The Idea of Volk and the Origins of Völkisch Research, 1800-1930S – Journal of the History of Ideas – article

The Idea of Volk and the Origins of Völkisch Research, 1800-1930S

J. Laurence Hare, Fabian Link | Journal of the History of Ideas

2019-10-22

Völkisch research was a phenomenon in the social sciences and humanities that aimed to describe and cultivate the Volk, conceived broadly as a group united by some pre-existing or transcendental bond. Studies of this research complex have thus far been dominated by questions related to its close affiliation with the Nazi regime, but much remains unknown about how its longer-term development related to the transformation of science or to conceptual changes in the notion of Volk. This article addresses these questions by tracing the ways in which the idea of Volk transformed through accommodation with shifting scientific norms.

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