American Sociological Association Honors Karl Polanyi

The Economic Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association (ASA) marked the 70th anniversary of the publication of The Great Transformation with a session on Karl Polanyi at the 109th ASA Annual Meeting (San Francisco, CA, August 16-18, 2014). Panelists included Fred Block, Margaret Somers, and Kari Polanyi Levitt. To commemorate this anniversary, the Chair of the Economic Sociology Section, Nina Bandelj, presented a beautiful plaque to Kari. The plaque was donated to the Karl Polanyi Institute, Concordia in Montreal, where it is now prominently displayed.


In her address, Professor Polanyi Levitt recalled the significance of the Great War in the life and work of Karl Polanyi.


“… For my father and his generation, the First World War which consumed so many million lives, was a traumatic and transformative experience. It was, I believe, the defining event of his life, which motivated him to engage in the search for the ultimate origins of the collapse of all the apparent certainties of the world before 1914 and all the disasters which followed. In “The Calling of our Generation”, Karl Polanyi expressed the profound sense of disenchantment of a whole generation. During the First World War, he was a cavalry officer in the Austro-Hungarian army on the Russian front. The conditions were appalling, and he was tormented by a sense of personal responsibility for the disasters, the killings, the war, and what he later described as the collapse of our civilization…”  Read More

Culture & Economy

Kari Polanyi Levitt, 2014

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