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Gumplowicz, Ludwig (1838–1909)

Bernd Weiler

Subject Sociology » Sociological and Social Theory

Place Western Europe » Austria

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1800-1899

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405124331.2007.x


Around 1900, Ludwig Gumplowicz was internationally regarded as one of the most influential sociological theorists and, together with his fellow countryman Gustav Ratzenhofer (1842–1904), as the leading representative of the so-called Austrian Struggle or Conflict School. Born into an assimilated Jewish family in the quarter of Kazimierz in the Free State of Cracow, which was incorporated into the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy in 1846, the young Gumplowicz strongly identified with Polish culture and fervently supported the movement for greater autonomy of Galicia. After graduating in law from the Jagiellonian University in 1861, Gumplowicz joined the liberal democratic and positivist circles of his deeply conservative hometown and, as a lawyer, journalist, political activist, and chief editor of the progressive newspaper Kraj (“The Country”), took an active part in the educational, social, and political affairs of Cracow. Disappointed at his failure to bring about the desired reforms, he left Cracow in 1875 and moved to Graz, where he became a lecturer and in 1893 a full professor of law. Throughout his life, however, he maintained a strong interest in the politics of his native Galicia. Apart from numerous works on Austrian administrative and constitutional law, the prolific writer Gumplowicz dedicated his scientific work to the newly emerging discipline of sociology. After the publication ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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