Sociology for the Glasnost Era: Institutional and Substantive Change in Recent Soviet Sociology

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Gorbachev's ascent to power created a new climate for sociological research in the Soviet Union. For the first time, Soviet sociologists find themselves in a position where they not only can pursue critical inquiry but also significantly affect the nation's political agenda. The present situation is not without its dangers, however, as it confronts social scientists with the need to balance scholarship and advocacy, scientific inquiry and political engagement. This article presents an overview of institutional, substantive, and methodological innovations in recent Soviet sociology. If examines the contribution that Soviet sociology has made to the reform process and assesses its future impact on the course of perestroika. An argument is made that even though for the time being Soviet sociologists and Party reformers act in concert, this alliance might come under strain if the pursuit of free inquiry interferes with the Communist Party's political agenda.


Politics and Social Change | Regional Sociology | Sociology | Sociology of Culture | Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies


This is a revision of a paper presented at the workshop on sociology and Soviet area studies, University of Texas-Austin, April 1989.


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