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Sociology and Theatre, A Too Short Beginning. Pavel Câmpeanu’s Studies

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.

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Sociology in Communist Romania: An Institutional and Biographical Overview

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.

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An Alternative Periodization of Romanian History. A Research Agenda

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.

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A New Middle Class on Old Academic Grounds: Law Students of the Cluj University in the 1930s

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?

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Czech Study of Public Policy in the Perspective of Three Dominant Approaches

Abstract

The Velvet Revolution in 1989 did not represent only a fundamental change of the political regime, but also the beginnings of contemporary Czech study of public policy and policy expertise. This article aims to present its significant institutional aspects on the basis of a systematic analysis drawing on deLeon, Trent and Stein’s models of (sub)discipline development. It assumes that the development of a field of study is driven by the interaction between its inner dynamics and the surrounding environment (society, state and international academic community). The article identifies three dominant approaches in the configuration of the Czech field - Prague public policy, Brno political science and Brno social policy - and it focuses on their supporting infrastructure, frames of reference and contacts with the international academic community. Finally, it outlines the study’s development stages, revealing that Czech study of public has been quickly catching up with its Western counterparts.

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