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Scientific Discourse in German Völkisch Publicistic Works of the Late XIXth - Early XXth Centuries

Student: Yuliia Orlova

Supervisor: Alexander Khriakov

Faculty: Saint-Petersburg School of Social Sciences and Area Studies

Educational Programme: History (Bachelor)

Year of Graduation: 2018

The völkisch ideology is nationalistic, anti-Semitic and racist by its nature. It emerged in the late 19th century, actively developed during the first decades of the 20th century and left its mark in history as one of the key ideological elements of nationalist associations in Germany since the beginning of the empire. In addition, it had a great influence on the formation of the official ideology of Nazism, and also left its mark on art and science. Völkisch science was formed in parallel with the ideology. Their further development and interest in them from the side of society were in close dependence on each other. Scientific discourse has never been the prerogative of academic circles; publicists actively resorted to these theories in their writings, political movements referred to them. The aim of the work is to determine the place which scientific argumentation occupied in the völkisch publicistic works of 1871-1914. The choice of this period as the chronological framework of the current paper is explained by the intention to consider early "peaceful" völkisch ideas in their connection with the imperial scientific discourse in the context of specific attitudes of the "long XIX century" and the reaction of scientists and publicists on them. This paper seeks to reveal such features of the völkisch scientific discourse in the German Empire as the absence of strict formal criteria, artistic expressiveness of written language, intertwining of disciplinary approaches within the framework of one work, and inexpressive self-identification of authors. The findings imply that scientific and journalistic discourses experienced a strong mutual influence, causes of which lie both in political interest of scientists and in popularity of science in Germany, and that an appeal to science was a tacit common feature of German intellectuals’ texts.

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