Barbara Grüning

Memory of a discipline: Sociology and National Socialism

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: National Socialism; Historical Sociology; Academic and Political Capital; Memory; Ideology.

After the second World War the debate on sociology during National socialism has been for a long time dominated by the thesis of its nonexistence or irrelevance in that period. In the last thirty years, however, a renewed interest to the history of the discipline under the Nazi regime highlighted three crucial aspects: its institutionalization process outside university, its mutual relationships with the political sphere and a sociologization process of other disciplines. Starting from this new historical perspective in the first part I reconstruct the debate on sociology and National socialism by looking at the different discourses on the past as different «strategies of memory» that aim to affirm or maintain own social and symbolic position (or status) in the new sociological field in the German Federal Republic. In the second part I analyze the logic of the sociological field during the regime, by focusing on the possible correspondences between its social and symbolical space. The case study is not only emblematic for understanding the consolidation process of sociology in Germany, but it can be also useful for comparative analysis with countries such as Italy where the history of the discipline presents several analogies.

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