The volume entitled Other interwar Bucharest [Alţi Bucureşti interbelici] it is not an ordinary restitution. It has two clear purposes: on one hand it presents aspects not so pink about the Romania’s capital, on the other hand it draws attention to the urban sociology interests of the monograph school founded by Professor Dimitrie Gusti. It is legitimate to reedit these articles and studies, because this school was known and recognised, indeed, for researching the village, not the city. This constructed image, but widely accepted by the school members, had serious consequences upon the post-war destiny of the school, and also upon the knowledge regarding the writings about Bucharest, written by Gusti’s collaborators.
Immediately after World War II, the Stalinist-inspired communist press attacked the Gusti School, saying that it stopped in the rural areas, not doing researches in cities and especially in the industrial enterprises. As it is known, in 1948 sociology was banished from the University and even from the sciences pantheon. The school members were banished from University, some of them even imprisoned, and the young sociologists had to find another way to survive.
We must underline from the beginning that Gusti’s sociological system was not emphasizing the rural environment, at the expense of the urban area, but its study object were ”the social units”, which could be also the village, and the city, and the family, and the church, and…the list can go on. The Gusti School focused on the village because – the same as in all the Eastern Europe sociologies – it presented the major social problems. (In the same way, the Chicago School, an urban school by definition, did not focus on the city out of commodity or dullness, but because in that period, in America, the cities were the places facing the greatest social issues.) It is true the methodology developed in the first monograph campaigns in the 1920s – and codified by Henri H. Stahl – was suitable for researching the villages. But it is also true that no one denied the great importance of urban researches, no one ever denied publishing such studies and articles in the School’s journals, as it is proved by the writings included in this volume. Even more, the diversification of the Gusti School methodology and the introduction of ”summarized monographies” by Anton Golopenția made possible the institutionalization of such research in the urban area, especially regarding the community centres functioning in cities.
Therefore, the volume comprises articles about stonemasons, street sweepers, and small traders coming from counties in the southern Romania, and workers from Bessarabia, settled around Bucharest. All the articles were firstly published in Romanian Sociology [Sociologie Românească] by Magdalena Livezeanu, Ştefan Popescu, V. Oprescu–Spineni, Mircea Tiriung. After these relatively short presentations, we published the studies of Nicolae Marin Dunăre and George Retegan, based on detailed sociological researches about two categories of people similar to the ones already mentioned: about peasants’ children working as vendors and janitors. These second category of studies were initially published in the Annals of the Romania’s Statistic Institute [Analele Institutului Statistic al României. ]
All these texts must be read in the context, and even if some concepts and opinions have become anachronic, they debate aspects of the capital city less known, event then. However, the beginning of the war in the fall of 1939, the suspension of School’s activity and its’ institutions limited the sociological researches in the cities, as planned by Gusti himself in the 1930s. However, the sociologists’ individual efforts, as well as the initiatives of some specialists defied restrictions, and they realised studies and articles of an important documentary value for the social history (still unwritten) of Bucharest.
Din acelasi volum: