Front cover image for Antisemitismus und Gesellschaftstheorie : die Frankfurter Schule im amerikanischen Exil

Antisemitismus und Gesellschaftstheorie : die Frankfurter Schule im amerikanischen Exil

Analyzes the new directions taken by the scholars of the Institut für Sozialforschung under the influence of American political and social conditions and the new research methods being developed by American social scientists; and the Institut's influence, in turn, on the directions taken by American social science. The antisemitic persecutions in Germany and growing antisemitism in the US focussed attention on this topic. While Horkheimer and Adorno were working on the section on theory of antisemitism in their "Dialektik der Aufklärung", the Institut maintained itself financially through field research sponsored by the Jewish Labor Committee and the American Jewish Committee. For the former, it conducted a study (1944; unpublished) based on peer interviews with American workers. A large majority of the (not necessarily representative) sample expressed antisemitic prejudice; 18% approved of Nazi persecution, and another 10% justified it to some extent. The researchers considered these "potential fascists". With the suppport of the AJC, the Institut published the research series "Studies in Prejudice", with its high point in "The Authoritarian Personality". Although most of the participants in these studies were not adherents of Critical Theory, the theory underlay Adorno's interpretations of the results. In turn the research influenced the theory; in a second edition of "Die Dialektik der Aufklärung" in 1947, the authors added a section suggesting that antisemitism formed just one element of an anti-democratic, authoritarian syndrome or "ticket". The Institut's work stimulated a growing interest among American social scientists in prejudice against minority groups, an interest that continues to the present day. (From the Bibliography of the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism)
Print Book, German, 2009
Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main, 2009