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The Professionalization of Psychology in Nazi Germany

$45.99 (C)

Part of Cambridge Studies in the History of Psychology

  • Date Published: December 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521102131

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About the Authors
  • It has been widely believed that psychology in Germany, faced with political antipathy and mass emigration of its leading minds, withered under National Socialism. Yet in The Professionalization of Psychology in Nazi Germany, Ulfried Geuter tells a radically different story of how German psychology, rather than disappearing, rapidly grew into a fully developed profession under the Third Reich. Author Geuter makes it clear that the rising demands of a modern industrial nation preparing for war afforded the field with a unique opportunity: to transform itself from a marginal academic discipline into a state sanctioned profession. This opportunity was mainly presented by Wehrmacht (the German army), whose demand for psychological expertise led to increasing support for academic departments. The relevance of this book goes beyond the history of German psychology. Its conclusion--that psychology in Germany grew through its alliance with the interests of the army, the industry, and the ruling regime--points toward the larger issue behind the particulars: the tangled relations among science, professional expertise, and state power in modern society. Based on previously restricted archival material and extensive interviews with participating psychologists of the era, The Professionalization of Psychology in Nazi Germany was universally hailed as a benchmark work in the history of psychology upon its publication in Germany. Now, ably translated by Richard Holmes, it is finally available to an English-speaking audience.

    • Highly acclaimed in its German edition
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "What is especially valuable is the author's consideration of ethical questions, such as the function of science in a system of political domination. The book provides important historical lessons for advanced undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty in the social sciences." H.L. Minton, Choice

    "Geuter's critical focus on the profession as culpable is novel and welcome." Carol Sherrard, The Times Higher Education Supplement

    "...sensibly abridged, smoothly translated, and egregiously priced....The bibliography contains an exhaustive list of published primary and secondary sources as well as a wide range of archival sources. As such, this book is a sterling example of the type of new scholarship from both sides of the Atlantic on the history of modern German society under National Socialism and in particular the history of the professions in modern Germany." Geoffrey Cocks, Psychoanalytic Books: A Quarterly Journal of Reviews

    "This book, translated from earlier German editions...traces in detail the process whereby psychology was transformed from a highly academic science into a civilservice profession as a result of militarization...Geuter argues that authorities embraced psychology mainly for practical reasons, as a source of useful techniques...The great strength of this study is that it reconstructs the professional milieu of German psychology on the basis of exhaustive archival research and thus provides unprecedented detail on the activities of a community of scientists as they adapted to the demands of powerful political forces." James H. Capshew, ISIS.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2008
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521102131
    • length: 360 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.53kg
    • contains: 2 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Notes to the readers of the English edition
    Preface
    Glossary of abbreviations
    1. Introduction
    2. On the way to becoming an independent discipline
    3. The potential of psychology for selecting workers and officers: diagnostics, character and expression
    4. Psychologists at work: new professional activities in industry and army and their expansion in the war economy
    5. Legitimation strategies and professional policy
    6. University courses in psychology and the development of the diploma examination regulations (DPO) of 1941
    7. The diploma examination regulations and their consequences
    8. The disbanding of Luftwaffe and army psychology in 1942 and the reorientation of psychology in war
    9. Self-deception, loyalty and solidarity: professionalization as a subjective process
    10. Science, profession and power
    Postscript
    Comments on sources
    Index.

  • Author

    Ulfried Geuter

    Translator

    Richard Holmes

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