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Preliminary Inventory of the Alex Inkeles papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical/Historical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Collection Summary

    Title: Alex Inkeles papers
    Dates: 1941-2003
    Collection Number: 85005
    Creator: Inkeles, Alex, 1920-
    Collection Size: 549 manuscript boxes, 4 oversize boxes, 6 card file boxes, 4 data tapes, and 32 linear feet of volumes (265 linear feet)
    Repository: Hoover Institution Archives
    Stanford, California 94305-6010
    Abstract: The papers contain the American sociologist's materials relating to research on social change in the twentieth century, as well as the promotion of international educational exchanges and intellectual cooperation, especially between the United States and China. Includes documentation associated with research projects conducted by Inkeles, research material and statistical data 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, and materials pertaining to his teaching career in correspondence, writings, notes, memoranda, reports, printed matter, and sound recordings.
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
    Languages: English

    Administrative Information


    Boxes 517-519 are closed. A portion of the collection is stored off-site: boxes 1-51, 52-79, 82-125, and 131-372. It may be possible to have a limited number of boxes brought to the archives reading room for examination. A minimum of two days notice is required. Please contact the Hoover Institution Archives for further information. The remainder of the collection is open for research
    The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Alex Inkeles papers, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

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


    Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at http://searchworks.stanford.edu/ . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

    Biographical/Historical Note

    Born in Brooklyn, New York, 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 has 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 made 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.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Smith, David Horton.
    Social change.
    Civilization, Modern.
    Developing countries--Social conditions.
    Intellectual cooperation.
    United States--Relations--China.
    China--Relations--United States.
    Committee on Scholarly Communication with the People's Republic of China (U.S.)