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Inkeles (Alex) papers
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Collection Details
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  • Access
  • Use
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Title: Alex Inkeles papers
    Date (inclusive): 1941-2003
    Collection Number: 85005
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Library and Archives
    Language of Material: English
    General Physical Description note:
    Abstract: Correspondence, writings, notes, memoranda, reports, printed matter, and sound recordings relating to social change in the twentieth century, and to promotion of international educational exchanges and intellectual cooperation, especially between the United States and China. Includes computer data cards, printout of statistics and codebooks used as research material for the book by Alex Inkeles and David H. Smith, Becoming Modern: Individual Change in Six Developing Countries (Cambridge, Mass., 1974), relating to the transition of social attitudes of individuals in developing countries. Also includes digital copy of interviews of Inkeles.
    Creator: Inkeles, Alex, 1920-2010
    Creator: Smith, David Horton
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Library & Archives


    Boxes 517-519 closed. The remainder of the collection is open for research; materials must be requested in advance via our reservation system. If there are audiovisual or digital media material in the collection, they must be reformatted before providing access.


    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Library & Archives in 1985, with additional increments received through 2011.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Alex Inkeles papers, [Box no., Folder no. or title], Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

    Biographical Note

    Born in Brooklyn, New York, Alex Inkeles received an A.B. degree in 1941 and an A.M. in 1946 from Cornell University. He received a Ph.D. in 1949 from Columbia University, publishing Public Opinion in Soviet Russia: A Study in Mass Persuasion in 1950.
    A professor of sociology at Harvard University from 1957 to 1971, he published What Is Sociology? in 1964 and Social Change in Soviet Russia in 1968.
    From 1972 on, Inkeles was a professor of sociology at Stanford University and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. Inkeles was an expert on political behavior, modernization, social psychology, and national character. His research focused on the social structure of an emerging worldwide society and cross-national comparative studies. Inkeles published Becoming Modern: Individual Change in Six Developing Countries in 1974 and Exploring Individual Modernity in 1983.
    Inkeles held numerous fellowships, including the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences in Stanford, California from 1955 to 1956, a Guggenheim fellowship for study in Israel and the United Kingdom from 1977 to 1978, and a National Academy of Sciences fellowship in 1992. He was also a Fulbright scholar in Greece in 1977 and in Chile in 1985.
    He was elected to three of the most distinguished honorary societies in America: the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1962, the American Philosophical Society in 1972, and the National Academy of Sciences in 1981.
    Alex Inkeles passed away on July 9, 2010.
    Sources: "Alex Inkeles, Senior Fellow" Hoover Institution. http://www.hoover.org/fellows/alex-inkeles  Accessed January 6, 2012

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The papers consist largely of documentation associated with research projects conducted by Inkeles, a prominent American sociologist, as well as materials pertaining to his teaching career. There are numerous papers and articles written by Inkeles, writings by others, and printed matter relating to sociology and to international geographic studies of locations such as the Soviet Union, China, and India.
    A large section of material concerns the Harvard Project on the Socio-Cultural Aspects of Development (later known as the Harvard Project on Social and Cultural Aspects of Development), a large study headed by Inkeles that collected data on the basis of interviews conducted in Argentina, Chile, India, Israel, Nigeria, and East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). The data was subsequently used as the basis for a 1974 book by Inkeles, Becoming Modern: Individual Change in Six Developing Countries.
    A variety of Inkeles' writings include a chronological section of article reprints, various research materials, drafts, papers, and book chapters. Also included are drafts and research data for Inkeles' books Exploring Individual Modernity and the edited volume, Sociology: An Introduction.
    The papers also include materials related to Inkeles' research projects, including collected background materials, data sets, and draft writings on topics such as "Quality of Life," "National Character," and "Adolescence."
    Material on Inkeles' academic teaching career consists of lecture notes and course materials for sociology classes, dissertations and theses written by students, academic administrative material, and documentation on his involvement in organizations such as the Committee on Scholarly Communication with the People's Republic of China.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Intellectual cooperation
    Social change
    Civilization, Modern
    Developing countries -- Social conditions
    United States -- Relations -- China
    China -- Relations -- United States
    Committee on Scholarly Communication with the People's Republic of China (U.S.)