Guide to the Ernest R. Mowrer (1895-1984) Papers

Collection Title: Ernest R. Mowrer (1895-1984) Papers
Dates: 1922-1985
Identification: 11/3/25/1
Creator: Mowrer, Ernest R. (Ernest Russell), 1895-1983
Extent: 12 Boxes
Language of Materials: English
Abstract: Ernest R. Mowrer, a sociologist, joined the faculty of NU in 1928, where he remained until his retirement in 1963. During his career he developed a scientific method for role theory in studying the interaction of members of a family and deviant behavior.The Ernest R. Mowrer papers fill twelve boxes (one of which, a dropfront, contains maps and graphs drawn for use in his book, Disorganization: Personal and Social). The papers are arranged in six subseries: correspondence, teaching files, research files, professional organization files, speeches and papers, and publications. These are preceded by eight folders of biographical and education materials. Of considerable interest are the folders of materials pertaining to role differentiation and twins.
Acquisition Information: The University Archives acquired the Ernest R. Mowrer papers through the Gifts and Exchange Department, Northwestern University Library (Accession #86-69 and #86-89).
Processing Information: William B. Beatty: July-August, 1986.
Separated Materials: Approximately two linear inches of material has been removed to the University Archives, General Reference Collection. Seven linear inches of materials not pertinent to Mowrer or Northwestern and eight linear inches of duplicate material have been discarded.
Conditions Governing Access: None.
Repository: Northwestern University Archives
Deering Library, Room 110
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston, IL, 60208-2300
URL: http://www.library.northwestern.edu/archives
Email: archives@northwestern.edu
Phone: 847-491-3354

Biographical/Historical Information

Ernest Russell Mowrer was born in Lost Springs, Kansas, on August 18, 1895. He received his B.A. (journalism) in 1918 from the University of Kansas and his M.A. (1921) and Ph.D. (1924) from the University of Chicago, both in sociology. Mowrer joined the faculty of NU in 1928, where he remained until his retirement in 1963. During his career he developed a scientific method for role theory in studying the interaction of members of a family and deviant behavior. Mowrer died in 1984.

In 1922-23 Mowrer was an assistant professor of sociology at Coe College and in 1923-24 he held the same position at Ohio Wesleyan University. After two years (1926-28) as a Wieboldt Foundation Research Fellow, Mowrer joined the Northwestern faculty in the fall of 1928 as an assistant professor of sociology. Northwestern promoted him to the rank of associate professor in 1933 and to full professor in 1943. Mowrer three times served as a visiting professor: at Michigan State University during the summer of 1940, at the University of Chicago during the spring of 1948, and at the University of Arizona in the spring of 1964. He retired from Northwestern in 1963 and was named professor emeritus.

Mowrer married Harriet C. Rosenthal on October 12, 1924. Harriet survived her husband who died on January 26, 1984. The couple had no children. For Harriet R. Mowrer's papers, see Northwestern University Archives' Series 55/14. Those papers include correspondence, teaching files, case records, speeches, and publications. Where the Mowrers collaborated on publications the pertinent materials will be found in the papers of the senior author.

Ernest Mowrer took the study of marital disorganization out of the areas of reform and law and gave it a scientific methodology in terms of interactional social psychology. This led to the development of role theory in studying the interaction of family members. He developed a unifying theory of personal disorganization that linked the major forms of deviant behavior into a pattern based on personal roles. In addition, Mowrer invented a method for showing variations in rates of social phenomena by isometric maps.

Scope and Content

The Ernest R. Mowrer papers fill twelve boxes (one of which, a dropfront, contains maps and graphs drawn for use in his book, Disorganization: Personal and Social). The papers are arranged in six subseries: correspondence, teaching files, research files, professional organization files, speeches and papers, and publications. These are preceded by eight folders of biographical and education materials.

The biographical and education materials contain vitae, entries for biographical works, clippings, financial records, and the 1963 Northwestern University Alumni Association Award of Recognition. The one folder of education materials contains a term paper Mowrer wrote in 1922 for a course in advanced social psychology at the University of Chicago.

The papers relate primarily to Mowrer's teaching, research, speeches, and publications. There is little personal material here.

The correspondence files, for the most part chronologically arranged, contain letters dealing with Mowrer's teaching, research, publications, and professional activities. Also included is a folder of correspondence, reports, and related materials concerning the Mowrers' investment in Kansas oil wells.

The teaching files, arranged sequentially by course number or alphabetically by topic, are composed primarily of reading and lecture notes, many, many on 3x5” and 4x6” card stock.

The research files contain pertinent correspondence and raw and analyzed data as well as notes and drafts for reports authored by Mowrer. Of considerable interest are the folders of materials pertaining to role differentiation and twins. Where research data have led to a specific publication they are filled in the publications subseries. The research files are arranged according to topical headings.

A few folders relating to professional organizations primarily document Mowrer's work as a research investigator or a participant at various meetings.

The speeches and papers, arranged alphabetically by title, represent mainly reports on Mowrer's research projects; many deal with the family, especially marital relationships.

The publications subseries, forming the bulk of the papers, includes manuscripts, correspondence, both raw and analyzed data, and notes. Five of Mowrer's major studies, including the published work, Disorganization: Personal and Social, as well as “Facts and Figures,” “The Family: A Psychological Interpretation,” “Life Styles in Suburbia,” and “Social Crisis” are well represented by one or more drafts and by research data. Articles, arranged in folders alphabetically by title, frequently include, along with drafts, correspondence, notes, and other relevant materials. The two Delphian Quarterly folders contain correspondence and drafts relevant to eighteen articles Mowrer wrote for that journal between 1962 through 1979.

Arrangement of Materials

The papers are arranged in six subseries: correspondence, teaching files, research files, professional organization files, speeches and papers, and publications. These are preceded by eight folders of biographical and education materials.

Subjects

Corporate Name

Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.)

Personal Name

Mowrer, Ernest R. (Ernest Russell), 1895-1983--Correspondence

Subjects

Sociology--Study and teaching


Container List / Contents

  • Correspondence
    • General, 1932-1959Box 1, Folder 9
    • General, 1960-1968Box 1, Folder 10
    • General, 1971-1982Box 1, Folder 11
    • Oil Wells, 1944-1982Box 1, Folder 12
    • Post World War II Problems, 1943Box 1, Folder 13
  • Teaching Files
    • Sociology B07, B10, 1951, 1961, 1965Box 1, Folder 14
    • Sociology C08, 1965Box 1, Folder 15
    • Sociology D03, 1956-1957; ® 1962Box 1, Folder 16
    • Ad Hoc Committee on the Teaching of Method in Sociology, 1950-1951Box 1, Folder 17
    • Criminology, 1965Box 2, Folder 1
    • Deviant Behavior, N.D.Box 2, Folder 2
    • Drug Addiction, Suicide, Alcoholism, N.D.Box 2, Folder 3
    • Family, 1943-1950Box 2, Folder 4
    • Family, 1965Box 2, Folder 5
    • Family Research, N.D.Box 2, Folder 6
    • Family Stability, N.D.Box 2, Folder 7
    • Introduction to Sociology, N.D.Box 2, Folder 8
    • Introduction to Sociology, cards, N.D.Box 2, Folder 9
    • Marriage Adjustment, N.D.Box 2, Folder 10
    • Mental Basis of Social Life, N.D.Box 2, Folder 11
    • Methods of Social Research, 1, 1929-1936Box 3, Folder 1
    • Methods of Social Research, 2, N.D.Box 3, Folder 2
    • Methods of Social Research, 3, N.D.Box 3, Folder 3
    • Radicalism and Rebellion, 1, N.D.Box 3, Folder 4
    • Radicalism and Rebellion, 2, N.D.Box 3, Folder 5
    • Reading List, N.D.Box 3, Folder 6
    • Social Disorganization, 1857-1961Box 3, Folder 7
    • Social Psychology, 1, N.D.Box 3, Folder 8
    • Social Psychology, 2, N.D.Box 3, Folder 9
    • Social Theories, 1944Box 4, Folder 1
    • Statistical Social Research, N.D.Box 4, Folder 2
    • Miscellaneous, N.D.Box 4, Folder 3
    • University of Arizona, 1963-1964Box 4, Folder 4
  • Research
    • American Sociological Association, 1956-1963Box 4, Folder 5
    • Committee on Research Funds, 1953-1963Box 4, Folder 6
    • Divorce, 1963Box 4, Folder 7
    • Effects of the Depression upon Social Disorganization in Chicago, c. 1936Box 4, Folder 8
    • Effects of War upon Personal and Social Disorganization, 1946-1949Box 4, Folder 9
    • Role Differentiation, 1, 1961Box 4, Folder 10
    • Role Differentiation, 2, 1962Box 4, Folder 11
    • Social Science Research Council, 1962Box 4, Folder 12
    • Social Science Research Council, Research Project, N.D.Box 5, Folder 1
    • Suggested Topics for Research, N.D.Box 5, Folder 2
    • Twins, Applications and Forms, 1952-1953Box 5, Folder 3
    • Twins, Data, N.D.Box 5, Folder 4
    • Twins, Tables, Data, N.D.Box 5, Folder 5
    • Twins, Tables, Final, N.D.Box 5, Folder 6
  • Professional Organizations
    • Midwest Conference on Family Relations, Committee on Marriage and Family Research, N.D.Box 5, Folder 7
    • National Council on Family Relations, 1973Box 5, Folder 8
  • Speeches & Papers
    • Concept of the War Criminal, 1946Box 5, Folder 9
    • Divorce Under the Microscope, N.D.Box 5, Folder 10
    • The Ecological Method in Urban Research, 1939Box 5, Folder 11
    • The Future of the Family, N.D.Box 5, Folder 12
    • Human Nature and PersonalityBox 5, Folder 13
    • The Family in the Machine Age, N.D.Box 5, Folder 14
    • Marriage Adjustment and Premarital Counseling, N.D.Box 5, Folder 15
    • Plea Bargaining and the Judicial Process, N.D.Box 5, Folder 16
    • Psycho - Cultural Patterning of Personality, N.D.Box 5, Folder 17
    • Race Prejudice and the Post-War World, N.D.Box 5, Folder 18
    • Recent Trends in Research on the Family, 1940Box 5, Folder 19
    • Social Class and Family Therapy, c. 1970Box 5, Folder 20
    • Transcription of Discussion, N.D.Box 5, Folder 21
  • Publications: Major Studies
    • "Disorganization: Personal and Social", Correspondence, 1942-1960Box 5, Folder 22
    • "Disorganization: Persona and Social", Data, 1, N.D.Box 5, Folder 23
    • "Disorganization: Personal and Social", Data 2, N.D.Box 6, Folder 1
    • Facts and Figures, Correspondence, 1975-1977Box 6, Folder 2
    • Facts and Figures, Manuscripts, first draft, chapts. 1-10, N.D.Box 6, Folder 3
    • Facts and Figures, Manuscripts, second draft, chapts. 1-10, N.D.Box 6, Folder 4
    • The Family: A Psychosocial Interpretation, correspondence, 1956, 1966-1967Box 6, Folder 5
    • The Family: A Psychosocial Interpretation, dataBox 6, Folder 6
    • The Family: A Psychosocial Interpretation, manuscript, first draft, Preliminaries- Chapt. 2, N.D.Box 6, Folder 7
    • The Family: A Psychosocial Interpretation, manuscript, first draft, Preliminaries - Chapt. 3-6, N.D.Box 6, Folder 8
    • The Family: A Psychosocial Interpretation, manuscript, first draft, Preliminaries- Chapt. 7-11, N.D.Box 6, Folder 9
    • The Family: Psychosocial Interpretation, manuscript, first draft, Preliminaries - Chapt. 12-15, N.D.Box 7, Folder 1
    • The Family: A Psychosocial Interpretation, manuscript, first draft, Preliminaries - Chapt. 16-18, N.D.Box 7, Folder 2
    • The Family: A Psychosocial Interpretation, manuscript, first draft, Preliminaries - Chapt. 19-21, N.D.Box 7, Folder 3
    • The Family: A Psychosocial Interpretation, manuscript, second draft, Preliminaries - Chapt. 1-5, 1967Box 7, Folder 4
    • The Family: A Psychosocial Interpretation, manuscript, second draft, Chapt. 6-11, 1967Box 7, Folder 5
    • The Family: A Psychosocial Interpretation, manuscript, second draft, Chapt. 12-15, 1967Box 7, Folder 6
    • The Family: A Psychosocial Interpretation, manuscript, second draft, Chapt. 16-18, 1967Box 7, Folder 7
    • "Family Disorganization" - Correspondence and Notes, 1942-1946Box 7, Folder 8
    • "Family Disorganization" - Data and Notes, 1948Box 7, Folder 9
    • Family and Marriage, 1947-1965Box 8, Folder 1
    • Life Styles in Suburbs - Correspondence, 1956-1974Box 8, Folder 2
    • Life Styles in Suburbs - Data, 1, N.D.Box 8, Folder 3
    • Life Styles in Suburbs - Data, 2, N.D.Box 8, Folder 4
    • Life Styles in Suburbs - Data, 3, N.D.Box 8, Folder 5
    • Life Styles in Suburbs - Data, 4, N.D.Box 8, Folder 6
    • Life Styles in Suburbs - Data, 5, N.D.Box 9, Folder 1
    • Life Styles in Suburbs - Data, 6, N.D.Box 9, Folder 2
    • Life Styles in Suburbs - Manuscript, First Draft, Chapt. 1-6, N.D.Box 9, Folder 3
    • Life Styles in Suburbs - Manuscript, First Draft, Chapt. 7-14, N.D.Box 9, Folder 4
    • Life Styles in Suburbs - Manuscript, Second Draft, Chapt. 1-7, N.D.Box 9, Folder 5
    • Life Styles in Suburbs - Manuscript, Second Draft, Chapt. 8-14, N.D.Box 10, Folder 1
    • Social Crisis - Correspondence, 1977Box 10, Folder 2
    • Social Crisis - Data, 1981Box 10, Folder 3
    • Social Crisis - Manuscript, Chapt. 1-7, N.D.Box 10, Folder 4
    • Social Crisis - Manuscript, Chapt. 19-21, N.D.Box 10, Folder 5
    • Contracts and Royalties, 1937-1963Box 10, Folder 6
  • Publications: Articles
    • "Delphian Quarterly", 1, 1962-1979Box 10, Folder 7
    • "Delphian Quarterly", 2, 1962-1979Box 10, Folder 8
    • "Dictionary of Theology", 1943-1945Box 10, Folder 9
    • The Differentiation of Husband and Wife Roles, 1963-1969Box 10, Folder 10
    • The Disabled Veteran in the Family, 1945Box 11, Folder 1
    • Domestic Discord: Its Analysis and Treatment, N.D.Box 11, Folder 2
    • The Dynamics of Role Definition in the Family, N.D.Box 11, Folder 3
    • Factors Associated with Variations in the Divorce Rate, 1933Box 11, Folder 4
    • Family Disorganization, 1964Box 11, Folder 5
    • The Family in the Machine Age, N.D.Box 11, Folder 6
    • The Family in Suburbia, N.D.Box 11, Folder 7
    • The Isometric Map as a Technique of Social Research, N.D.Box 11, Folder 8
    • Life Style and the Suburban Family, N.D.Box 11, Folder 9
    • Life Styles in Suburbia, N.D.Box 11, Folder 10
    • Recent Trends in Family Relations, 1939Box 11, Folder 11
    • Role Differentiation in the Dyad as Revealed in the Study of Twins, N.D.Box 11, Folder 12
    • Role Differentiation and Identification in the Nuclear Family, N.D.Box 11, Folder 13
    • Separate Maintenance and Social Policy, N.D.Box 11, Folder 14
    • Sequential and Class Variables of the Family in the Suburban Area, 1958-1961Box 11, Folder 15
    • Social Class and Family Behavior, N.D.Box 11, Folder 16
    • Social Crisis and Social Disorganization, 1950Box 11, Folder 17
    • The Social Psychology of Marriage (with Harriet R. Mowrer), 1951Box 11, Folder 18
    • Societal Patterns in Suburbia, N.D.Box 11, Folder 19
    • Sociology and the Sciences, N.D.Box 11, Folder 20
    • Some Factors in the Affectional Adjustment of Twins, 1954Box 11, Folder 21
    • The Statement Approach to the Study of Personal Disorganization, N.D.Box 11, Folder 22
    • A Study of Personal Disorganization, N.D.Box 11, Folder 23
    • Systematic Family Theory, 1973-1974Box 11, Folder 24
    • The Urban Family in the U.S., 1938Box 11, Folder 25
    • Urbanization and Deviant Behavior, N.D.Box 11, Folder 26
    • War and Family Solidarity and Instability, 1943Box 11, Folder 27
    • Book Reviews, 1939-1964Box 11, Folder 28
    • Reprints, 1932-1947Box 11, Folder 29
    • Miscellaneous, N.D.Box 11, Folder 30
    • "Disorganization: Personal and Social" - Statistical Maps and Graphs, N.D.Box 12, Folder 1
  • Personal Data, 1936-1977Box 1, Folder 1
  • Bibliography, N.D.Box 1, Folder 2
  • Clippings, 1940-1956Box 1, Folder 3
  • Programs, 1937-1947Box 1, Folder 4
  • Automobile Costs, 1955-1985Box 1, Folder 5
  • Financial Records, 1948-1968Box 1, Folder 6
  • Alumni Association Award of Recognition, 1963Box 1, Folder 7
  • Education - Advanced Social Psychology, 1922Box 1, Folder 8