Focus of Research

 The function of the Social Science Archive is divided into two areas: on the one hand the Archive serves as a collection point for estates and materials and on the other hand it also serves as a research facility which organizes and conducts the research work thematically connected with these materials.
The Archive aims to secure the estates of emigrated German-language social scientists, either the original documents or copies, in order to keep record of idea emigration which important to the history of theories. The cadre of this collection consists of estates surrounding the New School for Social Research in New York. Since the beginning, the Archive’s research has been concentrating on four thematic areas:

1. Contributions to the history of ideas and dogmata of Social Sciences

Evaluation of the materials available in the Archive allows previously unknown parts of the history of social sciences to be analysed. The development of particular approaches is documented by editing unpublished manuscripts.

2. Investigation of socio-scientific emigration after 1933

Emigration research is closely linked to individual examination in the history of ideas, yet it also moves beyond this. The role that the phenomenon of emigration played in the development of German sociology, the effect of this emigration on academic life in the host countries, the resulting emigration of ideas and also the different types of social environments of the emigrants, is the main focus of this area of research.

3. Reconstruction and composition of central concepts of the sociological theory of action

The Archive’s work does not limit itself to providing articles on the history of theory and ideas. One of its goals is to place reconstructed theory approaches in relation to current research topics. At the same time, this means developing the approaches represented by the Archive according to the demands of current theoretical and empirical questions; the goal being to attain continuative research concepts.

4. Research projects and colloquia

Part of the Archive’s concept involves applying the developed theoretical results in empirical research. In addition to this, the Archive strives to organize colloquia for individual research topics, so as to gain further stimulation from interdisciplinary discussions with national and international researchers.