Helen Lynd

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Helen Lynd
Born Helen Merrell
(1896-03-17)March 17, 1896
La Grange, Illinois
Died January 30, 1982(1982-01-30) (aged 85)
New York City
Nationality American
Alma mater Wellesley College, B.A., 1919, Columbia University, M.A, philosophy, 1922, Columbia University, Ph.D., 1944
Occupation Sociologist, social philosopher, professor
Employer Ossining School for Girls, Miss Master's School, Sarah Lawrence College, Vassar College
Organization Institute for Social and Religious Research, Rockefeller Foundation, Lincoln School, American Federation of Teachers, American Civil Liberties Union
Notable work Shame and the Search for Identity; co-author of Middletown: A Study in Contemporary American Culture
Spouse(s) Robert Staughton Lynd, m. 1921
Children Staughton Lynd, Andrea Merrell Lynd Nold (1934-)
Parent(s) Edward Tracy Merrell (newspaper publisher), Mabel Waite Merrell, neé Waite

Helen Merrell Lynd (March 17, 1896 – January 30, 1982) was an American sociologist and social philosopher, and was the author of Shame and the Search for Identity and co-author of Middletown: A Study in Contemporary American Culture with husband Robert Staughton Lynd. She was a professor at Sarah Lawrence College from 1929 to 1964 (Lester 2007).

The model of shame that Lynd advocated in the book is loosely Marxian, insisting upon "the importance of historical context and of transcultural analysis within single social formations" (particularly Western). Her theory of shame finally hinges upon the clashing of different social or moral ‘values’ in specific locations at specific moments, highlighting the trauma experienced by members of communities marginal to dominant culture: those most likely to feel shame are those made to feel ‘inappropriate’ by dominant cultural norms" (Fox 1994:13).

Lynd and her husband were pioneers in the use of social surveys.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Biografie Helen Merrell Lynd". 50 Klassiker der Soziologie, Universitat Graz (in German). Retrieved 2013-11-04. 
  2. ^ "The First Measured Century: Timeline: People - Lynds". PBS. Retrieved 2013-11-04. 
  • Fox, Pamela. 1994. Class Fictions: Shame and Resistance in the British Working Class Novel, 1890-1945. Durham: Duke University Press.
  • Lester, Abby. 2007. "The History of Sarah Lawrence College". Sarah Lawrence College. Retrieved 2013-07-06.

External links[edit]