Encyclopedia of Religion
and Society

William H. Swatos, Jr. Editor

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(1913-1995) Jesuit sociologist, Ph.D. Harvard (1949); President of the American Catholic Sociological Society (1953); founder of the Fordham University Department of Sociology.

Fitzpatrick pioneered bringing sociology to autonomous departmental status in American Catholic university life. He compared his sociology to a medical school model of testing theory by the criterion of human betterment. His unifying scholarly theme was the primary importance of understanding culture. During the late 1930s, he directed the New York City Xavier Institute of Industrial Relations. In the 1950s, he became a pioneer scholar of the Puerto Rican migration and served as adviser to such boards as the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund. The next decade, he studied juvenile delinquency and programs of intervention. In 1979, he was named "Puerto Rican Man of the Year," and his later work emphasized the problems and prospects of diversity and multiculturalism in both American society and the Catholic Church.

The Fitzpatrick Archive is located in Faber Hall on the Bronx campus of Fordham University. In addition to his many publications and vast correspondence, the archive contains information about Puerto Rican community organizations from the 1950s until his death.

James R. Kelly


J. P. Fitzpatrick, "Catholics in the Scientific Study of Society," American Catholic Sociological Review 15(1954):2-6

J. P. Fitzpatrick, One Church, Many Cultures (Mahwah, N.J.: Paulist Press, 1987a)

J. P. Fitzpatrick, Puerto Rican Americans , 2nd ed. (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1987b)

J. P. Fitzpatrick and J. Martin, Delinquent Behavior (New York: Random House, 1969).

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