Expertise: Political behavior, modernization, social psychology, national character, “social capital”
Alex Inkeles passed away on July 9, 2010. He was a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and also a professor of sociology and, by courtesy, of education (emeritus) at Stanford University.
Bio as of June 2010:
He is an expert on political behavior, modernization, social psychology, and national character. His current research focuses on the social structure of an emerging worldwide society and cross-national comparative studies.
He is also studying patterns of family development, at-risk adolescents, treatment of the aged, Social Security, education, and legal systems in a comparative perspective.
His most recent volumes are One World Emerging? Convergence and Divergence in Industrial Societies (Westview Press, 1998) and National Character: A Psycho-Social Perspective (Transaction Publications, 1997). He is editor (with Masamichi Sasaki) of Comparing Nations and Cultures (Prentice Hall, 1995). Exploring Individual Modernity (Columbia University Press, 1983) appeared in a Chinese edition (Tianjin People's Publishing House, 1995). His classic Becoming Modern: Individual Change in Six Developing Countries (Harvard University Press, 1974) has also been translated into Chinese.
The author of numerous books and more than 150 articles on sociology and social psychology, he received the Kappa Tau Alpha Award for the best book on mass communication and journalism for his first book, Public Opinion in Soviet Russia (1950), and the Grant Squires Prize from Columbia University (1955). "Linking the Whole Human Race: The World as a Communications System" was awarded the first annual prize for work contributed to the journal Business in the Contemporary World in 1990.
He is often invited to lecture and consult concerning problems of national development in both developing and advanced countries. He has done so in mainland China (1983 and 1986); in Bulgaria (1989), under the auspices of the Bulgarian Academy of Science for a program on personality development under conditions of sociotechnical change; and in Poland (1990) as a guest of the Polish Academy of Science. In 1989, he organized a conference at the Hoover Institution comparing Japanese and American national character and another international conference on measuring democracy, also at Hoover.
Inkeles is also continuing his study of the interrelations of personality and social structure, specifically the influence of individual development on the level of national development and how it shapes the form and content of personality and national character. In addition, he is engaged with other Hoover Institution scholars in a major study of the social factors related to democratic political systems worldwide.
He has been elected to three of the most distinguished honorary societies in America: the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1962), the American Philosophical Society (1972), and the National Academy of Sciences (1981).
Before coming to Stanford University, he was a professor of sociology at Harvard University.
In 1998 Inkeles served as a fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science at the Institute of Statistical Mathematics in Tokyo. In 1997, he served as a senior visiting scholar at the Annenberg School of Communication, University of Pennsylvania. He held a National Academy of Sciences fellowship in 1992 and a Guggenheim fellowship for study in Israel and the United Kingdom in 1977–1978. In 1977, he was a Fulbright scholar in Greece and in 1985 in Chile. Inkeles has held fellowships at the Russell Sage Foundation in New York (1966 and 1985–86); the Eisenhower Foundation of Taiwan (1984–85); the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey (1974–75); and the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences in Stanford, California (1955–56).
Born in Brooklyn, New York, he 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.