The contributions to the present issue argue on three different levels. To contextualize the contributions to this special issue, the editors, Christian Fleck and Andreas Hess, provide an overview of the problematic relationship between the political project that was communism and sociology as an academic discipline. The second contribution by William Outhwaite and Larry Ray takes issue with the problem of Western social scientists’ capacity to forecast major shifts such as the Fall of the Berlin Wall and the implosion of communist regimes. Is it really justified to speak of a ‘Black Friday’ of the social sciences? Howard Davis and Sergey A. Erofeev take a closer look at the non-reception of the concept culture and the reframing of this approach after the end of Soviet rule, respectively. The following three contributions focus on the complex situation of sociologists under communist rule. The different roles which sociologists occupied after 1945 in Poland, a country where sociology managed to survived best when compared to other countries under communist rule, are analyzed by Joanna Bielecka-Prus. Jarosłav Kilias looks at the finer distinctions as they can be detected in Communist Poland’s sociology textbooks. Michael Voříšek’s article focuses on Czechoslovakia but concentrates on a shorter period of sociology’s blossoming there in the 1960s. Finally, Juan José Navarro tells the South American part of the infamous Project Camelot. Plans of the U.S. military to research the potentials of counter-insurgents in parts of South America got widespread attention mainly due to the intervention of European and North American sociologists. Project Camelot turned into a textbook example of ethical problems while conducting social research. Navarro widens our understanding of such dilemmas by pointing to the fact that the Chilean Communist Party masterminded some of the protests against this interventionism skillfully.
Comparative Sociology – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2011
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