Jürgen Streeck grew up in Wiesbaden, Germany, and finished high-school in Bremerhaven, his parents’ home-town, where his grandfathers had been sea-captains. He studied linguistics, sociology, and philosophy at the University of Hamburg and Freie Universität Berlin, where he received his M.A. in linguistics (with minors in sociology and philosophy) in 1976. His thesis compared speech act theory and conversation analysis as approaches to the understanding of linguistic action. From 1976 – 1978 Jürgen was a visiting DAAD-graduate student in sociology at UC San Diego, where he was mentored by Aaron Cicourel and Hugh Mehan. At UCSD he conducted fieldwork and video-based research on African-American children and took classes in anthropology (with Roy D’Andrade), linguistics (Ronald Langacker), and cognitive psychology (Donald Norman). He received his Ph.D. in linguistics (‘summa cum laude’) from the Freie Universität Berlin in 1981 with a dissertation on ‘Social Order in Child Communication’. [pub], Jürgen taught at the FU from 1979-1989. Since 1989, he has taught at The University of Texas at Austin.
Jürgen has two children and two grandchildren.