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Social Science

Hortense Powdermaker

Hortense Powdermaker explored the balance of involvement and detachment necessary for participant-observer fieldwork in cultural anthropology, stressing the ability to “step in and out of society.” Her secular Jewish identity was apparently a factor in learning this skill, exemplified in an academic career that included thirty years of college teaching and the writing of five major books based on widely diverse fieldwork studies.

Jessica Blanche Peixotto

Jessica Blanche Peixotto, a member of a prominent Sephardic family distinguished for its long history of intellectual, philanthropic, and cultural contributions to the United States, broke gender boundaries throughout her career as a social economist and university professor.

Bernice L. Neugarten

Academic study of adult development and aging—now a well-established subject essential to social practice and policy and to the clinical professions—can be said to derive from the pioneering scholarship and teaching of Bernice L. Neugarten in the decades since 1950.

Hélène Metzger

Hélène Metzger was a French historian of chemistry and philosopher of science, whose work has remained influential to this day.

Dorothee Metlitzki

Dorothee Metlitzki, a philologist and medievalist, was born to factory owner Israel Metlitzki, a Russian Jew, and Rosa Malbin, a German Jew, on July 27, 1914, in Koningsberg, then in Germany, and spent her youth in various places in Eastern Europe.

Ruth Schlossberg Landes

Ruth (Schlossberg) Landes, a social and cultural anthropologist, was born in New York City in 1908 to Joseph and Anna (Grossman) Schlossberg. Her father had emigrated from Russia to the United States as an adolescent. A self-educated man, he was the cofounder and long-term secretary-general of the union of Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America. Her mother was born in Ukraine, educated in Berlin, and immigrated to New York City as a young adult.

Sara Landau

Sara Landau was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on November 4, 1890, to Morris (Fred) and Frieda (Shapiro) Landau, who had married in Poland before coming to America in the early 1880s. Sara was the first surviving child of the Landaus, who later had two other daughters, Minnie and Mathilda. She spent part of her early life in Louisiana, graduating from high school in Crowley in 1906, attending Southwest Industrial Institute in Lafayette, and teaching business courses for several years. Around 1914, she and her family moved to Louisville, Kentucky, where her father operated a boys’ clothing factory until the Depression of the 1930s.

Fay Berger Karpf

Fay Berger Karpf made important contributions to Jewish American intellectual and social history. Both she and her husband, Maurice Joseph Karpf, were key figures in the Jewish welfare movement in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles from the 1920s through the 1950s.

Marie Jahoda

Marie Jahoda is an important figure in psychology in England as well as the United States. She authored or coauthored eight books and coedited five more. Jahoda received an award for distinguished contributions to the public interest from the American Psychological Association in 1979.

Dafna Nundi Izraeli

Izraeli was Professor of Sociology and former Chairperson of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Bar Ilan University, Israel. At the time of her death, she was Chair of the Interdisciplinary Program in Gender Studies and head of the Rachel and J. L. Gewurz Center for Research on Gender at Bar Ilan, which she endowed in the name of her parents. The Bar Ilan Program, which she initiated, is one of only two M. A./Ph. D. Gender and Women’s Studies programs in Israel.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Social Science." (Viewed on November 28, 2014) <http://jwa.org/topics/social-science>.

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