Samuel Stouffer and the GI Survey: Sociologists and Soldiers by Joseph W. Ryan

By Joseph W. Ryan

Samuel Stouffer, a little-known sociologist from Sac urban, Iowa, is most probably no longer a reputation international warfare II historians go together with different stalwart males of the warfare, similar to Eisenhower, Patton, or MacArthur. but Stouffer, in his function as head of the military details and schooling Division’s learn department, spearheaded an attempt to appreciate the citizen-soldier, his purposes for struggling with, and his total military adventure. utilizing empirical equipment of inquiry to rework normal assumptions approximately management and soldiering right into a sociological realizing of a draftee military, Stouffer might be did extra for the daily soldier than any normal officer may have was hoping to accomplish.
    Stouffer and his colleagues surveyed greater than a half-million American GIs in the course of international battle II, asking questions on every thing from promotions and rations to strive against motivation and ideology concerning the enemy. infantrymen’ solutions usually validated that their reviews differed vastly from what their senior leaders notion soldier critiques have been, or might be. Stouffer and his group of sociologists released per thirty days stories entitled “What the Soldier Thinks,” and after the conflict compiled the learn Branch’s exhaustive info into an indispensible learn popularly often called The American Soldier. basic George C. Marshall used to be one of many first to acknowledge the price of Stouffer’s paintings, bearing on The American Soldier as “the first quantitative stories of the . . . psychological and emotional lifetime of the soldier.” Marshall additionally famous the massive price of The American Soldier beyond the army. Stouffer’s wartime paintings motivated a number of elements of coverage, together with demobilization and the GI invoice. Post-war, Stouffer’s ideas in survey study set the state-of-the-art within the civilian global as well.
    either a biography of Samuel Stouffer and a examine of the learn department, Samuel Stouffer and the GI Survey illuminates the position that sociology performed in realizing the American draftee military of the second one global conflict. Joseph W. Ryan tracks Stouffer’s profession as he guided the military management towards a extra actual wisdom in their citizen squaddies, whereas concurrently setting up the parameters of recent survey study. David R. Segal’s advent locations Stouffer one of the elite sociologists of his day and discusses his lasting effect at the box. Stouffer and his crew replaced how americans take into consideration conflict and the way citizen-soldiers have been taken care of in the course of wartime. Samuel Stouffer and the GI Survey brings a modern point of view to those major contributions.

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In this mass of data there are buried the answers to many methodological problems in the entire field of sampling and attitude measurement. . ”7 Without fail, credible authors writing of the American military experience in World War II, or of sociological research methods, include The American Soldier in their bibliographies. The American Soldier has become what scholars refer to as a landmark work. 8 Like classic literature or the Constitution, The American Soldier has been constantly referenced, praised as “standard,” and memorialized into quaintness.

Upon his return from London in 1932, he took on full-time duties at Wisconsin, and was promoted to full professor in 1934. ) While at Wisconsin, Stouffer taught undergraduate and graduate courses in social statistics, statistical methods in social psychology, statistics in population research, and statistical research in social pathology. His colleagues at 22 Stouffer in the Interwar Years Wisconsin included E. A. Ross, chairman of the sociology department and former president of the ASA (1914 and 1915), who had been instrumental in influencing Stouffer to begin an academic career, John L.

In January 1928, he published “Attitudes Can Be Measured” in the American Journal of Sociology, which Stouffer referenced on the first page of his doctoral dissertation. 5 Ogburn arrived at the University of Chicago in the same academic year as Stouffer (1926–1927). Ogburn also served as president of the American Sociological Society in 1929, and titled his presidential address, “The Folkways of Scientific Sociology,” wherein he spoke of a “differentiating process . . ”6 Ogburn saw science as progress.

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