Karl Mannheim and Viola Klein: Refugee Sociologists in Search of Social Democratic Practice

E. Stina Lyon

in In Defence of Learning

Published by British Academy

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780197264812
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754029 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Karl Mannheim and Viola Klein: Refugee Sociologists in Search of Social Democratic Practice

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This chapter recounts the story of a relationship forged out of a shared intellectual past, a passion for sociology as a discipline, and the circumstances of being academic refugees. Karl Mannheim (1893–1947), whose sociological writings count amongst the classics in the discipline, arrived in Britain in 1933 as one of the first beneficiaries of the Academic Assistance Council/Society for the Protection of Science and Learning (SPSL). Viola Klein (1908–1973), a pioneer in the field of the sociology of women, also arrived in Britain as a refugee from the onslaught of National Socialism, though without the assistance of SPSL. For a brief period during the war, Mannheim became Klein's Ph.D. tutor at the London School of Economics. Theirs is a story of academic success and enduring intellectual legacy, but also of the hardships of displacement, marginality, tireless networking, and backbreaking daily slog to find employment, academic recognition, and a platform from which to contribute to the country they proudly came to see as their own.

Keywords: sociology; academic refugees; Academic Assistance Council; SPSL; London School of Economics; Karl Mannheim; Viola Klein

Chapter.  5922 words. 

Subjects: Migration Studies

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