Social innovation – a thematic map

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.

Estimating an equivalence scale for Romania

Calculating the poverty rate, determining eligibility for social welfare benefits or any other analysis of the well‐being of families or households results in the transformation of these persons (rather than from the perspective of the size or structure of the family unit) into comparable families /households formed from so‐ called “equivalent adults”. This transformation is made with the help of equivalence scalesUnder the chosen equivalency scale, large households are “pushed” into poverty if an abrupt scale is used, similarly with smaller households if the scale is too straight. Which equivalence scales are most used? Under what circumstances does this scale correspond to the actual usage in our country’s households? Should different percentages be applied for children, elders, different genders or residential environment? Does the equivalency scale change over time? Here are a few questions we have tried to answer, while estimating an equivalency scale which reflects the actual behavior of our country’s households regarding consumption.

Europenisation of corporate social responsibility in a society with modernity tendency

The paper analyses the CSR in the context of Europeanization of Romanian society, a society characterized by tendentious modernity. The first part of the paper analyzes the CSR in Romanian society. CSR is present in Romanian business society, but the multinational corporations really posses the necessary abilities. CSR has been imposed basically rather as a fashion, than as a result of a real need of Romanian society. In the second part I study the RSC in relation with capitalist evolution in evoluția Romania. The capitalism is re‐invented in the context of the post‐communist Romania. This type of capitalism is the outcome of privatization which has been regulated through legal proceedings and not as a consequence of organic historical and social evolution structure.  I n the third section I analyze the tendentious modernity as a type of evolution towards norms and principles of modernity. The fundamental problem of tendentious modernity is the degree and level of the extension of modernity in society. In countries characterized by tendentious modernity only part of minority groups, of elites, supports the values of modernity and takes advantage of them. In return, the larger population is only superficially touched by modernity and continues to live in the spirit of ancient values. In a tendentious modernity society, modernity is a trend, which coexists with obsolete institutional forms. Tendentious modernity penetrates slowly and painfully through the complicated network of socio‐institutional structures of the traditional, patriarchal society.  There is a discrepancy between the European CSR and the CSR applied in Romania. The alignment of CSR to the domestic needs depends on the level of Europeanization of Romanian society, which could be measured in terms of the degree of compatibility between the interests of multinational corporations and the social and institutional Romanian Europeanized structures.

The Romanian-Chinese seminar on social and economic development

The Romanian Academy received in June 2009 the visit of an official delegation of the Chinese Academy in social sciences. The visit set the scene for discussing the Impact of the economical crisis. The Chinese and Romanian experts presented their findings. Due to the importance of the data they presented, we selected one of the two papers: internal migration and the evolution of the middle class and we present it below.

Reply to Faust as sociologist: nevertheless, is it possible for a sociologist to be happy?” (in Zamfir, 2009, A Subjective History in the Romanian Sociology. Beginning with 1944 until now)

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?”].

Cătălin Mamali’s presentation on Manifestoes and Political Genealogies – Historical Experiments Rooted in the Manifesto of Communist Party and Civil Disobedience

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.

The motivated self-deceit, the self-hatred and hatred of other: Freudian repression in communism and post-communism

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.