Heinrich Popitz was a German sociologist known for his work towards a general sociological theory. He was born in Berlin in 1925 and grew up in a bourgeois home, with his father serving as a leading fiscal policy maker. Popitz studied philosophy, history, and economics in Heidelberg and Göttingen, earning his PhD in philosophy with a dissertation on Marx. He later conducted a research project on industrial workers' perceptions of society, resulting in two classical works of qualitative social research in Germany. Popitz died in Freiburg im Breisgau in 2002.
Popitz' work revolved around the concepts of power, norms, technology, and creativity. He believed that power was an omnipresent element of social interaction, and explored the anthropological roots of power in his book "Phenomena of Power." He also focused on the role of norms in standardizing behavior, the influence of technology on social interaction, and the human capacity for creativity and innovation.