The Reconstruction of Sociology in Eastern Europe—Expectations and Dilemmas


The article raises two questions: why do sociologists in Western Europe hold expectations of theoretical innovations in sociology in (post-)transitional Eastern European countries, and why is it that sociologists from Eastern Europe do not meet these expectations. The assumption is that these expectations are primarily a response to the theoretical crisis of modern sociology itself, rather than the effect of its knowledge of changes in transitional countries or its willingness to really listen to sociologists from those countries and accept them as equal partners. The attempt to answer the second question involves an analysis of the multilayered reality of sociology in post-socialism, including the loss of the socialist and civil-society utopias which have been replaced by pragmatic endeavors to re-establish a market society and its institutions. Despite the differences between the social situations in the East and West, today’s “Eastern” and “Western” social scientists are confronted by similar global problems and challenges. While the present crisis of the capitalist economy and neo-liberalism certainly has its structural causes, what needs to be questioned here are the very assumptions underlying the world order and the key mechanisms of its functioning.

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Ule, M. (2014) The Reconstruction of Sociology in Eastern Europe—Expectations and Dilemmas. Sociology Mind, 4, 264-271. doi: 10.4236/sm.2014.44027.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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