THE SECOND MARGINALISATION OF THE BUCHAREST SOCIOLOGICAL SCHOOL
The above title might seem strange to a large number of those who are knowledgeable about Romanian sociology. In the field’s general awareness there has been instilled the idea that the sociological school founded by professor Dimitrie Gusti has been marginalised at the establishment of the communist regime in 1948. After the rehabilitation of sociology in the 1960s, doubled by professor Gusti’s rehabilitation, there has not been any more debate about any limitation of the interest for the interwar sociological school. And yet, quite subtly in the mid 1970s, but as noticeable as possible one decade later, the Gustian School has been overshadowed without actually being publicly excommunicated, as it had been in the 1940s. Therefore, this article will be dedicated to analysing the relatively hidden roots of this second marginalisation, to the emergence of its vague signs, respectively to its de facto realisation in the second half of the 1980s.
After a period of almost seven years, deemed as a liberalisation of the communist regime in Romania, in the summer of 1971 a radical change has taken place in the ideological orientation of the unique political party. In all appearance, a return to the 1950s’ atmosphere had taken place – however, the core of Nicolae Ceauşescu’ dictatorship contents was not based on the “enhancement of class struggle”, but on a forceful modernisation of the country, in light of a more vigorous national communism. Although this plenary meeting had momentarily paralysed the intellectual world, it was soon noticed that the leadership’s intention was not for the party to immediately regain total control, but to initiate a long process of withdrawing the concessions made to some social groups in the second half of the 1960s, when Ceauşescu’s group had decided it was going to gain supremacy.
The moment of the 1971 “theses” was not perceived by sociologists as a straightforward threat, although they must have understood: the development of this particular science was going to be controlled by the party. It was not until 1974, at the sudden demise of the undisputed leading voice of sociology, Miron Constantinescu – when the Sociology Laboratory of the University was also dissolved – that it became evident that Ceauşescu’s regime had little need for sociologists. Along with the decrease in published volumes (Costea, 1983: 85-120) and the stricter control of research, the restructuring of sociological education was the most obvious sign of the marginalisation of sociology.
After a plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party, in June 1977, the independent sociology department was dissolved, and social sciences were merged into the History-Philosophy Faculty. One might assume that the “theses” of 1971, respectively the disappearance of the mentor Miron Constantinescu in 1974 have been the direct cause for the throwback of
sociology and of the Gustian School research. But if we were to analyse the evolution of the steps taken to rightfully reinstate sociology as a science, sociological studies, the institutional system of research, we can ascertain that the decline in the 1970s is rooted in the very means of rehabilitation used in the 1960s. Thus, to justly understand the new marginalisation it is necessary to have a retrospective of the events in the years past.
Sociology’s return appears in the field’s common conscience as having a clear starting point in 1965, when, at a party congress, the party’s ideological dogmatism had lost enough of it its strength to make it possible to speak of the beginning of an era for the regime’s liberalisation. In this context, the party’s new general secretary, Nicolae Ceauşescu, at a party plenary meeting in December 1965, has harshly criticized the policy of the previous leadership towards social sciences. It is relevant to quote this passage, as it reflects the way the new leadership wished to emerge as an organisation that brings about justice and normalcy:
“In the field of the social sciences there has been some superficiality, narrow mindedness and a certain vulgarisation of a sum of theoretical theses, which has determined a decrease in the scientific level of research, the unscientific approach of some problems regarding our social life – that finds itself in a continuous process of revolutionary transformation -, as well as of some problems regarding the contemporary socialist development. The importance of sociology as a social science has not been fully comprehended, thus denying its role in the socialist society. All these aspects have resulted in bringing scientific thought and research in these fields to a halt, in lagging behind in a number of the most significant areas of scientific research” (Ceauşescu, 1968: 228-229).
Even overlooking the fact that Nicolae Ceauşescu and those who supported his rise to power had also been part of the old regime of Gheorghiu Dej, describing the destruction of a discipline, of its institutions and even of the destinies of its representatives only as “superficiality”, “narrow mindedness” and “vulgarisation” borderlines cynicism. The message in these phrases (deemed to be the free-pass signal for sociology) unequivocally shows, however, that the party needed sociology to support the “revolutionary transformation” and to solve “some problems regarding the contemporary socialist development”. The reason was not even remotely related to the thought that a society that fancies itself modern simply cannot afford the luxury to deny sociology. The political rehabilitation of sociology by this type of criticism to old party policies has been “translated” in many ways by those active in the sociological field – more or less virtual – of the 1960s, but no one has been able to foresee the limited structural aspect of this openness.
According to the mythology of the sociological community, the “founding hero” was supposedly Miron Constantinescu, brought back into the communist party’s leadership in 1965 and having a short sociological past in the interwar period. A certain image was built – that through Miron Constantinescu the new Romanian sociology would continue and take “to a new level” the tradition of the interwar school of Dimitrie Gusti. A more thorough analysis of the facts, though, will show that the shortcomings of the return of sociology will corrupt the entire evolution of the institutionalisation of the field.
One other element of the mithology can be doubted: sociological research did not start in 1965 and neither did the efforts to rehabilitate Gusti. While it is considered that Gusti’s rehabilitation and that of his field have been intertwined, the efforts have really been parallel. To present this process in full detail is not the purpose of this study, but we should mention that even since 1962 there have been field sociological research and efforts to rehabilitate professor Dimitrie Gusti. (The context has been auspicious to the rehabilitation of the founder of the sociological school, since the time of retrieving cultural traditions that had been rejected as reactioary in the 1950s has already come. Thus began th republishing of the works of Lucian Blaga, of Nicolae Iorga, while at the end of the 1960s Constantin Noica and Mircea Eliade were published as well.)
In 1964 Gusti’s rehabilitation and that of sociology are precipitated, detailed articles are published, acknowledging professor’s merits, in Contemporanul, Revista economică and even in the party’s ideological newspaper Lupta de clasă. Following propagandistic preparations, the apotheosis of the rehabilitation of sociology and of Dimitrie Gusti’s came after the 19th Party Congress, in 1965. At the aforementioned plenary meeting, the newly elected general secretary has denounced the Romanian Labour Party’s old policy for unjustly excommunicating sociology. However, after this political moment no administrative undertakings had been made to enforce these ideas through ministerial regulations, instatements, etc. Instead, there have only been some patters, primarily at the Faculty of Philosophy from the University of Bucharest. According to H.H. Stahl :
„The one who struggled the most at that time was Bugnariu, who spoke to Herseni, also spoke to me in order to understand what happened and how things might be organised. Vlădescu-Răcoasa also got involved – he had been our ambassador to Moscow and he was well regarded. There was then a whole series of moments in which things were not very clear to me. Nicuţă got involved […] and then embarked on a fierce campaign against Bugnariu and managed to bring him down. He was the Faculty’s dean and he managed to bring him down” (Rostás, 2000: 164-165).
So, in fact, the reinstatement of sociology triggered a struggle for new positions – a struggle that took place not in the professional and scientific area, but in the backstage of the communist party’s nomenklature. It is true that professor Constantin Nicuţă had been professor Petre Andrei’s assistant in Iaşi, and professor Gheorghe Vlădescu-Răcoasa had been Dimitrie Gusti’s assistant, but
their substantiations could only have been political, as they did not have any significant scientific work. In such a situation, the fate of the institutionalisation of sociology, of the quality of sociological education depended exclusively upon the one person that would have managed to be acknowledged as the leader of the new department. In that struggle the one who emerged victorious was obviously the one who had a stronger political standing. Thus, Professor’s H.H. Stahl’s conclusion does not come as a surprise: „Neither Nicuţă managed to stand out quite like he probably hoped for, nor did Vlădescu-Răcoasa. […] And the one who made it was… Miron Constantinescu” (Rostás, 2000: 165).
Professor Gusti’ disciple, Miron Constantinescu was a communist activist during his student years and held several important positions in the state and party apparatus after 1948. In 1957 he fell from grace with the party’s leadership for seven years, and then he was brought back into the leading team of Nicolae Ceauşescu at the 1965 party congress. At that time, he was the sociology professor with the highest position in the party’s hierarchy. According to the communist regime’s reasoning, he was the most qualified person to lead the sociology in Romania. As a result, the re-launch of sociology in 1965 took place based on his vision. Choosing not to consult the top specialists of the Gustian School, Miron Constantinescu has established a strategic vision that professor H.H. Stahl thought to be wrong. Professor Stahl expressed this opinion to me in the 1980s and it became public in 2000, when I published Monografia ca utopie [The Sociological Monograph as Utopia], volume which I previously quoted from:
“But Miron still had his old attitude, his old experience as a student who thought the method of sociological monograph, as Gusti had first conceived it, was very good. With one condition: that instead of it being focused on Gusti’s theory, it should be focused on historical materialism. And he said that, if instead of using people with different professional specializations in the teams, he believed that if he had used all the historical materialists he would have solved the problem. Instead of going the way Gusti did and making teams of small numbers of specialists, he thought it better to get all the sociology students into field research, to do generalised monographs. With the goal to make them all sociologists. But who needed them all? In Gusti’s time, we would educate large numbers of sociologists because they would have become high school teachers. But in the meantime sociology classes had been removed from high schools. So who needed them?” (Rostás, 2000: 167-168).
With such unclearness sociological education began at the University of Bucharest, in such confusion commenced the work of the Laboratory of Sociology – established and connected to Miron Constantinescu’s chair. The same goes for the massive research efforts on urbanisation. If the leading scholar for sociology was chosen on political grounds, the choice of professors for that department was just as anomalous. In H.H. Stahl’s opinion, the greatest flaw to Miron Constantinescu’s plan has been – apart from the lack of sociological competence – the complete and total neglect of the multidisciplinary character of field research, a mandatory method used in the Gustian School.
“He organised a Sociology Laboratory. Did he put in there, in this laboratory, did he summon specialists with different professional backgrounds? Oh, no! Only sociologists. Neither one of them had any technical training in any trade. They were generalists. When he realized it wasn’t working he gave up hope that anything good would come of it. He did his job the way he was told to. As Miron was surrounded by people who were not sociologists, he thought they could handle all sorts of courses. They created a course about methods and techniques, one about urban-rural sociology, a course on demography. These assistants came sniffing around me, trying to steal a little bit of my method, to carry it on. But that was not the solution. He also gathered geography professors, who had no clue what sociology was all about. They had the students learn which the highest mountains were, know them by name and height, which was 1300 meters tall and which was 1400 meters. I’m not kidding, this is what happened! He also had a history professor on his team, who taught the students about the revolution in 1848. That was completely useless. People who had no idea about social problems” (Rostás, 2000: 168-169).
Under Miron Constantinescu’s leadership, the only employed collaborator – as a substitute! – in sociological education was H.H. Stahl, although Traian Herseni, Ştefania Golopenţia, Mihai Pop from the first teams would have been perfectly able to teach different basic subjects or special disciplines of sociology. From the 1930s’ generation, George Retegan, Coriolan Gheţie, Nicolae Dunăre and Gheorghe Serafim would have been able to provide from the very beginning an appropriate high-level sociological education, as well as expertise in field research. Another unexplainable issue is that the group of sociologists lead by Mihail Cernea was not invited to teach in the Faculty, even though they had amassed field experience since 1962 and they had published sociological studies. Quite on the contrary, Miron Constantinescu had gathered around his chair a group of people who neither had any connection whatsoever with sociology and who nor later on did contribute in any significant manner.
Because of this amalgam of quantitative-functionalist sociology, a mixture of Gustian monographism and the so-called Marxist sociology, H.H. Stahl was also seriously considering to assume leadership of an ethnography department within the Romanian Academy. His argument was compelling:
“I had a lot more freedom. In sociology I had been really affected by all the restrictions. I couldn’t do any of the things I wanted to, nothing at all. […] I had to deal with things that I just didn’t care about. I would have been interested in doing monographic research, but not in Miron Constantinescu’s way, which was completely wrong, his idea to use people… I’ve already spoken about it… I had a different way of doing things than the one he had” (Rostás, 2000: 236).
This evolution in sociological education and research that was invigorated after 1965 has made it so that Gusti’s rehabilitation parted ways even more significantly with the practice of sociological research. The first monograph on Dimitrie Gusti’s work, authored by Ovidiu Bădina, was published in 1965, the year of his official rehabilitation. The volume still bears the mark of Marxist-Leninist dogmatic critique, but the author tried to also emphasize the qualities of Dimitrie Gusti’s work. This book turned Ovidiu Bădina into Gusti’s official researcher, but he was not involved in the organisation of sociological education. This relatively young researcher teamed up with Octavian Neamţu, with whom he co-wrote a book on Dimitrie Gusti’s life, which appeared in the collection „Oameni de seamă” [Significant People] at Editura pentru Tineret [the Publishing House for the Youth], in Bucharest. This book diminishes the critique towards Gustian sociology, but struggles conspicuously to present Gusti with a strong democratic-patriotic attitude, sympathizing with the leftists and with the Soviet Union.
After these two volumes, the two anthologies published in the collection coordinated by Pompiliu Caraioan (one of the Professor’s last students) included a series of studies by some of Gusti’s major collaborators – they have written about important aspects of the School’s past work. Thus, Traian Herseni wrote about Gusti’s sociological theory, about regional monographs, about the Gustian project for a sociological atlas; H.H. Stahl wrote about the “methodical and technical” teachings of the monograph, about the Gustian project for a social sciences faculty and, naturally, about the completed Nerej monograph; Octavian Neamţu wrote about sociological publishing, about the organisation of scientific research and that of the Foundation’s and Social Service’s teams. However, after this sudden change for the better, Gusti’s rehabilitation was limited to publishing a critical series titled Opere [Works], which begun in 1968 and was finalised in 1977 with its sixth volume. All the volumes have been published thanks to the collaboration between two people who were very different but just as dedicated (for different reasons) to the idea of raising an interest for Dimitrie Gusti: Ovidiu Bădina, a young historian of sociology who had studied in Moscow and was well connected with the political leadership, and Octavian Neamţu, collaborator and perhaps the most zealous disciple of the School’s founder, but who – because of his past – was not trusted by the regime.
Thus, the way Gusti and sociology have been rehabilitated gave away not only the fact that it was actually the result of an improvisation, but also an obvious unclearness regarding the long road to accomplishing its institutionalisation. The leading people in the 1960s’ sociology had as their first and foremost purpose – in order to accelerate the institutionalisation of this discipline – to set up a number of workshops within the higher education system, instead of the clarification of the conceptualization of sociology. The educational programme was not created so as to help develop sociological skills. In fact, no one really knew what the programme should comprise, what it should consist of, considering “the socialist reality”. There weren’t made any concrete and tangible efforts towards including the profession of sociologist in the occupations nomenclature. To sum up, there has never been devised what today is called the mission of the sociology department and of the related institutions. We can safely say that from the experience of the Gustian School, from its accomplishments and failures, there was only as much knowledge passed on to the students as professor Stahl has managed to instil in them in the two or three years he spent at the University.
The 1970s involution
After the enthusiasm of the first years, when a significant number of students graduated, the fundamental problem of the reinvigorated sociological education has emerged. Many of the department’s graduates found themselves in a situation when the employer frowned upon “an intruder” and the young sociologist did not know exactly what s/he was meant to do. Basically, in the first years of the 1970s sociological education became neither Marxist (as Miron Constantinescu wished), nor was it capable to directly assist in accomplishing the party’s programme in production, education, agriculture and urbanisation, as the party’s leaders had insisted upon. As a consequence, sociology went into a crisis. And – as Stahl used to say – when Miron died, so did sociology.
To no avail had Miron Constantinescu organised the Social and Political Sciences Academy in 1970, which concentrated and coordinated all the research in the social sciences; to no avail had he initiated the “Viitorul social” magazine in 1972 – the importance and prestige of sociology had begun to decrease after the demise of its mentor, in 1974. This decrease of the weight of sociology was not immediately felt, it was not visible. The regime could not afford the luxury of simply cancelling out this discipline, as it had done in 1948. It wanted to reduce it to that was necessary for fulfilling its propagandistic purposes. This is also the conclusion professor H. H. Stahl had reached:
“So, after a few years, the state has naturally asked itself the question: what good are these sociologists? And they came to see that sociologists were of no use. Let’s then eliminate sociology. But that is difficult, there are international congresses of sociology and the country had to be represented. Miron had been a great presence, he had personal prestige. But once he died no one took his place, we completely dwindled. But this structure was kept for purely external political reasons. That’s it” (Rostás, 2000: 169).
Three years after Miron Constantinescu’s death, the party’s leadership itself has intervened to increase political control over sociological education:
“The plenary meeting of the Communist Party’s Central Committee’s in June 1977 has decided that the training of teaching staff in the areas of philosophy and sociology for the party’s political and ideological activity, as well as for research and higher education, should be accomplished through graduate classes that would take one year – one year and a half and through the doctoral system at the «Ştefan Gheorghiu» Academy” (Costea et al., 1983: 216).
This conveyance of the training of sociologists to the party’s academy has entailed the merging of the philosophy, history and sociology departments into a single department in state universities. Thus, sociology has become a simple specialization in a larger department, with a pedagogical orientation. As a result, the freedom of choice for the young people who wanted to study sociology has been dramatically diminished. On the other hand, enrolling into graduate classes has become a matter of interest for the party’s political nomenklature:
„The candidates for these classes are recruited (our emphasis) from among the party activists and those of the mass and organisations, those in the field of ideological work, education and culturally instructive activities, the graduates of the «Ştefan Gheorghiu» Academy, as well as from the graduates of state higher education, with at least three years of experience in practical activity” (Costea et al., 1983: 216).
It is obviously useless to argue that such a strategy had nothing to do with the spirit of scientific sociology.
As a consequence, sociology has been reduced to virtually nil until 1989. A few courses were taught at the University, volumes of sociology were published, but at the same time there was a decrease in field research, and the results of those already carried out have ended up forgotten in the files of the Social and Political Sciences Academy. We do not wish to state that all sociological work was commendatory – there have been honest, accurate chapters and volumes – but it can be said that the works which reflected the social reality of the socialist years are documents of a certain way of writing sociologic work, rather than of scientific sociology.
In such a context, the research into the past of Romanian sociology did not evolve as impetuously as in the late 1960s either. The collection of volumes entitled „Sociologia militans” – in which important comments by the gustians about their own School were published – ceased to be published and the reprints of the works of the most important sociologists of the School have lingered as a mere promise.
The façade of a certain continuity in the Gustian School research was ensured by the fact that until 1977 the volumes from the series Opere [Works] by Dimitrie Gusti were being published, edited by Ovidiu Bădina and Octavian Neamţu. It was very likely that only the editors and the Academy’s clerks knew that by the mid 1970s the academic foremanship began to obstruct the two editors’ work of retrieval. Not even the first five volumes passed untouched by censorship, but the sixth volume “enjoyed” an unusual treatment even by the standards of those times. It was only after 1989, once Ovidiu Bădina resumed editing the Gustian work, that the events of 1976 were revealed.
“The sixth volume – Ovidiu Bădina wrote –, which in compliance with the approval given back then, should have been the last one, has had quite a paradoxical fate. It was supposed to unveil Gusti’s “laboratory”, the professor’s life and work in his last years. However, the sixth volume of Opere is not what I wanted it to be. Not because of the official censorship – with which we had managed to reach an understanding, looking for more appropriate ways to convey true culture to the wide public – was the sixth volume “mutilated”. No. No matter how serious our statement will sound, the fact that three fourths of the sixth Gusti volume was prohibited from being published was due to a review written by a «man of science», a review that we have never seen and whose author remains unknown to this very day. Why would a review – that we did not see and to which we did not have the chance to respond – determine the «presiding council of the SRR’s Academy» to reject approximately 300 pages from the sixth volume of Opere, Gusti, pages that comprised harsh truths about a terrible time, a time that crippled our culture? Were those pages «to blame»? Perhaps, in the reviewer’s opinion, it called out on a few things: Gusti had suffered, he had been terrorized, he had been kicked out of his home, he had been unrightfully pursued by the repression organs; the Romanian scientist and patriot had lived off “handouts” and off other people’s mercy for the rest of his life” (Bădina, 1993: 18).
This excerpt from Ovidiu Bădina’s preface reveals the fact that by the second half of the 1970s’ the anti-Gustian portance had become stronger with the leadership of social sciences in the academia.
After the publishing of the last volume of Opere in 1977, the history of the Sociological School stopped being a topic of interest to anyone except Ovidiu Bădina, who managed to publish the fragments that had been removed from the book in Familia, a magazine from Oradea. Without trying to belittle Bădina’s perseverance and courage, we must mention that during Ceauşescu’s regime it had become quite a common practise to be granted permission to publish in smaller magazines and publishing houses outside the capital, because they had much less accessibility and influence.
On the other hand, the decrease in the interest for Gusti’s work and for his School could also be noticed because not even the imminence of Gusti’s centennial (1980) did not manage to mobilize the rest of the researchers. Furthermore, after the two most outstanding personalities of the Gustian School, H.H. Stahl and Traian Herseni, were asked to write a history of Romanian sociology, as the dynamics of influence changed, they were eventually obstructed from bringing their common work to closure.
“The people in the Academy asked me to write a history of the Romanian sociology. A booklet. I said: Listen, Herseni published some work in this field. […] And I said I couldn’t write such work in any other way than in agreement with Herseni. They were fine with it. Milcu was the one who attended this matter and we agreed to do it this way. […] So I wrote this thing with him and we took the manuscript to the Academy. […] And we were told: Yes, you speak of this and that, you mention Kogălniceanu twice. Or some other person twice, mentioned once by Stahl and once by Herseni. Well, yes, ‘cause there are two different points of view. […] We redid some of it, some chapters we wrote together, but the truth is they did not want to print it. […] Someone – who had reviewed our text – wanted to be the one to write this paper” (Rostás, 2000: 193-194).
The administrative obstruction of the two scientists, professor Gusti’s most talented collaborators, was a sign of the decrease of the Gustists’ influence over their own history of sociology. Despite the fact that H.H. Stahl was a corresponding member of the Academy and Traian Herseni was perhaps the most published sociologist, when it came to the cultural and scientific past of the Gustian School, the new national-communist trend used all available methods to prevent the publishing of an undesired volume. Thus, the first “dialogue-work” of two scholars did not get published. “Herseni died, poor fellow. And the manuscript was left that way. Unpublishable. Rejected at the Academy” (Rostás, 2000: 194).
The last official sign of the appreciation the academic forum had for Dimitrie Gusti’s work was a volume coordinated by H.H. Stahl, simply entitled Dimitrie Gusti, and published for Gusti’s birth centennial in 1980. Some of the Professor’s collaborators and several newcomers to sociology have contributed articles. It was an eulogistic volume rather than a critical one – despite Stahl’s intention – which reflected the decrease in interest towards Gusti to a much greater extent than it showed a preoccupation to know him in depth. In fact, this volume has not even been debated in any way; it was only published to “check off” the centennial.
In the 1980s the research into the Gustian School disappeared from the official agenda – three published articles, each analyzing one aspect of the School’s work, simply cannot be considered anything but a result of individual and accidental preoccupation in the field. At the same time, it is true that – in 1981 – professor H.H. Stahl’s memoirs have been published, bearing the title Amintiri şi gânduri din vechea şcoală a monografiilor sociologice [Memories and Thoughts from the Old School of Sociological Monographs], but not in an academic publishing house, but at a literature-oriented one, Minerva. This volume, despite its memoir-like feel – in which the writing skills of the author come through – has proven to be the most complete and exciting history of the Gustian School. Beyond the immense amount of information, this book raised a series of questions and topics to be pondered on, that could make up the basis for some truly interesting and important research projects. In those conditions, the official sociological research did not respond to Stahl’s challenge in any way. This lack of interest was understandable, as the official historians of sociology were busy writing the volume Sociologia românească contemporană. The book, published in 1983, has allotted less than half of page to Gusti and his School. The volume is otherwise an important document of that particular time for the very reason that it eulogizes the development of Romanian sociology precisely during the most locked-in period since its rehabilitation in the 1960s.
It is very likely that a radical change in the communist party’s strategy to “capitalize on the progressist cultural legacy” would not have been noticed, if Henri Stahl’s volume, Eseuri critice. Despre cultura populară românească [Critical Essays. On Romanian Popular Culture] (Stahl, 1983) had not have caused quite a scandal. Immediately after being published, this work has been violently attacked by Luceafărul (Adrian Riza) and Suplimentul literar-artistic of Scânteia Tineretului (Constantin Sorescu) magazines – both of which were standard bearers of protochronism, quite close to the propaganda department of the Communist Party’s Central Committee. Achim Mihu has also joined this attack in the magazine Tribuna in Cluj. This unusual onrush had as its first and foremost reason the fact that the author had dared to resume the critical debate from the 1930s regarding Lucian Blaga’s and Mircea Eliade’s view of the Romanian village and folk culture, from the standpoint of a historian of the rural space, knowledgeable by means of scientific field research. The authors of these overly sizeable articles, that spread over several issues of the afore mentioned weeklies, without actually being specialists in folk culture, were tearing down the author of Eseuri critice – not using scientific arguments, as they did not possess the necessary knowledge in the field, but by invoking a so-called prestige. Much like the articles that attacked the shows on “Radio Free Europe”, the writers concluded that professor Stahl had resumed the debate over Blaga’s and Eliade’s views because of his own frustration, as he did not receive the sort of recognition they had.
This attack revealed the choice made by the time’s cultural authorities to turn national culture into a myth, to the disadvantage of an objective analysis of the village and of folk culture. As professor Stahl was a man of good faith, he did not draw conclusions based on this scandal, he did not understand why a preoccupation for the history of culture and science was frowned upon. He once more worked on the manuscript that the Academy rejected, he took out his own work and, entitling it Gânditori şi curente social-politice româneşti [Romanian Thinkers and Socio-Political Trends] he brought forth a new book. Stahl’s manuscript was given to the Minerva publishing house, which turned it down after two years – in which time, as the professor stated in the 1980s, “God knows who read it or if anyone did”:
“I have complained to whomever I could, to the Central Committee, to the entire Olympus, and then it was allotted to Editura Ştiinţifică şi Enciclopedică, so they can publish it. But mister Mâciu was the boss there. Mâciu who, after I had the debate with Blaga, had been so scandalized that he publicly declared he would never accept to publish my work again. […] So its fate there was quite clear. This is a book to be published after my death” (Rostás, 2000: 194).
There is no doubt that in the 1980s – in the midst of Ceauşescu’s regime – Lucian Blaga and the generation of 1927 have overcome the Gustian School once more. Not by the means of academic debate, but through attacks commanded from the propaganda department of the Communist Party’s Central Committee. The difference was that in the 1930s the two trends co-existed in parallel (with the exception of the few months of legionary dictatorship, when the Gustists had been silenced), and in the 1980s Stahl was refused any possibility of ever being published – until 1990. While three-four volumes of Lucian Blaga’s and Mircea Eliade’s work have been published each year, none of the Gustists’ work was nominated for publishing.
The second marginalisation of the Gustian School, that of the mid 1970s, thus had to come by objectively, since the communist regime had no need for this type of knowledge of the reality and for a scientific legacy to support it. It is true that the decrease of its importance during those years is also due to the dogmatism and lack of information on Miron Constantinescu’s part. However, as Nicolae Ceauşescu’s personality cult grew stronger and stronger, not even a just expression of sociology’s mission could have resulted in anything other than its marginalisation. As the importance of academic sociology diminished, the Gustian School’s research could not have had any success either, for the very reason that it no longer served the national orientation of the regime’s ideology. Seeing how Ceauşescu’s regime in the 1970s-1980s was oriented towards a mythological identity construction, it was supported and legitimized by the interwar philosophy of Blaga and the generation of 1927; thus, it no longer needed the rationalist analysis of the Gustists. Especially since the sociological critique of the philosophical theories could affect – mutatis mutandis – the unique party’s ideology. The contemporary analysis of the marginalisation of sociology and of the Gustian School sheds light on the uncertain statute of sociology in the midst of a totalitarian system.
Bădina, Ovidiu. (1965). Dimitrie Gusti. Contribuţii la cunoaşterea operei şi activităţii sale. Bucureşti: Editura Ştiinţifică.
Bădina, Ovidiu şi Neamţu, Octavian. (1967). Dimitrie Gusti. Viaţa şi personalitatea. Seria „Oameni de seamă”. Bucureşti: Editura pentru tineret.
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 Gusti, Dimitrie (1880-1955), sociologist, philosopher and politician. University professor in Iasi and Bucharest. Member of the Parliament. Minister of Public Instruction, Cults and Arts (1932-1933). The founder of modern sociological education and of the Bucharest Sociological School. He initiated the sociological monographic research method and he carried out, since 1925, the first sociological field explorations. He was the initiator of the Social Service Law. He founded the Romanian Social Institute (1921), the journals The Archive for Social Science and Reform and Romanian Sociology. As general director (1934-1939), he modernized the activity of thee Royal Foundation “Prince Carol.” He was General Commissar of the Romanian pavilion at the World Exhibition in Paris (1937) and in New York (1939). In 1937 the International Institute of Sociology nominated him president for the organisation of the 14th International Congress of Sociology, that was supposed to take place in Bucharest in 1939. Together with V.I. Popa and H.H. Stahl, he established the Village Museum in Bucharest in 1936. Under his coordination, The Romanian Encyclopaedia (four volumes) was edited between 1938-1943. He was member of several foreign associations in the field. As President of the Romanian Academy (1944-1946) he lays the grounds for the National Council of Scientific Research (1946).
 Constantinescu, Miron (1917-1974), sociologist, politician. He had, after 1947, various leading positions in the communist party and state apparatus. Dimitrie Gusti’s student, he contributed to the rehabilitation of sociology after 1965.
 Blaga, Lucian (1895-1961), poet, playwright, philosopher, with a doctorate at the University of Wien, member of the Romanian Academy. He worked in diplomacy. In 1939, he was professor of philosophy of culture at the University of Cluj. One of the founders of the magazine Gândirea, editor of the magazine Saeculum (1943-1944).
 Iorga, Nicolae (1871-1940), historian, writer, journalist and politician, university professor in Bucharest, member of the Academy. Co-founder of the Institute for South-East European Studies (1914); manager of the Romanian School in Paris. He edited and managed many publications. Author of numerous volumes of sources, documents, monographs, syntheses (approx. 1600 titles). He organized the first congress in byzantinology (1922). Member of Parliament (1907-1940), president of the first Parliament of Greater Romania (1918); Prime Minister (1931-1932). He was assassinated by the legionnaires.
 Noica, Constantin (1909-1987), philosopher and essayist, post-mortem member of the Academy. Author of an ontology treaty and of some works on logics. He dealt with gnoseology and the theory of history and culture of philosophy.
 Eliade, Mircea (1907-1986), historian of religions, philosopher and Romanian writer established first in France (1945-1956), then in the USA (after 1956), professor at the University of Chicago, member of the Academy.
 Stahl, Henri H. (1901-1991), sociologist, historian, jurist, member of the Academy, Gusti’s most important collaborator, professor at the University of Bucharest until the elimination of the discipline in 1948. Important contributor to the reinstatement of sociological teaching and research after 1965. He had a determining role in the elaboration of the methodology of field sociological monographs. He participated at virtually all monographic campaigns of the School; he wrote the first complete monograph – the one of Nerej. He is the founder of Romanian historical sociology. He is also the first researcher from Romania who used statistics and archaeological history in historical research. He proposed a new periodization of the history of Romanians.
 Bugnariu, Tudor (1909-1977), philosopher, sociologist, journalist, university professor in Bucharest. Corresponding member of the Academy.
 Vlădescu-Răcoasa, Gheorghe (1885-1989), sociologist, economist and politician. Professor Gusti’s assistant starting from 1920, participant at the first sociological monographic campaigns. Romanian representative at the Geneva International Labour Bureau. After the war, he was Minister of Nationalities in the Groza government, Romanian ambassador in the USSR, professor. Substantial journalistic activity starting from 1922. Professor Gusti asked him to represent the Romanian sociological movement at international scientific conferences (The International Congress of Sociology, Geneva, 1933; Bruxelles, 1935), he was assigned vice-president for the Bucharest Congress, which was supposed to take place in the late summer of 1939.
 Nicuţă, Constantin (Costache) (1906-1991), philosopher and sociologist, university professor in Iaşi and Bucureşti, editor-in-chief of the sociological magazine Viitorul Social [The Social Future] (1972-1980). He was pro-rector of the Party School „A.A. Jdanov” (1955-1956), Deputy Minister of Education (1956-1958), Romanian ambassador in Austria (1958), member of the Romanian delegation at the UNO (1959), Romanian ambassador in France (1960-1963).
 Andrei, Petre (1891-1940), sociologist, philosopher and politician, university professor in Iaşi. He occupied the position of minister several times; representative of the leftist wing of the National Peasant Party. Contributions to axiology, ethics, sociology of knowledge. Post-mortem member of the Romanian Academy.
 Herseni, Traian (Hariton T., pen-name), (1907-1980), sociologist, anthropologist, Dimitrie Gusti’s close collaborator, assistant and then lecturer in rural sociology at the University of Bucharest and at the University of Cluj. In the fall of 1940 he was General Secretary at the Ministry of Public Instruction in the legionnaire government; he was incarcerated between 1951-1956, then he became researcher at the Academy’s research institutes. He was the most prolific author of the Bucharest Sociological School. He took part in the sociological monographs starting with Nerej. He lead the monographic team of Drăguş and he made the summary monograph of the villages in the area. He is one of the initiators of the regional sociological monographs in Romania. He wrote a history of Romanian sociology.
 Cristescu-Golopenţia, Ştefania (1908-1979), sociologist, ethnologist, student of Dimitrie Gusti, O. Densuşianu, and Marcel Mauss. She participated in the monographic campaigns starting in 1929, concentrating especially on popular rituals and ceremonies.
 Pop, Mihai (1907-2000), folklorist and anthropologist, participant at the sociological monographic campaigns since 1928 (Fundul Moldovei, Drăguş, Runcu, Cornova). After the war he took part in the establishment of the Institute of Folklore and became professor at the Chair of Folklore at the University of Bucharest. Herder Prize.
 Retegan, Gheorghe (1916-1998), sociologist and statistician, educated in the Gustian School conceptualization. During 1941-1950 he worked at the Central Statistical Institute (Central Section of Statistics). Arrested in 1950, incarcerated at Jilava, tried in 1954 and acquitted. He worked in economical and sociological research, in 1973 he became university professor until his retirement in 1976.
 Gheţie, Coriolan (1916-1990), sociology graduate, educated in the conception of the Bucharest Sociological School, he worked at the Central Statistical Institute.
 Dunăre, Nicolae (1916-1987), sociologist, ethnologist, educated in the Gustian School conceptualization, he took part in the Dâmbovnic research; researcher at institutes in the field in Cluj and Bucureşti.
 Serafim, Gheorghe (1912-?), sociologist and statistician, educated in the Gustian School conceptualization, participant, with H.H. Stahl at the research in Vrancea region; he worked at the Central Statistical Institute.
 Cernea, Mihail (born 1931, Iaşi), Romanian sociologist; since 1974 he work in the USA. Research in the areas of rural and industrial sociology. Corresponding member of the Romanian Academy.
 Bădina, Ovidiu (1932-1999), sociologist, he elaborated in 1965, with Octavian Neamţu, the first monographs about Dimitrie Gusti; he edited the works of Gusti (vol. I-VII), he founded the Centre for Research on Youth Problems in Bucharest.
 Neamţu, Octavian (1910-1976), sociologist, close collaborator of professor Gusti, his follower at the leadership of the Royal Cultural Foundation. He participated at the monographic campaigns of Cornova and Drăguş, he lead the student teams for research and social action (1934-1939).
 Andronescu-Caraioan, Pompiliu (1922-1971), journalist and editor, graduate of the Faculty of Letters and Philosophy, with the following specialization: sociology, aesthetics, literary criticism and pedagogy. He was editor-statistician at the Central Statistical Directorate, radio editor, scientific secretary at the Society for the Proliferation of Science and Culture. Initiator of the collections Sociology of Culture, Foreign Cultures, Romanian Culture and author of works and studies on literary history.
 Mihu, Achim (n. 1931), sociologist, university professor in Cluj, specialized in methods and techniques of sociological research, social epistemology, philosophical and cultural anthropology, industrial and small group sociology.
 Mâciu, Mircea (born 1928), sociologist. Leading positions at the Political Publishing House and Albatros Publishing House. He published essays, articles and studies in philosophy, sociology, history, literary theory and history. He tackles especially the re-valorization of Petre Andrei’s sociological work.
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