The Professionalization of Psychology in Nazi Germany

The Professionalization of Psychology in Nazi Germany

Hardback Cambridge Studies in the History of Psychology

By (author) Ulfried Geuter, Translated by Richard Holmes

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  • Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Format: Hardback | 359 pages
  • Dimensions: 162mm x 238mm x 22mm | 662g
  • Publication date: 1 December 1992
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge
  • ISBN 10: 0521332974
  • ISBN 13: 9780521332972
  • Edition: Abridged
  • Illustrations note: 2 b/w illus.

Product description

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 Professionalisation 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 during the Third Reich. Geuter makes it clear that the rising demands of a modern industrial nation gearing up for a war afforded psychology with a unique opportunity in Nazi Germany: to transform itself from a marginal academic discipline into a state-sanctioned profession. This opportunity was mainly presented byWehrmacht, whose demand for psychological expertise led to increasing support for academic departments, and to the expansion and standardisation of training programmes - a process of professionalization which culminated in 1941 with the creation of a state examination for Diplom, a professional psychology degree. Although the Wehrmacht's demand for its services fell along with the fortunes of the Nazi regime, the professional base psychology has carved for itself remained for the duration of the war and to this date.

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Review quote

"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.

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.