This article is intended to support an early discussion around the social innovation topic in the Romanian academic debate initiated by the Research Institute for Quality of Life, through its project “Social Innovation ‐ factor in socio‐economic development”. In the preface to this discussion and theorization of the field, a review of existing literature and a critical analysis of the concepts covered so far in this thematic map prove to be necessary. The article advances a definition of the social innovation concept, continues by emphasizing aspects related to product and process in social innovation and concludes by stressing the alternative perspectives that can be developed in a theory of social innovation.
The study explores the causes and consequences of “Freudian repression”, as analyzed by Billig (1999), in communism and post‐communism. The repression of unacceptable, shameful, evil, painful thoughts from the conscious mind is considered in psychoanalysis a central process in the dynamic of personality. The focus is on the Freudian repression that might be generated by ideological restrictions and filters, which are imposed through the brutal terror systemically enacted by the specialized institutions of the communist regimes. The study advances the idea that in communism the motivated self‐deceit has become a mass‐phenomenon through repressing and hiding in the unconscious mind of all the individual’s authentic feelings, thoughts, experiences and expressions that were different and especially opposed to the official representations, narratives, discourse, ideological principles and political authority.
Due to the duration, depth, and relational expansion of the ideologically based repression of the authentic thoughts, feelings, experiences and expressions of individuals and communities, a schizogenic social context was generated in time. Such a context was favorable to the erosion of self‐love and of the love of the other and to the replacement of these emotional bonds with mistrust, disdain and hatred toward oneself and others. The ideological principles and the political algorithm restrained systematically the individual autonomy and enhanced the de‐individuation process.
Based on the fundamental role of language in the Freudian repression (Billig, 1999) the study attempts to identify the major types of motivated self‐deceit practiced in communism and the main types of motivated self‐deceit that emerged in post‐communism. These types are discussed in relationship with the long‐term Freudian repression of the authentic thoughts, feelings, expression and experiences of the individuals and communities. Th e ideological roots of Freudian repression in communism was strongly associated with the drastic limitation of the free dialogue between self and other, and of the interdiction of the free expression in public places.
The motivated self‐deceit that involves the cover up of the censorship actions and traces and is ideologically rooted differs thought its content and mechanisms from the motivated self‐deceit that is nurtured mainly by sexual and interpersonal tensions. The ideologically rooted self‐deceit threatens the social and cultural identity of the individual, one’s own cardinal moral, religious and political values. The answering process to the essential questions such as “Who am I?” and “Who are We?” is disturbed. Once the individual becomes a tool of an ideology of terror supported by specialized institutions the chances of self‐hatred are increased and the hatred of others increases too. The ideologically motivated self‐deceit that emerged during communism has long term‐consequences that continued in post‐communism. The fragmented existential identity, the distorted existential identity, and the pressure to protect evil secrets are considered to be associated with these consequences.
The Research Institute for the Quality of Life has recently hosted Catalin Mamali’s presentation on Manifestoes and political genealogies. Historical experiments rooted in the Manifesto of Communist Party and the Civil Disobedience. This paper is a critical assessment of this presentation.
Competent voices, like A. Giddens in UK (2006) and C. Zamfir in Romania (2009), claim that sociology, as an academic science, is declining in prestige, public interest and significance of its researches. This paper argues that we face a social process whose causes are rooted in the changes that took place in the relationship between sociology (the scientific research of modern society) and politics. Sociology was significant as a science as much time as different groups of politicians confronted themselves on the issue of the best distribution system of social and economic resources of the society. In such conjunctures, alternative sociological paradigms developed in order to support the legitimacy of alternative distribution systems. The mechanism is as old as known political history, and it had its “ups”, when alternative political options for alternative distribution systems were competing, and “downs”, when a dominant distribution system was unchallenged by alternative political options. The last decades illustrate times when a politically unchallenged distribution system – the “free market capitalism” – dominated both the political action, and the academic and everyday ideology, via globalization and post communism. The present financial crises and the economic recession it produces, both in developed and in developing economies like Romania’s, are questioning the dominating distribution system, but sociology and sociologists are poor prepared for a debate and, thus, for renewal.
This paper is an outline of a research project aimed to measuring sustainable development for Romanian regions and counties using a statistical software: the Dashboard of Sustainability. For this purpose a composite indicator of sustainability was created comprising of 19 indicators grouped into four main dimensions of sustainable development: environmental, institutional, economic and social, with a particular focus on the later.
This study employs the secondary analysis of data from the 296 special Eurobarometer on “Discrimination in European Union: perceptions, experiences and attitudes”. We selected from the research report the data concerning the general state on discrimination in the European Union (EU) and used it to create a comparison frame for Romania’s case. Also, we present the data from the surveys done in Romania with the data from Bulgaria and Hungary, neighboring ex‐communist countries, current members of the EU.
In this article we are concerned about the social innovation concept (its multiple meanings, the difficulties of conceptualization, the standards and the obstacles in its working definition; it presents the definitions currently employed for this term by the Research Centre on Social Innovation in Quebec). Furthermore, the article briefly talks about the role of social innovation in social development and if its importance for different actors: researchers and research organisations, decision-makers and public authorities, European and non-European organisations, civil society organisations.
Ștefan Buzarnescu replies to Cătălin Zamfir’s chapter in O istorie subiectivă în sociologia românească. Din 1944 până în prezent [A Subjective History in the Romanian Sociology. Beginning with 1944 until now] (Polirom, 2009), „Faust ca sociolog: poate totuși sociologul să fie fericit” [„Faust as sociologist: nevertheless, is it possible for a sociologist to be happy?”].