Sociolog(ie) mezi kolárkem, hákovým křížem a rudou hvězdou: Jaroslav Šíma v dějinách české sociologie
SOCIOLOGIST/S BETWEEN THE CLERICAL COLLAR, THE SWASTIKA AND THE RED STAR: JAROSLAV SIMA IN THE HISTORY OF CZECH SOCIOLOGY
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The article analyses the life story and works of a significant, but today sadly almost unknown, Czech sociologist, Jaroslav Šíma (1914–1955). It draws on all the published sources available on him as well as a large number of to date unknown and unexploited archive materials. Šíma became a member of the somewhat “thin on the ground” national sociological academia of the interwar period and specialised in the sociology of sexuality, religion, and education. However, his research was often the result of his own religious and church positions, which were connected with the so-called free Christianity movement and which cannot be accurately judged according to contemporary standards. Šíma’s star rose spectacularly during the Second World War, when he became the undisputed leader of Czech sociology, notwithstanding the fact that his influence came at the price of making considerable compromises with the Nazi regime, and owing to this and his own personal failures he assumed a rather low profi le in the immediate post-war years. Šíma had another opportunity to shine following the communist coup in 1948, when he immersed himself in the ideas of the new regime. Seven years later he committed suicide. The author analyses Šíma’s fate and his writings as a case study in the context of the evolution of Czech sociology and outlines its weak points as well as the events which contributed to the outstanding but unlikely success of this ‘maverick’ of sociology (the discipline’s weak organisational background, with conformity to special interests, personal grudges between top figures in the field, and methodological incompetence flourishing in its place).
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