Russian women emigrées in psychology: informal Jewish networks.

History of psychology

PubMedID: 20533767

Woodward WR. Russian women emigrées in psychology: informal Jewish networks. Hist Psychol. 2010;13(2):111-37.
This paper uses archival sources and autobiographies to give a fuller account of the lives of three Russian women psychologists, each of whom voluntarily emigrated several years before the Third Reich. As such, their stories contribute to gender history, emigration history, and ethnic history. The characteristics of second-generation women in psychology seem to apply to this sample; they accepted applied or secondary positions in psychology or allied fields and came late to tenure-track positions. Some first-generation characteristics fit them also: choosing career over marriage, accepting the "family claim," and living "fractured lives." Emigrée history reveals that these women found careers in the United States that could not have happened in the smaller, more restricted higher education networks of Europe. Female friendships and family ties to the Old World sustained them. All struggled with professional networking and had varying success, depending heavily upon the patronage of sympathetic male psychologists. Ethnic history shows that none identified strongly with Judaism, yet all benefited from Jewish mentors and networks of patronage. Evidence of gendered or racial discrimination in hiring practices is sparse, though it surely existed.