Ferdinand Tönnies, Sociologist (c. 1915)
Ferdinand Tönnies (1855-1936) belonged to the first generation of German sociologists. Community and Society [Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft], his most important contribution to the field, was first published in 1887. An analysis of the conditions of modern life, it offered a sketch of society’s development from ancient to modern times, stressing the differences between the binding social relationships of traditional society, which he called “community,” and the more impersonal relationships of the city, which he associated with “society.” Tönnies helped found the German Society for Sociology and taught at the University of Kiel until 1933, when he was dismissed by the National Socialist regime. This c. 1915 photograph of Tönnies was taken by Ferdinand Urbahns.