Academic Mobility and Epistemological Change in State Socialist Romania

Three Generations of Sociologists, Western Social Science, and Quality of Life Research


  • Adela Hîncu



Romania, academic mobility, history of sociology


This article explores the connection between academic mobility, epistemological change, and generational belonging in state socialist Romania. Drawing on insights from intellectual history and recent literature on the use of generation as an analytical concept for the study of state socialism, it addresses academic mobility both as a generation-defining experience and a source of epistemological change. On the issue of generations, it reviews the types of academic mobility available and their roles in the careers of social scientists trained before 1945, in the early 1950s, and after the re-institutionalization of sociology in 1966. Across these three generations, this article analyzes how academic mobility was reflected in the knowledge produced on one theme in particular: quality of life. Empirical and theoretical research on quality of life in Romania was carried out under the umbrella of futurology (early 1970s), socialist modes of living/lifestyle studies (late 1970s–early 1980s), and finally demography and migration studies (1980s).


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How to Cite

Hîncu, A. (2021) “Academic Mobility and Epistemological Change in State Socialist Romania: Three Generations of Sociologists, Western Social Science, and Quality of Life Research”, Serendipities. Journal for the Sociology and History of the Social Sciences, 5(1-2). doi: 10.7146/serendipities.v5i1-2.126107.