Brněnská anomálie? Brněnská sociologie 1963 až 1989 – subjektivní historie
THE BRNO ANOMALY? SOCIOLOGY IN BRNO
When, at the end of the 1950s, the Communist Party took the first steps towards reviving sociology as a scientific field, which only ten years earlier it had banned and branded a bourgeois pseudoscience, the conditions in Brno were and were not favourable for such a development. On the one hand, Brno was home to the very reputable sociology department of A. I. Bláha, a student of Durkheim's, which had a tradition dating back to the founding of Masaryk University in Brno in 1921. On the other hand, Brno lacked any figures that the Communist Party would at least deem passable and who would be willing to partake in the renewal of a department that in recent history had already been twice disbanded. One fortunate exception was the journalist Josef Solar, a prewar party member, jailed under the Protectorate for resistance involvement. He gradually drew Bláha's former assistants to the department and began building an academically solid institution with a strong emphasis on empirical sociology. This progress was interrupted by the invasion of Warsaw Pact troops. The department was again shut down, but some continuity was preserved in the Sociological Research Laboratory, which avoided liquidation and where some politically persecuted teachers found refuge. In 1980 the department of sociology in Brno was reestablished and in 1981 it obtained a competent new head, Jaroslav Stritecký. It also became possible to engage young teaching assistants whose qualification was professional, not political. The development of sociology in Brno in 1980's was further assisted by the biannual conference 'Socialist way of life as social reality', which created an environment supportive of critical study of society.
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