Rene Konig

Rene Konig

German sociologist, scientific organizer, essayist, translator.
Date of Birth: 05.07.1906
Country: Germany

  1. Biography of René Konig
  2. Emigration and Academic Career
  3. Contributions and Achievements
  4. Awards and Recognition

Biography of René Konig

René Konig was a German sociologist, scientific organizer, essayist, and translator. He was born in Germany to a French mother and his family constantly traveled throughout Europe, including Italy, France, and Spain. He received his education at gymnasiums in Halle and Gdansk, as well as at the universities of Vienna and Berlin, where he studied philosophy, psychology, Eastern languages, art history, ethnology, and humanities. In 1930, he defended his dissertation on the aesthetics of naturalism in France.

Emigration and Academic Career

Despite not supporting Nazism, Konig emigrated to Switzerland in 1937. He became a private lecturer in Zurich from 1938 to 1947. In 1949, he became a professor of sociology at the Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences at the University of Cologne, and from 1955 to 1974, he served as the head of the Institute for Sociological Research at the University of Cologne. Konig was invited to lecture as a visiting professor at various universities including the University of Michigan, Columbia University, the University of California, the University of Colorado, Kabul University, and the College de France. He also served as the president of the International Sociological Association from 1962 to 1966.

Contributions and Achievements

Throughout his career, Konig developed theoretical ideas influenced by Ferdinand Tonnies and French sociologists such as Emile Durkheim, Marcel Halbwachs, and Maurice Moss. His research interests included the sociology of the family, sociology of youth, sociology of art and fashion, history of sociology, and ethnology. He advocated for the development of sociology as an empirical science and was one of the founders of the Cologne School of Sociology. From 1955 to 1985, he served as the chief editor of the prestigious Cologne Journal of Sociology and Social Psychology.

Konig was also an accomplished writer and translator. He authored essays, travelogues, and autobiographical works, and translated works by Giovanni Verga and a biography of Oscar Wilde. He was a member of the German Sociological Society (1949), the International Sociological Association (1950), and the International Association of French Language Sociologists (1960).

Awards and Recognition

Konig received numerous awards and honors throughout his career, including the Literary Prize of the Canton of Zurich in 1950, the Commander of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic in 1960, and the Giovanni Verga Prize in 1967. He was also granted honorary doctorates from the University of Illinois (1980), Augsburg University (1981), and the University of Vienna (1982). In 1986, he was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, along with other national and international accolades. His books have been translated into several European languages.

In 1993, the René Konig Society was established to continue his legacy and promote sociological research.