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2012 | 48 | 4 | 669–696

Article title

Studium a studenti sociologie v Československu před nástupem komunistického režimu


Title variants

Sociological Education and Students of Sociology in Czechoslovakia before the Rise of the Communist Regime

Languages of publication



Czechoslovak sociology was among the first European national sociological traditions to become established institutionally. Lectures in sociology commenced at Charles University in the 1880s, the first professorships and departments of sociology were established in 1919, and sociology was fully established as a doctoral discipline twelve years later. All the other universities in Czechoslovakia (with the notable exception of the German University in Prague) followed suit (usually after five or so ‘test’ years), as did polytechnics and independent colleges specialising in social studies, where, admittedly, attempts to establish departments of sociology were only partly successful. Using archive sources, this article analyses in detail the various processes involved in the establishment of sociology at individual universities and colleges, describes the forms and content of sociological education offered and conducts a prosopographical analysis of students in this field. On average, five students graduated in sociology in Czechoslovakia each year during the interwar period, and the number of dissertations written in sociology experienced a real boom shortly after the Second World War. The number of annual graduates rose to 23 between 1945 and 1948 and to 42 between 1948 and 1953, and this despite the fact that after the coup in 1948 the communist regime declared sociology a ‘bourgeois pseudoscience’. Consequently, only a very small number (5 percent) of the post-coup graduates were able to apply their sociological knowledge in their careers, and most of those who were able to did so rather late in their careers; the great majority of earlier graduates were not allowed to apply their knowledge at all. However, in Czechoslovakia it was nothing new for graduates of sociology to be unable to apply their education in their field, since the interwar and immediate post-war academic elites were made up largely of graduates of other fields, who were often unwilling to make room in academia for their younger colleagues.








Physical description


  • Sociologický ústav AV ČR, v.v.i., oddělení Ekonomická sociologie, Jilská 1, 110 00 Praha 1, Czech Rep.


Document Type

Publication order reference


YADDA identifier

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