CAHNMAN, WERNER J.


CAHNMAN, WERNER J. (1902–1980), U.S. sociologist. Born in Munich, Germany, Cahnman was regional secretary for Bavaria of the national association of German Jewry, the Centralverein deutscher Staatsbuerger juedischen *Glaubens, from 1930 to 1934. In 1933 he was arrested for a short time by the Gestapo and at the end of 1938, like many male Jews, was sent to a concentration camp. When he managed to obtain his release he went to the United States, where he studied sociology and anthropology. He then taught at several universities, being appointed professor of sociology at Rutgers University in 1961.

Cahnman's contributions are chiefly in the fields of sociological theory and the sociology of the Jews. His earlier theoretical publications, written under the influence of Robert E. Park, are primarily concerned with international ecology. His major publication, Sociology and History (with Alvin Boskoff, 1964), emphasizes the ideal-typical theory and crystallizes the interest in the historical dimension of sociology among contemporary American sociologists. Other examples of his work in historical sociology are How Cities Grew (with Jean Comhaire, 1963) and "Role and Significance of the Jewish Artisan Class" in Jewish Journal of Sociology (1965). He edited a symposium on Intermarriage and Jewish Life (1963), and published an analysis of the attitude of German youth toward Jews and the Third Reich under the title Voelker und Rassen im Urteil der Jugend (1965). He was Encyclopaedia Judaica departmental editor for Jews in sociology. Cahnman was executive secretary of the Conference on Jewish Social Studies (1954–56). Cahnman's later works are Ferdinand Toennier on Sociology (with Rudolf Heberle, 1971); Ferdinand Toennier, A New Evaluation (1972); and Jews and Gentiles. A Historical Sociology of Their Relations (1973). Cahnman was associate editor of the Reconstructionist.

[Alvin Boskoff]


Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.