On Marie Jahoda

Marie Jahoda was an outstanding psychologist and considered to be one of the pioneers of social studies. Her research focussed on the areas of unemployment, anti-Semitism, psychoanalysis and the development of interdisciplinary methodology.

Jahoda was born into a Jewish family in Vienna, Austria in 1907. At 17 she joined the Social Democratic Party in Austria. Her political stance and activities had a major impact on her life and her research work.

As an undergraduate and then as a doctoral student at the University of Vienna, she worked together with Karl and Charlotte Bühler, the founders of the Vienna Psychological Institute. Together with Hans Zeisel and Lotte Schenk-Danzinger, she published the renowned study Marienthal: The Sociography of an Unemployed Community in 1933.

During the Austrofascist dictatorship, Jahoda was a member of the training and central committees of the Austrian Social Democrats, an underground organisation. In 1936 she was arrested and then released after nine months following pressure by the British government; she then emigrated to London.
At the end of World War II, Jahoda moved to the United States and worked at New York University. In connection with the Studies of Prejudices of the emigrated Frankfurt School, she researched and co-authored  Anti-Semitism and Emotional Disorder (New York 1950).

Jahoda returned to Great Britain in 1958, married Labour politician Austen Albu and assumed a professorship at the University of Sussex. Her research there focussed on the problems of unemployment in an interdisciplinary perspective. Her book Employment and Unemployment was published in 1983 with a preface by Willy Brandt. Jahoda died at the age of 94 on 28 April 2001 in Sussex. 


Jahoda, Marie. 1997. „Ich habe die Welt nicht verändert“. Lebenserinnerungen einer Pionierin der Sozialforschung, ed. by Steffani Engler and Brigitte Hasenjürgen. Frankfurt a.M./New York: Campus.


Jahoda, Marie, Paul F. Lazarsfeld and Hans Zeisel. 1971. Marienthal: The Sociography of an Unemployed Community. With a new Introduction by Chrisitan Fleck. London/New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers.


Ackerman, Nathan W., and Marie Jahoda. 1950. Anti-Semitism and Emotional Disorder. New York: Harper & Brothers.