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Abstract

In Romania, sociological investigations on theatre are mere illusions that drift further and further away into the sky. In the last 30 years, a few theatres commissioned surveys to measure, as best as they could, the structure and the preferences of their own audience, over shorter (in the case of the 2003 first survey draft at Odeon Theatre, the research lasted no more than one weekend) or longer spans of time (in 2015, at Nottara Theatre, IMAS conducted a survey during a month; the survey applied at the Bucharest National Theatre in 2013 remained a legend, or a rumour rather, as the management treated it with mysterious silence). This paper tries to follow the intentions and the destiny of the researches and surveys dedicated to the theatre sociology by Pavel Câmpeanu and his small team between 1968-1974.

Abstract

In this paper, I suggest an alternative form of periodization of Romanian history. My aim is not to move around historical posts; rather I propose a different way of understanding Romanian history as such. This is the research agenda. I seek to write a world history from the perspective of a peripheral place like Romania has been. Therefore, this is not simply an attempt to insert a local, neglected, silenced or distorted history into a wider, European, global story (that is, to discover the history of “people without history”), just as it is not another attempt to “provincialize Europe” in favour of a view from its repressed margins. Instead, following Coronil (2004), I believe it is indispensable to globalize the periphery, to understand its worldwide formation. My investigation draws upon the conceptual toolkit of world-system theory and its underlining philosophy of history (Wallerstein, 2011). In the same vein, the guiding principles of my periodization elaborate on Andre Gunder Frank’s insight that the exchange (or rather direct transfer) of surplus between societies is what links regions and societies as whole (Frank, 1978). The focus then shifts from a given society/state and its internal relations to the wider world-system, or world-economy, in which it is embedded. The unit of analysis is not a geographical location, but relations and networks and their historical development.

Abstract

Suppressed on ideological grounds, banned as academic discipline, and dismantled as scientific infrastructure in the first postwar years, sociology was re-institutionalized in communist Romania during the 1960s, largely on political grounds. Subsequently, the discipline developed and augmented within an impressive scientific infrastructure - several university departments were established, research centres and facilities initiated, and specialized periodicals issued. Still, the prosperous period of Romanian sociology concluded after just one decade, through another political decision, which confined the study of sociology to post-graduate specialization and restricted research. My paper explores sociology’s institutional infrastructure, as it was established after the discipline’s renewal, focusing on the institutions created, but also on the biographical analysis of those involved within these processes. My paper will address the matter from a historical perspective, discussing the developments and the evolutions in the field by circumscribing to the political, cultural, and socio-economic contexts.

Summary

This article refers on a recent discussion with the question of the relationship between individual memory and collective history. It is claimed a constitutive role of memory in history. This thesis is examined on the basis of the question according to the value of the autobiography as a historical source. It is shown here that a reference to the collective history is already guaranteed in the relationship between memory and narrative. Four observations shall justify the arguments, they concern (i) the role of intuition in historical narrative, (ii) the relationship between historical actor and his deeds, (iii) the transcendence of memory, and (iv) the role of fiction in the historical narrative. The last observation leads at the end on the role of fantasy in the historical memory.

Summary

The term empathy has become a linguistic commonplace in everyday communication as well as in interdisciplinary research. The results of the research questions, raised in the last hundred (and more) years, coming from different areas, such as aesthetics, psychology, neurosciences and literary theory, lack in fact a clear concept of empathy. Not surprisingly, a recent paper has identified up to 43 distinct definitions of empathy in academic publications. By reconstructing the main research lines on empathy, our paper highlights the reasons for this conceptual inadequacy and the deficiencies in the theorization of empathy that create misleading interpretations thereof. Along the line connecting Plato’s insights on empathic experiences to the present neuroscientific experiments, a broad spectrum of issues is deployed for which “empathy” functions as an umbrella term covering a net of categorical relationships – projection, transfer, association, expression, animation, anthropomorphization, vivification, fusion, and sympathy – that only partially overlap. Our paper therefore recommends that “empathy” should not be assumed as a self-evident notion but instead preliminarily clarified in its definition every time we decide to have recourse to it.

Abstract

One of the main tasks of universities of Central and Eastern Europe is that of forming loyal and reliable citizens ready to fill in the ranks of public service. Educational credentials make for social elevation into the ranks of this peculiarly state-dependent middle class. Law students make the relative majority of those engaged in higher learning in the region all through the first half of the 20th century. Where and when there is an acute need for a new middle class under a new state sovereignty, it is law studies that are notoriously perceived as meant to producing the bulk of it. The University of Cluj in the inter-war period is a case in point. The paper shall put forward a selection of data (from an ample statistical survey of elite formation via upper-level education in Central Europe) on this segment of the student population in the 1930s, setting it against a dramatically changed background (the general one and the local one, as traced in secondary sources): how do Romanians cope with the task of producing this new middle class on old grounds, and what are the unwanted side-effects of such state-related social emancipation mechanisms? And how non-Romanians behave in the new situation?

On the Necessity of the History of Geographical Thought

Studies in the area of history and philosophy of geography have disappeared in Poland for the last fifty years. The aim of this paper is to restore its importance and show reasons for its revival. They can be found in societal, scientific, and educational contexts in which we practice geography. History of geographical thought contains numerous ideas which could be useful in activities aimed at understanding and reconciling different visions of reality, since geography is the study of diversity, understood as a source of unity. The most popular example of this is the fundamental principle of classical geography "Unity in diversity", that has been accepted as the banner slogan of contemporary Europe. This example shows that the history of geographical thought is the reservoir of ideas, which still await their rediscovery. It should be also utilized to restore geography's identity and rationale, as well as to create new lines of thought which could make geography a socially relevant field.

Abstract

In this article, Lithuania's relations with Russia from 2004 to 2014 are examined. This analysis is not much of a challenge in itself: there have been no significant changes in the overall quality of the two countries' relations, no new issues of disagreement, and the countries' approaches to each other have also remained unchanged. This analysis is significant in a different way-relations with Russia motivate and induce Lithuania's entire foreign policy arena, from its strategies to the country's everyday debates. Understanding Lithuania's relations with Russia leads to insights regarding Lithuania's geopolitical thinking and how Lithuania represents itself. Therefore, in this article, the goal is to demonstrate that an analysis of Lithuanian-Russian relations since 2004 not only explains Lithuanian foreign policy, but also reveals an enduring and negative stability in bilateral relations notwithstanding constant turbulence and quarrels.

Abstract

In this paper, I argue that contemporary political and intellectual conflicts over the right course for European integration are reflected in the historiography of Jean Monnet, the so-called founding father of the European Union (EU). Multiple and mutually antithetical representations of Monnet are explored across the central themes of the contemporary European debate: nationalism, sovereignty, political methodology, and economic ideology. I investigate how the different faces of Monnet are constructed and used to legitimate contradictory scholarly standpoints regarding these central themes. Along the way, I attempt to decipher the puzzle of Monnet’s elevation to the status of a theoretical pioneer in EU Studies. Finally, I also explore how different roles assigned to Monnet in the various narratives of the EU’s origins contribute to the construction of European identity.