Full Text

Adorno, Theodor W. (1903–1969)

Markus S. Schulz

Subject Philosophy
Sociological and Social Theory » Contemporary Theory

Place Western Europe » Germany

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

People Frankfurt School

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405124331.2007.x


Theodor W. Adorno, a German-Jewish social theorist and cultural critic, is best known as a central protagonist in the development of the Frankfurt School's Critical Theory. Born on September 11, 1903 as Theodor Ludwig Wiesengrund, the only son of a wealthy, Protestant German-Jewish wine merchant and an accomplished singer of Corsican-German descent, he pursued for much of his life a dual career as composer and academic thinker. He studied philosophy, sociology, and psychology at the University of Frankfurt and took lessons in composition with Alban Berg and piano with Eduard Scheuermann in Vienna, where he also met Arnold Schoenberg. Early friendships with Siegfried Kracauer, Max Horkheimer, and Walter Benjamin shaped profoundly his intellectual trajectory. Adorno wrote his dissertation at the University of Frankfurt under the supervision of Hans Cornelius on Husserl's phenomenology (1924) and his Habilitationsschrift under Paul Tillich on Kierkegaard (1931). The publication of his Kierkegaard book coincided with the Nazi rise to power. He was dismissed from his junior faculty position at the University of Frankfurt and went to England, where he became an advanced student at Merton College, Oxford. Adorno immigrated in 1938 to the US upon Horkheimer's offer to become a permanent member at the Institut fuer Sozialforschung , which had moved from Frankfurt to a building provided ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:


     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.

[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top