Bronislaw Malinowski (1884-1942)






The London years can be characterized as the years of the anthroplogist Ernest Manheim. Here he extended his scientific field of work to include socio-anthropological studies, mainly under the influence of his doctoral adviser, Bronislaw Malinowski (1884-1942), the originator of functionalism in ethnology. Manheim's study on behalf of the Institut für Sozialforschung ("Frankfurt School") dealing with the evolution of the bourgeois patriarchal society, titled "Beiträge zu einer Geschichte der autoritären Familie" [Contributions to a History of the Authoritarian Family"], is, on the one hand, still firmly based within the philosophical tradition of Manheim's earlier days in Leipzig, whereas, on the other hand, it already shows strong ethnological and anthropological influences. With his still unpublished London dissertation, a secondary analysis of travelogues and colonial records about the West-African Nama tribe, focussing on their notions of "authority", "risk" and "security" as well as on an analysis of the social function of these concepts, Manheim clearly reached a synthesis of the two subjects, sociology and anthropology. In 1942, Manheim summarized the essential theses of this investigation in the presentation "Risk and social security: specified and non-specified risks" At this time, he also addressed socio-psychological approaches, like in his paper "The psychology of social conformity", which, among other things, deals with the peculiarities of the Hungarian Gentry (úri ember).