Max Weber, Max Scheler, Werner Sombart, and Ferdinand Tönnies, most of them not alive when the Nazis took over power and from the younger generation only Alfred Weber who survived the dictatorship in so called inner emigration. “Home-Guards” who received some recognition are Carl Schmitt (Rank 41), Otto Hintze (47), Alfred Verdross (67), Otto Brunner (73), Marianne Weber (74), Othmar Spann (76), Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann, and Konrad Lorenz (80).

As a consequence the following analysis is to a greater or lesser extent only a comparison of German and Austrian émigrés, penalizing those who did not make it to the U.S. Since there are no indications for systematic preference having been given to former Germans or former Austrians with regard to their attempt to settle abroad this shortcoming seemed to be acceptable. Scholars like Karl Popper who never lived in the U.S. received recognition nonetheless. Without contributing any paper, as was true in the case of Max Weber, Anna Freud, Troeltsch and others, or publishing relatively few articles, as Popper did, their work was attractive enough for others to make use of them. Latecomers to the U.S. as Hayek and Jahoda, who resettled to the U.S. after a more or less long stay in Great Britain, seem experience no real disadvantage.

Searches were executed for approximately 800 scholars from the three main sub-samples, the so called Austrians, the Kürschner population, and the Wittebur sample. The overall statistical data are telling, as can be seen in table 5.

> insert table 5 here

The distribution parameters given for “JSTOR article” demonstrate the high degree of selectivity of this source. Only the tiniest minority of the most productive and distinguished scholars were able to place a remarkable number of papers in these highly regarded journals. Ninety per cent of all scholars published less than four articles in the journals covered by JSTOR but the remaining ten per cent contributed between those four and 67 articles. The same pattern is reflected in the result for the “JSTOR full text” search, measuring recognition by others, where the last ten per cent were quoted at least 30 times while the highest number is 1938.

Table 6 gives the results for the three dimensions highlighted in our investigation: Visibility means that a given scholar’s name appears in any textual surroundings, productivity is illustrated bys the number of articles contributed to the 85 journals collected in JSTOR and recognition by the appearance of the particular name in the full text search option, which corresponds approximately to a citation. Some comments are in order. The names of some of the highly visible and productive authors might be unfamiliar even for aficionados of the history of the social sciences. E.g. Josef Laurenz Kunz, was born in Vienna in 1890, where he earned his law degree in 1913. From 1932 to 1934 he studied as a Rockefeller fellow in the U.S., and later became a professor of law at the University of Toledo, Ohio. His main scholarly contributions were in international law. Leo Gross, another Austrian, thirteen years younger than Kunz, also received after graduating in Staatswissenschaften in Vienna in 1927 a Rockefeller Fellowship which brought him to the LSE and Harvard University from 1929 to 1931. After returning to Europe he tried to obtain his habilitation in Cologne, but failed due the political turmoil around his teacher Hans Kelsen. Living in Vienna up to the Anschluss he fled to the U.S. where he finally became professor of political sciences at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy of Tufts University. His field of expertise was martial and international law. Besides their humble standing in the larger audience and in ensuing age groups, respectively, both scholars received a remarkably high number of citations from their peers: Kunz ranked number 40 (with 95 quotations) and Gross is number 48 in the recognition dimension (with 82 quotations). Their success can be explained at least partly by the list of journals compiled in JSTOR: Half of the political science journals deal with international relations, and international topics might have had a much stronger showing in American history journals in the past too. The same might be true of the demographer Christopher Tietze, since the share of journals dedicated to population studies is remarkable.

> insert table 6 here

Similarly, the high proportion of economists in all three lists might be partly explained by the fact that the number of economic journals is disproportionately higher than that of any other discipline. We didn’t want to make use of any weighting with regard to the number of journals from different fields as this would mean going below sheer numbers and calculating the amount of pages dedicated to particular fields which could not be done in an appropriate way. Therefore, one caveat must suffice. More than one fifth of the forty most productive social scientists were economists, most of them high in rank.

Other features of table 6 merit closer scrutiny. The most striking seems to be the overwhelming standing of Austrians in these lists. Obviously, someone could harbor reservations when Austrian authors demonstrate that former Austrians come off well. We hope that we were able to keep our own nationalistic biases at bay and were able to keep our promise that we would not distort the data to favor our compatriots. An explanation of this pattern could highlight the following specifics: First, the Austrians were younger than their German counterparts; second, a large number of high-ranking Austrians received a Rockefeller Fellowship before they were forced to leave their home country,14 and thus may have had an advantage after arriving in the U.S.; third, both the Austrian economists and the Austrian philosophers fit well into the then newly emerging paradigms, the neo-classical and econometric economics and the logical positivists. Contrary to what we have said just now, the age does not loom large in any case. Compare, for example, the standing of Schumpeter who was born in 1883, arrived at Harvard in 1931 and died there in 1950 and of Blau who was born in 1918, came to the U.S. in 1938 and died recently. Both were not only highly productive (rank 15 for Schumpeter and rank 10 for Blau) but received also a tremendous recognition: Blau with 369 citations ranked 10 in recognition and Schumpeter 15.

It does not come as a surprise that Sigmund Freud received a high degree of recognition in spite of the fact that he did not contribute a single article of support for his fame. His name was and is written on the wall not only of the social sciences but also the general public. Of similar, albeit minor, ranks are Adorno and Drucker; the former published only one article, while the latter four. Both were held in high esteem by their peers, probably because they read and quoted not only articles but also books.

Just to act as our own critics we would like to direct the reader’s attention to three different sources of recognition. The recently published American National Biography15 included some fifty refugee scholars in their collection of remarkable Americans. Blackwell also recently published a Companion to American Thought16 and the new International Encyclopaedia of the Social & Behavioral Science17 selected in a refereed process 100 outstanding scholars honouring them with biographical entries. Looking at these collections of famous men, including a few women, draws out attention to some differences but also to a lot of convergence.


Table 1: Ratio between Austria and Germany*

For every 100 Germans account for ... Austrians

Population (1930’s)


Universities (1930’s)


Students (1930’s)


Teaching staff (1930’s)


Dismissed Professors (1933 and 1938, resp.)


Grantees of Emergency Committee (1933 – 1944)


Rockefeller Fellows (1925 – 1941)


Émigré Economists (1933 – 1945)


Leading Social Scientists (20th Century)


* Sources: Population: Brian R. Mitchell, International historical statistics: Europe, 1750-1988, New York: Stockton Press, 1992;

Universities, students and teaching staff: Hartmut Titze, (ed.), Handbuch der deutschen Bildungsgeschichte, Bd. 1 Hochschulen, Teil 1, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 1987;

Rockefeller Fellows: Rockefeller Foundation, Directory of Fellowship Awards, for the Years 1917 – 1950, with an Introduction by President Chester I. Barnard, New York: Rockefeller Foundation n.d. [1951], Rockefeller Foundation, Directory of Fellowship Awards, Supplement for the Years 1951 – 1955 [inclusive], with an Introduction by President Dean Rusk, New York: Rockefeller Foundation n.d. [1955], Rockefeller Foundation, Directory of Fellowships and Scholarships, 1917 – 1970, New York: Rockefeller Foundation 1972, Rockefeller Archive Center (RAC) Sleepy Hollow, New York, fellowship cards;

Dismissed professors: for Germany: A Crisis in the University World, published by the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (Jewish and others) coming from Germany, March 1935, p. 5, for Austria: Society for the Protection of Science and Learning, formerly Academic Assistance Council, Fourth Report, London, November, 1938, p. 5;

Grantees of the Emergency Committee: Stephen Duggan and Betty Drury, The Rescue of Science and Learning. The Story of the Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Scholars, New York: Macmillan 1948, appendix iii, p. 195;

Émigré economists: Claus-Dieter Krohn and Harald Hagemann (eds.), Biographisches Handbuch der deutschsprachigen wirtschaftswissenschaftlichen Emigration nach 1933, Munich: Saur 1999;

Leading Social Scientists: Neil Smelser & Paul Baltes (eds.) International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavorial Sciences, Amsterdam: Elsevier 2001 (my calculations).

Table 2: Ratio of Core-Sociologists in the population of German-Speaking Sociologists





















in %







Source: Several editions of Kürschners Deutscher Gelehrten Kalender.

Table 3: Overview About the Different Sub-Samples







Women (in %)







Èmigrés (in %)














Year of birth (Median)














Double entries (n= 269) in different sub-samples result in a total of 851.

Chart CA 1: Comparison of German and austrian Social Scientists


Chart CA 2: Correspondence Analysis of German Speaking Social Scientists



Table 4: Potential of JSTOR for scientometric analyses and Number of Books in the Electronic Catalogue of two large Research Libraries


Author, all

Author, article


Full text, articles

first Yr

last Yr

Time span
















































Everett C.











Robert E




















Albion W.











W. I.










Louis L.




















Note: „Author, all“ gives the hints for a search with the author’s first and last name in all sorts of texts and all 85 journals;

Author, article” shows the results of a search in all 85 journals but restricted to “articles”;

reviews” is a restriction to this sort of texts but there is no differentiation between reviewer and reviewed;

full text, articles” gives the result of a search for this particular author (first name and last name or initial and last name or first name middle name and last name by default of JSTOR) in the full text mode, meaning that the search engine browsed through the digitalized body of the article, the footnotes and quotations.

first – last Yr (year)” give the very first ad the last appearance of the author’s name in the database;

time span” gives the total of years between the first and the last search result from the journals under consideration;

CATNYPL: shows the number of hints in the Electronic Catalog of The New York Public Library.

HOLLIS: shows the number of hints in the Electronic Catalog of Harvard University Libraries.

Table 5: Key Statistical Figures for Searches in JSTOR, PCI, And CATNYPL




full text








75th percentile






90th percentile












Standard deviation












Table 6: Productivity, Visibility, and Recognition of Austrian and German Social Scientists






Kunz, Josef L. (239)

Tietze, Christopher (67)

Weber, Max (1938)


Gross, Leo (198)

Moreno, Jacob L. (64)

Lazarsfeld, Paul F (959)


Coser, Lewis A. (193)

Kunz, J. L. (61)

Freud, Sigmund (818)


Kohn, Hans (179)

Machlup, Fritz (48)

Bendix, Reinhard (479)


Machlup, F. (135)

Haberler, Gottfried (40)

Deutsch, Karl W. (469)


Bendix, R. (123)

Tintner, Gerhard (30)

Hayek, Friedrich A. (413)


Hoselitz, Bert F. (102)

Hirschman, Albert (28)

Machlup, F (389)


Carnap, Rudolf (97)

Gross, L. (27)

Simmel, Georg (385)


Lazarsfeld, P. F. (90)

Bergmann, Gustav (26)

Hirschman, A. (374)


Tintner, G. (90)

Blau, Peter M. (26)

Blau, Peter M. (369)


Moreno, J. L. (88)

Kohn, Robert (25)

Haberler, G. (316)


Haberler, G. (82)

Lazarsfeld, Paul F. (25)

Morgenstern, Oskar (313)


Blau, P. M. (85)

Gumbel, Emil J. (24)

Cassirer, Ernst (302)


Fürer-Haimendorf, Christoph (85)

Vagts, Alfred (22)

Carnap, R. (289)


Hayek, F. A. (84)

Schumpeter, Joseph A. (21)

Schumpeter, Joseph A. (257)


Bergmann, G. (82)

Marschak, Jacob (19)

Tietze, Ch. (254)


Gerschenkron, Alexander (80)

Simmel, G. (19)

Strauss, Leo (249)


Vagts, A. (78)

Deutsch, K. W. (18)

Gerschenkron, A. (239)


Deutsch, K.W. (74)

Gerschenkron, A. (18)

Lewin, Kurt (236)


Manheim, Ernest (73)

Back, Kurt W. (17)

Coser, L. A. (215)


Tietze, Ch. (70)

Bendix, R. (17)

Adorno, Theodor W. (214)


Wolff, Kurt H. (69)

Menger, Karl (17)

Popper, Karl (207)


Hirschman, A. (68)

Colm, Gerhard (15)

Moreno, J. L. (194)


Streeten, Paul P. (65)

Münsterberg, Hugo (15)

Kelsen, Hans (189)


Back, K. W. (64)

Ichheiser, Gustav (14)

Michels, Robert (184)


Schumpeter, J.A. (64)

Kaufmann, Felix (13)

Sombart, Werner (179)


Colm, G. (63)

Kelsen, H. (13)

Back, K. W. (164)


Morgenstern, O. (63)

Stolper, Wolfgang (13)

Scheler, Max (161)


Heberle, Rudolf (60)

Kohn, H. (12)

Gumbel, E. J. (160)


Landauer, Carl (60)

Riemer, Svend (12)

Wolff, K.H. (146)


Cahnmann, Werner J. (57)

Schütz, Alfred (12)

Jahoda, Marie (134)


Cassirer, E. (55)

Staehle, Hans (12)

Troeltsch, Ernst (133)


Sturmthal, Adolf F. (55)

Carnap, R. (11)

Drucker, Peter F. (127)


Speier, Hans (55)

Hayek, F. A. (11)

Vagts, A. (112)


Simmel, G. (53)

Lauterbach, Albert (11)

Hoselitz, B. F. (110)


Ehrmann, Henry W.(50)

Morgenstern, O. (11)

Schütz, A. (107)


Kelsen, H. (50)

Pribram, Karl E. (11)

Weber, Alfred (107)


Redlich, Fritz (50)

Hoselitz, B. F. (10)

Tönnies, Ferdinand (103)


Stolper, W. (50)

Speier, H. (10)

Freud, Anna (103)


Münsterberg, H. (49)

Coser, L. A. (9)

Kunz, J. L. (95)

Notes: Bold: Women, in brackets number of hints,

In case of multiple entries of author’s names the first name only as an initial.

Reference List

Kürschners Deutscher Gelehrten-Kalender . 1925ff. Berlin: W. de Gruyter.

Bernsdorf, Wilhelm and Horst Knospe. 1980-. Internationales Soziologenlexikon. 2. ed. Stuttgart: Enke.

Cole, Stephen and Thomas J. Phelan. 1999. “The Scientific Productivity of Nations.” Minerva 37:1-23.

Coser, Lewis A. 1984. Refugee Scholars in America: Their Impact and Their Experiences. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Fermi, Laura. 1968. Illustrious Immigrants: The Intellectual Migration From Europe, 1930-41. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Fleming, Donald and Bernard Bailyn, eds. 1969. The Intellectual Migration: Europe and America, 1930-1960. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Fox, Richard W. and James T. Kloppenberg. 1995. A Companion to American Thought. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.

Garraty, John A., Mark C. Carnes, and American Council of Learned Societies. 1999. American National Biography. New York: Oxford University Press.

Greenacre, Michael J. 1993. Correspondence Analysis in Practice. London: Academic Press.

Heilbut, Anthony. 1983. Exiled in Paradise: German Refugee Artists and Intellectuals in America, From the 1930s to the Present. New York: Viking Press.

Hughes, Everett C. 1959. “’The Academic Mind’: Two Views.” American Sociological Review 24(4):570-573.

Hughes, Everett C. 1971. The Sociological Eye: Selected Papers. Chicago: Aldine-Atherton.

Klingemann, Carsten. 1996. Soziologie im Dritten Reich. Baden-Baden: Nomos.

König, René. 1987. Soziologie in Deutschland. Begründer, Verfechter, Verächter. München: Hanser.

Lepsius, M. R. 1981. "Die sozialwissenschaftliche Emigration und ihre Folgen." Pp. 461-500 in Soziologie in Deutschland und Österreich 1918-1945 (Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie, Sonderheft 23), hrsg. M. R. Lepsius. Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag.

Lukács, György. 1923. Geschichte und Klassenbewusstein. Berlin: Malik Verlag.

Rammstedt, Otthein. 1985. Deutsche Soziologie 1933-1945. Die Normalität einer Anpassung. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp.

Riemer, Svend. 1959. „Die Emigration der deutschen Soziologen nach den Vereinigten Staaten.“ Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie 11: 100-112.

Röder, Werner, Herbert A. Strauss, Jan Foitzik, Institut für Zeitgeschichte (Munich, Germany), and Research Foundation for Jewish Immigration. 1980-1983. Biographisches Handbuch der deutschsprachigen Emigration nach 1933. München: K.G. Saur.

Smelser, Neil J. and Paul B. Baltes. 2001. International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences. 1st ed. Amsterdam, New York: Elsevier.

Varga, Lucie. 1991. Zeitenwende. Mentalitätshistorische Studien 1936-1939. Edited, translated and introduced by Peter Schöttler. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp.

Wittebur, Klemens. 1991. Die deutsche Soziologie im Exil 1933-1945. Eine biographische Kartographie. Münster: Lit.

1 R. König, Soziologie in Deutschland. Begründer, Verfechter, Verächter, München, Hanser, 1987; S. Riemer, Die Emigration der deutschen Soziologen nach den Vereinigten Staaten, in „Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie“ vol. 11, 1959, pp. 100-112; M. R. Lepsius, Die sozialwissenschaftliche Emigration und ihre Folgen, in: „Soziologie in Deutschland und Österreich 1918-1945“, Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie, Sonderheft 23. 1981, pp. 461-500.

2 O. Rammstedt, Deutsche Soziologie 1933-1945. Die Normalität einer Anpassung, Frankfurt, Suhrkamp, 1985; C. Klingemann, Soziologie im Dritten Reich, Baden-Baden, Nomos, 1996.

3 L. Fermi, Illustrious Immigrants: The Intellectual Migration From Europe, 1930-41, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1968; D. Fleming and B. Bailyn, eds., The Intellectual Migration: Europe and America, 1930-1960, Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press, 1969; W. Röder, H. A. Strauss, eds., Biographisches Handbuch der deutschsprachigen Emigration nach 1933, München, K.G. Saur, 1980-1983; L. A. Coser, Refugee Scholars in America: Their Impact and Their Experiences, New Haven; Yale University Press, 1984; A. Heilbut, Exiled in Paradise: German Refugee Artists and Intellectuals in America, From the 1930s to the Present, New York, Viking Press, 1983.

4 He made use of this concept only twice, at least according to our knowledge: first, in a summary of the study he did with Howard S. Becker, Anselm Strauss on the education of physicians and later on in a lengthy review of Lazarsfeld’s Academic Mind: E. C. Hughes, ’The Academic Mind’: Two Views, in: “American Sociological Review”, vol 24. 1959, no 4, pp. 570-573. For reprints of both pieces, see: E. C. Hughes, The Sociological Eye: Selected Papers, Chicago, Aldine-Atherton, 1971.

5 One is reminded here of H. E. Barnes’ and H. Becker’s history of sociology, titled Social thought from lore to science, Boston, New York, D. C. Heath and Company, 1938.

6 Archiv für angewandte Soziologie, Archiv für Rechts- und Wirtschafts- oder Sozialphilosophie, Archiv für Sozialwissenschaft und Sozialpolitik, Ethos, Jahrbuch für Soziologie, Kölner Vierteljahrshefte für Soziologie, später: Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie (und Sozialpsychologie), Soziale Welt, Jahrbuch für Sozialwissenschaft, Volksspiegel, Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv, Zeitschrift für Nationalökonomie, Zeitschrift für öffentliches Recht, Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung / Studies in Philosophy and Social Science, Zeitschrift für Völkerpsychologie und Soziologie / Sociologus; American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, Annales. Économies, societés, civilisations, British Journal of Sociology, Economic Development and Cultural Change, International Journal of Opinion and Attitude Research, International Postwar Problems, Human Relations, Journal of Economic History, Journal of Social Issue, Journal of Social Philosophy. A Quarterly devoted to a philosophical synthesis of the social sciences, Science and Society, Social Compass, Social Forces, Social Problems, Social Research, Sociometry, Sociological Analysis (formerly: American Catholic Sociological Review), Sociological Review, Sociology and Social Research (formerly: Journal of Applied Sociology), The Sociological Review.

7 L. Varga, Zeitenwende. Mentalitätshistorische Studien 1936-1939, edited, translated and introduced by Peter Schöttler, Frankfurt, Suhrkamp, 1991.

8 K. Wittebur, Die deutsche Soziologie im Exil 1933-1945. Eine biographische Kartographie, Münster, Lit, 1991.

9 W. Bernsdorf and H. Knospe, eds., Internationales Soziologenlexikon, 2. ed., Stuttgart, Enke, 1980/83.

10 S. Cole and T. J. Phelan, The Scientific Productivity of Nations, in “Minerva” vol. 37. 1999, pp. 1-23.

11 P. Bourdieu, La Distinction. Critique sociale du jugement, Paris, Éditions de Minuit, 1979; a more detailed presentation of Correspondence Analysis is M. J. Greenacre, Correspondence Analysis in Practice, London, Academic Press, 1993.

12 Users of JSTOR could search in up to four different fields, combing them with Boolean operators. Every field could be specified with regard to the kind of text in which the search should be executed: Title, abstract, author’s name(s) and full-text. Additionally, one could restrict the search to different types of texts: articles, reviews, “opinion pieces” (like letters to the editor etc.) and other items (like membership directories, conference announcements etc). Finally, users could restrict their searches by date range and limits of content availability in full text or not. To simplify matters we did not make use of the JSTOR offers mentioned at the end.

13 At the time this research was done (1999/2000) the database contained in its Arts and Science Collection journals (numbers in parenthesis) from the following disciplines: Anthropology (5), economics (13), history (13), philosophy (13), political science (8), population studies (8), sociology (9), statistics (9); in addition, we made use of another 7 journals from JSTOR’s so-called general science collection. Four journals from the list (note 5) showed up also in JSTOR: American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, Journal of Economic History, and Sociometry which became finally Social Psychology Quarterly.

14 Besides Kunz and Gross, Lazarsfeld, Haberler, Machlup, Tintner, Bergmann, and Voegelin hold Fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation but from the Germans only Hans Kohn and Jakob Marschak were Fellows.

15 J. A. Garraty, M. C. Carnes, American National Biography, New York, Oxford University Press, 1999.

16 R. W. Fox and J. T. Kloppenberg, eds., A Companion to American Thought, Oxford, Blackwell Publishers, 1995.

17 N. J. Smelser and P. B. Baltes, eds., International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, Amsterdam, New York, Elsevier, 2001.