Papers of Samuel Andrew Stouffer
- 1930 - 1960
- Stouffer, Samuel A., 1900-1960 (Person)
Extent13.48 cubic feet (36 document boxes, 4 half document boxes, and 1 microfiche box)
Biographical Note on Samuel Andrew Stouffer
From 1941 to 1946, Stouffer led the Research Branch of the War Department’s Information and Education Division. As director, he began a study of the attitudes of servicemen. He conducted a series of morale surveys to gather data on attitudes, emotions, and conduct among military men who served in the war. The project included study of attitudes concerning general approval of the military, status satisfaction, and opinions on military education and indoctrination methods. The study also devoted significant attention to race relations within the military, comparing attitudes of white soldiers, Southern Black soldiers, and Northern Black soldiers. A significant contribution the study made to the field of sociology was the theory of relative deprivation, and the project helped to elevate public opinion of sociology as a scientific discipline. The findings were published in a four-volume series titled Studies in Social Psychology in World War II, published 1949-1950. Also during World War II, Stouffer led the study “An American Dilemma,” while its director, sociologist Gunnar Myrdal, returned to his home country Sweden during the war. The study, also known as the “Carnegie-Myrdal Study of the Negro in America,” was a major social science study of race relations in the United States and life among African Americans in the mid-twentieth century.
In the early 1950s, Stouffer became involved in McCarthy era investigations of communist sympathies among Harvard faculty. He received a letter from the Eastern Industrial Personnel Security Board informing him that he would not receive security clearance to work on classified military contracts or classified documents on account of his relationships with Harvard professors under suspicion of communist sympathies, including sociologist Talcott Parsons. Stouffer appealed the decision and won the appeal in 1954. In 1955, Stouffer published Communism, Conformity, and Civil Liberties, based on survey work commissioned by the Fund for the Republic and data collected by the American Institute of Public Opinion (better known as Gallup) and the National Opinion Research Center. The surveys were designed to collect data about the American public’s reactions to foreign and domestic communist conspiracy and to domestic defenders against communism.
Stouffer’s final publication was Social Research to Test Ideas, published posthumously in 1962. The volume is a collection of articles from throughout Stouffer’s career that he selected and organized himself shortly before his death in 1960.
- Correspondence, 1946-1960 (HUGFP 31.6)
- Papers relating to wartime research for the U.S. Army, 1942-1945 (HUGFP 31.8)
- Personal papers, 1953-1959 [and undated] (HUGFP 31.35)
- Speeches, 1930-1959 (HUGFP 31.45)
- Social Research to Test Ideas, 1960 (HUGFP 31.50)
- Reviews of Communism, Conformity, and Civil Liberties, [circa 1955] (HUGFP 31.73)
- Gift of Mrs. Samuel Stouffer, received 1960s.
- Transferred from the Laboratory of Social Relations, received February 1965.
- Gift of Mrs. Talcott Parsons, received 1980-03-10, accession 8855.
Item(s) and/or series formerly classified as HUG 4811.25 ("Negro Population pt. 1") could not be located at the time of processing and should be incorporated into the collection.
- Stouffer, Samuel A., 1900-1960. Papers of Samuel Andrew Stouffer, 1930-1960 : an inventory
- Description rules
- Language of description
- EAD ID
Part of the Harvard University Archives Repository
Holding nearly four centuries of materials, the Harvard University Archives is the principal repository for the institutional records of Harvard University and the personal archives of Harvard faculty, as well as collections related to students, alumni, Harvard-affiliates and other associated topics. The collections document the intellectual, cultural, administrative and social life of Harvard and the influence of the University as it emerged across the globe.
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