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Monographic Sociology of Dimitrie Gusti

Social Science and Reform


Gabriela Georgevici

This book highlights an important moment in the history of Romanian sociology: The idea of getting involved in the knowledge and construction of social life as well as the virtues of the sociologic monograph method that were promoted by the Bucharest Sociologic School and the Banat-Crişana Social Institute. This work now forwards an analysis of Dimitrie Gusti’s original sociologic thinking system, a theoretic model underlying the monographic campaigns conducted by multidisciplinary teams. Rural studies were the central axis of the Bucharest Sociologic School. An important innovation of Dimitrie Gusti’s School is examined: the launching of social work through the Superior School for Social Work and Assistance Princess Ileana, founded in Bucharest in 1929. A detailed presentation of the monographs conducted by the Bucharest School and the Banat-Crişana Social Institute with their specific characteristics is given, bearing the mark of sociologist Dimitrie Gusti and other remarkable personalities of the Romanian inter-war scientific elite.


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Chapter I Social science and reform. Idea championed by the Bucharest Sociology School


Dimitrie Gusti is known as the founder of sociology doctrine and school, the initiator and organiser of the action of sociological research of Romanian social reality, founder of the “Association for social science and reform” that later became “The Romanian Social Institute”, creator of the Bucharest Village Museum, Chairman the Romanian Academy, member of the French Institute, founder and leader of journals. He was a scientific personality of great erudition in the social and philosophical fields. Dimitrie Gusti was trained as sociologist in Germany’s intellectual climate and distinguished himself in the Romanian sociology not only as a cabinet researcher, but as a scientist preoccupied by the organised study of the inter-war Romanian village. Dimitrie Gusti’s professional vocation is rooted in his academic training, the German cultural milieu having influenced his way of thinking and acting. “In 1899 he left for Berlin (Germany) determined to study philosophy, especially – as himself put it in his “autobiography” at the end of his PhD thesis – social philosophy. We should mention in this respect that for his sociologic formation D. Gusti set out to study, for the elaboration of his PhD thesis, all “humanities”. In order to study the history of philosophy, Gusti chose as professor and co-ordinator of his PhD thesis the famous Friederic Paulsen (1846 – 1908), author of an introductory manual to the study of philosophy, renowned in the whole word, conceived as a “Philosophia militans” (after the medieval model of an “ecclesia militans”), formula that Gusti will retain and use as title...

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