Ginsberg, Morris

views updated


GINSBERG, MORRIS (1889–1970), English sociologist. Born in Lithuania, Ginsburg immigrated to England, entering University College, London, in 1910. At that time he knew little or no English. Nevertheless, he was appointed lecturer in philosophy at University College, where he remained from 1914 to 1923. From 1929 to 1954, he was professor of sociology at the London School of Economics. Ginsberg's position in sociology was derived from the evolutionary theory of his teachers Hobhouse and Westermarck. His works deal with the systematic evaluation of sociology, the study of social structures, institutions and groups, and the comparative study of custom and religion in a variety of cultures. Ginsberg was actively interested in Jewish problems. His book The Jewish People Today, a survey of the structure and the institutions of contemporary Jewish life, appeared in 1956. He was associated with the World Jewish Congress and was an editor of The Jewish Journal of Sociology. His works include The Material Culture and Social Institutions of the Simpler Peoples (with L.T. Hobhouse and G.C. Wheeler, 1915), The Psychology of Society (1921), L.T. Hobhouse: His Life and Work (with J.A. Hobson, 1931), Studies in Sociology (1932), Sociology (1934), Moral Progress (1944), Reason and Unreason in Society (1947), The Idea of Progress: A Reevaluation (1953), Essays in Sociology and Social Philosophy (3 vols., 1956–61), Reason and Experience in Ethics (1956), Law and Opinion in England in the 20th Century (1959), Evolution and Progress (1961), and Nationalism: A Reappraisal (1961). In 1974, R. Fletcher edited The Science of Society and the Unity of Mankind: A Memorial Volume for Morris Ginsberg.

add. bibliography:

odnb online.

[Werner J. Cahnman]