The core of the paper is an analysis of the meaning of sociology in the USSR, as defined by the participants and outsiders alike. The review is based on the study of programmatic statements, the character of references in sociological writings, and available biographical information on their authors. All of these help to locate Soviet sociology within the intellectual enterprise in general and to establish whether it is actually a counterpart of what is called “sociology” in the West, or a different branch of intellectual activity which for some reason uses its name. Most of the findings are derived from an analysis of , the only specifically sociological journal in the USSR, published since 1974. These findings are compared with parallel observations on representative samples of the and the . The conclusion is that Soviet sociology, although it uses some of the methods of Western sociology, is an activity of a different nature on the whole. It is a branch of social technology, a managerial science oriented towards the promotion of the goals and the increase of the ideological and administrative efficiency of the Soviet government.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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