Serendipities. Journal for the Sociology and History of the Social Sciences 2023-01-10T23:59:53+01:00 Fran Collyer Open Journal Systems <p><strong><em>Serendipities</em></strong> publishes three kinds of texts:</p> <p><em>Articles</em> reporting research results, developing theoretical arguments, or – at best – offering a combination of both. An article has to be concerned with the sociology and history of the social sciences and should demonstrate how it adds to our knowledge. This is best achieved when it is positioned in relation to the relevant literature from the field.</p> <p><em>Book reviews</em> should present and assess new publications relevant to the subject matter of the journal. There is no restriction with regard to the language of the reviewed publication. Moreover, it is the explicit aim of the editors that this section will function both as a forum for critical evaluation of new books and as a platform for those who are not able to read them in their original language.</p> <p>A third kind of text are various forms of <em>research materials</em>. These may be archival materials, i.e., items from the past that are deemed valuable enough to be made visible to the scientific community (e.g. letters, unpublished manuscripts, administrative documents etc.). These should be presented with short commentaries on the significance of the documents. Alternatively, using some of the functionalities offered by digitalisation, such materials might be contemporary reconstructions of past situations (e.g., visualizations), data sets, or similar.</p> <p>Furthermore, <em>Serendipities</em> will make use of some of the more adventurous features of the Web by encouraging discussions online.</p> The Authoritarian Institution 2022-05-16T15:33:08+02:00 Andreas Huber <p>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.</p> 2023-01-10T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Andreas Huber Allowing for Ambiguity in the Social Sciences 2022-09-20T09:11:31+02:00 Andreas Kranebitter Fabian Gruber <p>This paper presents an assessment of Else Frenkel-Brunswik’s contributions to the social sciences by reconstructing both her research practice and methodological reflections on this practice, which are most prominent in the qualitative methodology used in her parts of the study <em>The Authoritarian Personality</em> (Adorno et al. 1950). After a brief discussion of the study’s general methodology, we contextualize the qualitative parts done by Frenkel-Brunswik along her earlier lines of research, looking at the impact of her pre-emigration influences of logical empiricism, academic psychology, and psychoanalysis in Vienna as well as her experience of persecution and exile. We argue that her understanding of ambiguity was key to her methodology from an early stage onwards, and was key to her distinctive confrontation with Nazi psychologist Erich R. Jaensch. Building upon findings from the Archive for the History of Sociology in Austria (AGSÖ) in Graz and the Institute for Jewish Research (YIVO) in New York, this article reevaluates Else Frenkel-Brunswik’s epistemological po-sition within the context of the study <em>The Authoritarian Personality</em>, allowing for a full appreciation of her role and contributions to the field of research on authoritarianism.</p> 2023-01-18T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Andreas Kranebitter, Fabian Gruber Else Frenkel Brunswik and Contemporary Sociologists 2022-07-09T11:29:53+02:00 Christian Fleck <p>The article presents and discusses an unpublished critical remark written by Robert K Merton which addressed Else Frenkel Brunswik's contribution to <em>The Authoritarian Personality</em>. The author contextualizes both Merton’s remarks and the book’s reception by other contemporary sociologists.</p> 2023-01-10T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Christian Fleck How the Fascist and Non-Fascist Self May Develop 2022-06-20T15:20:16+02:00 Lucyna Darowska <p>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.</p> 2023-01-10T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Lucyna Darowska Logical Positivism or Critical Theory as the Methodological Foundation of The Authoritarian Personality? 2022-05-30T10:52:02+02:00 Peter Schmidt <p>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.</p> 2023-01-10T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Peter Schmidt Thriving in Ambiguity – A Dispositive of Self-Optimisation 2022-06-19T10:51:34+02:00 Grit Claudia Heinrich <p>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 <em>ambiguity tolerance</em> 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.</p> 2023-01-10T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Grit Claudia Heinrich Interview with Daniel J. Levinson 2022-09-27T19:59:31+02:00 Dietmar Paier 2023-01-10T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Paier Dietmar Helping Hands 2022-10-14T11:47:08+02:00 Christian Fleck <p>Book Review of:</p> <p>Leff, Laurel (2019) Well Worth Saving: American Universities’ Life-and-Death Decisions on<br />Refugees from Nazi Europe. New Haven; London: Yale University Press<br />357 pp.<br />ISBN 978-0-300-24387-1<br />Price: $30.00</p> <p>Mulder, Bertus (2021) Sophie Louisa Kwaak und das Kapital der Unternehmerfamilie Weil: Ein<br />Beitrag zur Wirtschaftsgeschichte der Frankfurter Schule [Sophie Louisa Kwaak and the capital<br />of the entrepreneurial family Weil: A contribution to the economic history of the Frankfurt School].<br />Translated from Dutch by Arne Braun. Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag<br />283 pp.<br />ISBN 978-38353-3915-6<br />Price: €24.90</p> <p><br />Stöckel, Tommy (2020) Wissenschaftsorganisatoren in den Sozialwissenschaften 1890–1940<br />[Managers of the social sciences 1890–1940]. Wiesbaden: Springer Fachmedien (Humboldt<br />University Berlin Dissertation)<br />575 pp.<br />ISBN 978-3-658-38168-4<br />Price: €64.99</p> 2023-01-10T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Christian Fleck Authoritarianism, Ambivalence, Ambiguity 2022-12-23T17:37:10+01:00 Andreas Kranebitter Christoph Reinprecht 2023-01-10T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Andreas Kranebitter; Christoph Reinprecht