Research and Activism

Summer School at Vienna University, September 14–18, 2020. Deadline for Registration: February 29, 2020

10th Marie Jahoda Summer School of Sociology

Since 2010, the Department of Sociology of the University of Vienna has organized its summer school named after Marie Jahoda. To mark the 10th anniversary in 2020, the content of the summer school will be related more closely to the life and work of Marie Jahoda.

In her early years as a researcher in Vienna, when Marie Jahoda conducted, among others, the famous study “The Unemployed of Marienthal”, she was an active member of the Socialdemocratic Workers’ Party. Around 1930, she was convinced that, after a democratic and non-violent upheaval of society in Austria, she would become minister for education. However, Austro-Fascism took power in 1934, and from then on Marie Jahoda clandestinely worked for the Revolutionary Socialists, without putting aside her research activities. Imprisoned in 1936, she had to leave the country in 1937. From 1948 to 1958 Marie Jahoda was a professor of social psychology at New York University and from 1965 to 1973 at the University of Sussex.

The Marie Jahoda Summer School 2020 “Research and Activism” will address the interrelationship between both scientific and political activism in the 21st century and under the conditions of the digital age. The summer school will jointly be held by the Department of Sociology of the University of Vienna and the Digital Futures at Work Research Centre from the Universities of Sussex and Leeds in the UK. To PhD students in sociology and related disciplines from around the world, the summer school will provide the opportunity to reflect and to exchange insights on the link between academic research and political or societal activism. Students will benefit from the summer school in two major ways: First, they may present and get feedback on their PhD projects in which they analyse the interrelation between research and activism. Second, PhD students who are activists themselves may present their research and discuss how they reconcile these roles. The PhD projects may be based on a wide range of research methods including action research.

The PhD projects should fall under one or more of the following fields of study:

  • Gender inequality and intersectionality
  • Movements around migration
  • Labour, precariousness and unionism
  • Climate justice and biodiversity
  • Homelessness and housing movements
  • New forms of activism in the digital age

The international faculty of the summer school will provide feedback to the PhD projects, support students in preparing for publication the papers they present at the summer school and together with the participants draw conclusions on the role of research and academia in the current societal and political dynamics. The summer school will include a public keynote and lectures by leading international scholars and a theatre play on Marie Jahoda and Käthe Leichter.


Prof Dr Ulrich Brand, University of Vienna, Austria
Dr Brendan Burchell, University of Cambridge, UK
Prof Dr Kate Hardy, University of Leeds, UK
Prof Dr Christoph Reinprecht, University of Vienna, Austria
Prof Dr Mark Stuart, University of Leeds, UK

Programme committee

Prof Dr Jörg Flecker, University of Vienna, Austria
Prof Dr Jacqueline O’Reilly, University of Sussex, UK

Administration and contact

Irene Rieder
Department of Sociology, University of Vienna
Email: irene.rieder(at)

Further Information (PDF)