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HENRI H. STAHL‘S CONCEPTION OF HISTORICAL SOCIOLOGY AND THE BUCHAREST SCHOOL OF SOCIOLOGY

 

Nerijus Babinskas

 

Vilnius University, E-mail: nerijus.babinskas@if.vu.lt

 

This paper has been presented at the First International Conference on Nordic and Baltic Studies in Romania:Romania and Lithuania in the Interwar International Relations: Bonds, Intersections and Encounters hosted by the Romanian Association for Baltic and Nordic Studies, Târgoviste, May 19-21, 2010.

 

Abstract:

The Romanian school of sociology founded by Dimitrie Gusti was a favorable medium for elaborating theoretic ideas. The school became a cradle for at least two prominent theoreticians (Henri H. Stahl and Traian Herseni) whose conceptions are worth of attention not only from sociologists but for the theoretically minded historians, too. We should keep in our mind that according to the methodological attitudes of the Bucharest school field researches were highly encouraged. It means that any generalizations, theoretic suggestions or entire conceptions produced by the followers of Gusti were solidly based on empirical data. Stahl started to elaborate his conception of tributalism in the 1960s. Coincidently, at this period the international discussion about the so-called Asiatic mode of production revived so the Stahl‘s theoretic ideas were well-timed. Stahl was not the only Romanian scholar who got involved in the discussion, but his conception was more original: according to him, tributalism should be treated as something different from Oriental despotism although there were some obvious similarities between the two. Despite the fact that the majority of Romanian historian community ignored the Stahl’s innovative conception, there were some attempts in Romania as well as abroad to elaborate (Daniel Chirot) or at least to popularize (Miron Constantinescu, Constantin Daniel) his ideas.

 

Rezumat:

Scoala româneasca de sociologie fondata de Dimitrie Gusti a avut consecinte majore si diverse nu numai asupra mediului academic, dar si asupra vietii sociale si politice din România, mai ales în perioada interbelica. Întrucât în acest articol ma voi referi în mod deosebit asupra aspectelor vizând mediul academic, pot mentiona ca din acest punct de vedere consecintele au fost chiar pe termen mai lung. Din acest punct de vedere, scoala bucuresteana de sociologie poate fi tratata ca un mediu favorabil pentru formularea si elaborarea perspectivelor teoretice. Aceasta a devenit leaganul formarii a cel putin doi teoreticieni proeminenti (Henri H. Stahl, Traian Herseni) ale caror conceptii sunt demne nu numai de atentia sociologilor, dar si de a istoricilor cu aplecare catre teorie. Trebuie sa ne reamintim ca potrivit aplecarilor metodologice ale scolii bucurestene, cercetarile de teren erau puternic încurajate. Aceasta presupune ca toate generalizarile, sugestiile teoretice si conceptiile realizate de urmasii lui Gusti sunt bine sustinute de date empirice. Aceasta afirmatie se încadreaza foarte bine în conceptia teoretica a lui Stahl. Sociologul român a început sa-si elaboreze conceptia sa asupra tributalismului în anii ‘60. Este tocmai perioada în care dezbaterea internationala cu privire la asa-numitul mod asiatic de productie renastea, asa încât ideile teoretice ale lui Stahl au fost binevenite. Stahl nu a fost singurul care s-a implicat în aceste dezbateri, acestuia adaugându-i-se cel putin Ion Banu, Iosif Natansohn si Natalia Simion. Principalul avantaj al contributiei lui Stahl a fost mai multa originalitate: potrivit acestuia, tributalismul al trebui tratat ca fiind diferit fata de despotismul oriental, desi au existat anumite similaritati între acestea. În ciuda faptului ca majoritatea comunitatii românesti de istorici a ignorat conceptia inovatoare a lui Stahl, au existat câteva încercari atât în România, cât si în strainatate de a elabora (Daniel Chirot) sau cel putin de a populariza (Miron Constantinescu, Constantin Daniel) ideile sale.

 

Keywords: Romanian school of sociology, Dimitrie Gusti, H.H. Stahl, tributalism


 08. Babinskas.pdf

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