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Abrams, Mark Alexander [formerly Max Alexander Abramowitz] (1906–1994), social scientist, was born at 57 Balfour Road, Edmonton, London, on 27 April 1906, one of eight children born to Abraham (Abram) Abramowitz, also known as Abramovich or Abrams, and his wife, Annie (Hannah), ...

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Bernstein, Basil Bernard (1924–2000), sociologist, was born on 1 November 1924 at 189 Oxford Street, Mile End Old Town, London, the son of Bertram Bernstein, furrier, and his wife, Julia, née Park. He was originally named Bernard Basil, but reversed the order of his forenames. He was brought up in the ...

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Cohen, Stanley [Stan] (1942–2013), sociologist and criminologist, was born on 23 February 1942 in Johannesburg, South Africa, the eldest son of Ray Cohen, a businessman who had arrived from Lithuania in the wave of immigration in the 1920s and 1930s, and his wife, ...

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Davidoff, Leonore (1932–2014), sociologist and historian, was born in New York on 31 January 1932, the daughter of Leo Max Davidoff (1898–1975) and his wife Ida née Fisher (1903–2001). Her parents were both Jewish immigrants from eastern Europe. Her father had migrated to the ...

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Elias, Norbert (1897–1990), sociologist, was born on 22 June 1897 in Breslau, Germany (which later became Wrocław, Poland), the only child of Hermann Elias, businessman, and his wife, Sophie Galevski. He attended the Johannesgymnasium, Breslau, and, after service in the German army during the First World War, read philosophy and medicine at ...

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Finley, Sir Moses I. (1912–1986), historian and sociologist, was born in New York on 20 May 1912, the eldest in the family of three sons and one daughter of Nathan Finkelstein, mechanical engineer, of New York, and his wife, Anna Katzenellenbogen. In October 1946 he followed his brothers and changed his name to ...

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Ginsberg, Morris (1889–1970), sociologist and philosopher, was born in Lithuania on 14 May 1889, the son of Meyer Ginsberg, tobacco manufacturer. He migrated to Britain, where he attracted attention as a talented undergraduate while reading philosophy at University College, London (UCL), which he entered in 1910. Such a migration was common enough at that time but, as ...

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Morris Ginsberg (1889–1970) by Claude Rogers, 1960 © Estate of Claude Rogers; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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Glass [née Lazarus; other married name Durant], Ruth Adele (1912–1990), sociologist, was born on 30 June 1912 in Berlin, Germany, the second of three daughters (there were no sons) of Eli Lazarus, described on her marriage certificate as a factory burner, a member of a distinguished Jewish family with a long rabbinical tradition, and his wife, ...

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Guttsman, William Leo [Willi] [formerly Wilhelm Leo Guttsmann] (1920–1998), librarian and political sociologist, was born in Berlin on 23 August 1920, one of two children of Walter Johann Guttsmann (1880–1941), a native of Berlin, and his wife, Helene, who was born on 5 August 1887 in ...

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Karl Mannheim (1893–1947) by Elliott & Fry, 1943 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Mannheim, Karl [Károly] (1893–1947), sociologist, was born on 27 March 1893 at 19 Sas Street in Budapest, Hungary, the eldest child of Gusztáv Mannheim, a textile merchant, and Rosa Eylenburg. His father was Hungarian-Jewish and his mother German-Jewish. After attending a Gymnasium Mannheim...

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Neustadt, Ilya [Ilie] (1915–1993), sociologist, was born on 21 November 1915 near Odessa, Russia, the youngest of five children of Nicolai Neustadt, a prosperous grain and sunflower seed merchant, and his wife, Maria. In the turmoil following the Russian revolution his family decided to cross the ...

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Shils, Edward Albert (1910–1995), sociologist, was born on 1 July 1910 in Springfield, Massachusetts, USA, the younger son of Nathan Shils (b. 1881), a worker in a cigar making factory, and his wife, Esther. His parents were immigrant Russian Jews, his mother a housewife with the conventionally fabled educational aspirations for her sons. ...