Sociology. The study of human relationships, the rules and norms that guide them, and the development of institutions and movements that conserve and change society. Sociological methodology includes the analysis of data obtained through questionnaires and surveys, the analysis of official statistics, the observation of human interaction, and the study of historical records. Within the discipline of sociology there are numerous specializations and subdivisions, such as the sociology of the family, of work, of political organizations and behavior, of ethnic and race relations, of sex roles, and of aging, and criminology and statistics.

Although sociology as a distinct discipline arose relatively recently, in Ukraine as in other countries elements of sociological thought can be found in earlier periods of history. Sermons and didactic works of the Kyivan Rus’ period and some of the polemical literature of the Renaissance and baroque periods can be considered forerunners of sociological thought in Ukraine. Ukrainian folklore also provides rich materials for sociological research, with its accurate descriptions of human relations, the nature of kinship ties, and community mores and standards, and Ukrainian ethnographers (see Ethnography) have contributed significantly to the development of sociology. The works of 19th- and early 20th-century Ukrainian writers and publicists are another important source of sociological information, especially on the behavior of various social groups.

The origins of sociology as a separate discipline in Ukraine can be traced to Mykhailo Drahomanov and his circle of scholars, who worked in Geneva in the 1880s. Members of the group included Serhii Podolynsky, Fedir Vovk, and Volodymyr Navrotsky. Their works appeared in the periodical Hromada (Geneva) (1878–82) and in separate monographs. Because sociology became established as a separate discipline later than other branches of the social sciences, however, the precursors of Ukrainian sociological thought have to be sought in disciplines such as philosophy, historiography, geography, law, economic studies, and statistics. Scholars in those disciplines played an instrumental role in establishing various sociological schools of thought.

Philosophers such as Pamfil Yurkevych, Volodymyr Lesevych, Klymentii Hankevych, Ivan A. Fedorovych, and Oleksander Stronin played significant roles in the development of sociology in Ukraine. Bold conceptions of the development of Ukrainian society and analyses of the relationship among various social groups in Ukraine were advanced by the 18th-century author of Istoriia Rusov, by 19th-century historians, such as Mykola Kostomarov, Oleksander Lazarevsky, Volodymyr Antonovych, Panteleimon Kulish, Mykhailo Drahomanov, and Mykhailo Hrushevsky, and by early 20th-century political thinkers of the statist school of Ukrainian historiography, such as Viacheslav Lypynsky and Stepan Tomashivsky. Rich sociological material can be found in early 20th-century works on the socioeconomic history of Ukraine by Dmytro Bahalii and members of his school, such as Mykhailo Slabchenko and Yosyf Hermaize, and in the anthropological-geographical works of Stepan Rudnytsky and Volodymyr Kubijovyč. Economic theorists such as Mykola Ziber (who stressed the economic factor in the development of society), Maksym Kovalevsky (who related the early development of the Slavic tribes to a general schema of human social development), and Mykhailo Tuhan-Baranovsky (who developed ethical conceptions of understanding social problems) provided many new ideas for the development of Ukrainian sociology. Legal scholars such as Bohdan Kistiakovsky (who was the first to explore methodological questions) and Stanyslav Dnistriansky (who viewed law as a social construct and thus hastened a sociological analysis of law) occupy an important place in the history of sociology in Ukraine, as do the Ukrainian statisticians Oleksander Rusov, Fedir Shcherbyna, and Volodymyr Shcherbyna.

The series Studiï z polia suspil'nykh nauk i statystyky (Studies from the Field of Social Sciences and Statistics), published in Lviv in 1909–12 by the Shevchenko Scientific Society (NTSh), can be considered a turning point in the history of sociological thought in Ukraine. It provided a forum for researchers in social problems and social theory, such as Volodymyr Okhrymovych, Vasyl Paneiko, Volodymyr Starosolsky, Mykhailo Lozynsky, Volodymyr Levynsky, Maksym Hekhter, Mykola Zalizniak, Stepan Baran, Yuliian Okhrymovych, and Yuliian Bachynsky. Works with substantial sociological content by that group were also published in the NTSh serials Chasopys’ pravnycha (1889–1900), Chasopys’ pravnycha i ekonomichna (1900–6, 1912), and Zbirnyk Pravnychoï komisiï (1925–9). After the First World War the study of social problems and social thought in Ukraine was centered in the NTSh Economic, Sociological, and Statistical Commission in Lviv.

None of the works by the aforementioned authors, however, were grounded on the principles and methodology of modern sociological theory, and none advanced a novel theory of the development of society. Only after the cataclysms of the First World War, the Revolution of 1917, and the ensuing Ukrainian-Soviet War, 1917–21, and Ukrainian-Polish War in Galicia, 1918–19, shook the foundations of the established social order did the need to study new social phenomena become apparent. Ukrainian social and political thought underwent great development in that period, and its authors began to understand that sociology can offer much in the attempt to understand the dynamics of Ukrainian national development.

In the 1920s in the Ukrainian SSR, sociological research was almost entirely conducted by scholars of the All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences (VUAN). The VUAN Socioeconomic Division had a department of Sociology, first headed, in 1918–20, by Bohdan Kistiakovsky. After his death the department was headed by the Marxist Semen Semkovsky, under whom, however, it did not leave much of a legacy. A Sociological Commission was also founded within the Socioeconomic Division.

After his return to Ukraine in 1924, Mykhailo Hrushevsky devoted much energy to the organization of sociological research in the VUAN. His closest collaborators in that undertaking were Yosyf Hermaize, Pylyp Klymenko, and Kateryna Hrushevska. The VUAN Cabinet for the Study of Primitive Culture, headed by Hrushevska, focused on genetic sociology. Its members published their contributions in the journal Pervisne hromadianstvo ta ioho perezhytky na Ukraïni (1926–9). Fedir Savchenko was a major contributor to the field.

Institutes in disciplines close to sociology, most notably the VUAN Demographic Institute headed by Mykhailo Ptukha, provided valuable, pioneering analyses of biosociological processes. They include studies by Ptukha on the population of Ukraine, its sex and age structure, and its mortality; by Yurii Korchak-Chepurkivsky on mortality in Ukraine; by P. Pustokhod on Ukraine’s demographic characteristics; by Mykhailo Tratsevsky on natality in Ukraine; and by I. Kovalenko on suicide in Kharkiv.

Ukraïns’kyi visnyk eksperymental’noï pedahohiky ta refleksolohiï (1925–30), published by the Scientific Research Institute of Pedagogy of Ukraine in Kharkiv, carried a number of articles in educational sociology. Research on sociopsychology and collective reflexology was also done by the Ukrainian State Psychoneurological Institute in Kharkiv and the Kyiv Psychoneurological Institute.

The Ethnographic Society, the Geographic Society, and especially the Anthropological Society in Ukraine also contributed to the development of sociology. Significant were Lev Nikolaev’s three volumes of materials on Ukraine’s anthropology (1926–7) and the three-volume compendium Kryminal'na antropolohiia i sudova medytsyna (Criminal Anthropology and Forensic Medicine, 1926–8).

The Ukrainian Institute of Marxism-Leninism (1922–30) in Kharkiv, despite its partisan approach to problems, published in its journal Prapor marksyzmu-leninizmu (1927–30) considerable descriptive sociological material. The institute also had a philosophical-sociological research section and a sociology department, as did its successor, the All-Ukrainian Association of Marxist-Leninist Scientific Research Institutes (1931–6).

The Stalinist reorganization of scholarship in Ukraine in the late 1920s and early 1930s resulted in serious restrictions on academic freedom in sociology. The authorities now allowed only a Marxist approach, and ‘sociology’ and ‘historical materialism’ were regarded as synonyms. After 1930 the terror, purges, and the repression of Ukrainian scholars put an end to serious sociological research. Most of the pre-Soviet generation of scholars were liquidated, and their replacements avoided sensitive, politically dangerous issues and limited themselves to promoting Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist dogmas and Soviet propaganda. Sociology lost its independent status and was condemned as a ‘bourgeois science.’ Empirical microsociological and sociometric research was unable to develop, because the use of mathematical statistics, the theory of probability, and structural-functional analysis was banned in the study of Soviet society.

With the Yezhov terror of 1937–8 sociology disappeared in Ukraine for some 30 years. The first hint that it was being revived came in the early 1960s, when the Department of Atheism of the Institute of Philosophy of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR carried out field research in Western Ukraine. The results, however, were never published. After the reorganization of the Institute of Philosophy in 1963 sociological research was conducted by its departments of the Methodology of Sociological Inquiry, of the History of Philosophical and Sociological Thought in Ukraine, and of Philosophical Questions of the Construction of Communism. In 1969 the institute began publishing the journal Filosofs’ka dumka, which contained some quasi-sociological articles. Because Ukraine did not have a separate scholarly journal devoted to sociology, however, articles on methodological questions and the results of empirical sociological research were never published. The compendium Sotsiolohiia na Ukraïni (Sociology in Ukraine, 1968) carried some research results and was heralded as the first issue of a Ukrainian annual review of sociology, but subsequent volumes never appeared.

From the 1960s on, sociological research in Ukraine was carried out by special sociological groups affilliated with various republican, raion, and city committees of the Communist Party of Ukraine (CPU); by departments of the Institute of Philosophy of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR; by sociological laboratories at postsecondary institutes and universities; and by laboratories of the sociology of labor, applied sociology, and the scientific organization of labor at Ukraine’s large industrial enterprises. Most Ukrainian sociologists belonged to the USSR Sociological Association, which was founded in 1958 as a professional but not scholarly organization. It had five regional branches in Ukraine. With the establishment of the Moscow journal Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniia in 1974, Ukrainian sociologists had a forum for the publication of their studies. Most of the research done in Ukraine focused on the socioeconomic problems of regional, urban, and industrial-enterprise development, economic administration, demographic trends, inter-nationality and religious relations, the sociology of science and culture, industrial relations, and child socialization. Applied sociology was the norm. Scholars with unorthodox views, or those who sought to show the true sorry state of Soviet society, were not tolerated.

In the postwar period sociology was one of the most underdeveloped scholarly disciplines in the Ukrainian SSR and in the USSR as a whole. Several factors accounted for that state of affairs: virtually total Party control over the topics and methodology of research; the fact that sociology was not considered a separate discipline but part of the study of historical materialism; the significant political risk in carrying out innovative research; stagnation in the development of alternative theoretical principles and models and the paucity of sources for independent analysis; severe restrictions on the publication of social data collected by the state; a shortage of equipment essential for research, such as computers; inadequate conditions for the training of qualified sociologists in Ukraine and the inability to study abroad; and isolation from the international sociological community. Prohibitions on the publication of sociological research potentially embarrassing to the authorities and their unwillingness to listen to, let alone implement, practical recommendations by sociologists also contributed to the degradation of sociology in Ukraine.

During the 1960s and 1970s the most significant sociological work was done by ethnographers who studied ethno-sociological processes in Ukraine, notably Vsevolod Naulko and A. Orlov. Non-Ukrainian sociologists also made important contributions. Yu. Arutiunian’s Russian monograph on the sociological study of the village (1968), a politically daring study of a Ukrainian village in the Zaporizhia region, was widely considered one of the best Soviet sociological studies in the period. Works by dissidents, such as Ivan Dziuba and Viacheslav Chornovil, which circulated in samvydav form, and articles published in the 1970s samvydav journal Ukraïns’kyi visnyk discussed many interesting sociological questions.

The processes of perestroika, democratization, and openness in the late 1980s brought to the fore the need for objective and comprehensive knowledge about society, and a veritable boom of sociological research took place. The reorganization of the USSR Institute of Concrete Sociological Research into the Institute of Sociology and the establishment in 1988 of the All-Union Center for the Study of Public Opinion were manifestations of the new trend. In Ukraine, within the framework of the Institute of Philosophy of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR the Department of Sociology, the Subdepartment of the Sociology of Mass Media and Public Opinion, the Sector of the Social and Psychological Problems of Public Opinion, and the Sector of the Sociology of Youth were established. In Kyiv the Republican Sociological Center of the Sociological Association of Ukraine were founded. Centers in Kyiv, Lviv, and Dnipropetrovsk studied public opinion. In 1990, plans were announced for establishment of sociology faculties at Kyiv University and Kharkiv University, and the Institute of Sociology of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR, headed by Yurii Pakhomov, was founded in Kyiv. Sociological research was done in the Center of Political Psychology established in 1990 at Kyiv University, and the presidium of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR was also engaged in work in the field. Sociological research was published in the journal Filosofs’ka i sotsiolohichna dumka, which replaced Filosofs’ka dumka in 1989, and in separate monographs.

Among the leading sociologists in Ukraine of that time were L. Sokhan, V. Chornovolenko, O. Yakuba, V. Ossovsky, V. Tykhonovych, A. Ruchka, L. Aza, K. Hryshchenko, Ye. Suimenko, M. Honcharenko, V. Piddubny, and V. Paniotto. Some of the more significant books published in Ukraine in the late 1980s and early 1990s were by V. Voitovych, on the dynamics of prestige and the appeal of professions (1989); by Yevhen Holovakha, on young people’s life perspectives and professional self-definition (1989); by L. Kravchenko and B. Moroz, on the guarantee of societal renewal (1990); by V. Kusherets and V. Poltorak, on elections to soviets and public opinion (1990); by V. Paniotto and Yu. Yakovenko, on mail surveys in sociological research (1988); by V. Paniotto, on experience from models of social processes (1989); and by A. Ruchka, on the value approach in sociological knowledge (1989). Also published were the collection Profesiine samovyznachennia i trudovyi shliakh molodi (Professional Self-Definition and the Working Life of Young People, 1987), V. Picha’s After Hours: Soviet Worker at Leisure (1989), and a multiauthor collection of sociological research on the consequences of the Chornobyl nuclear disaster (1990).

Émigré sociology. In the 1920s, Ukrainian émigrés began organizing sociological research. The first significant initiatives were taken by Mykhailo Hrushevsky, who had a firm grasp of the interrelationships among the various social sciences. The Ukrainian Sociological Institute (1919–24), established in Vienna under his aegis, published Mykola Shrah’s book on the state and socialist society (1923) and Volodymyr Starosolsky’s book on the theory of the nation (1922).

Ukrainian sociological studies were also continued in Prague, where the Ukrainian Sociological Society was founded in 1923 on the initiative of Mykyta Shapoval. In 1924 the Ukrainian Institute of Sociology was established in Prague; it was headed, until his death in 1932, by Shapoval. That institute published the first and only Ukrainian sociological journal, Suspil’stvo (6 issues, 1925–7), and works such as an edition of Mykhailo Drahomanov’s selected works (vol 1, 1937), Volodymyr Koval’s booklet on the socioeconomic nature of agricultural co-operation (1925), Mykyta Mandryka’s booklet on national minorities in international law (1926), Vsevolod Petriv’s booklet on society and the military (1924), and Shapoval’s booklet on Ukrainian sociology (1927), and books on general sociology (1929) and the sociography of Ukraine (1933). Shapoval not only brought together established and young Ukrainian social scientists but also maintained ties with Western sociologists and ensured the institute’s participation in international sociological congresses. Under him Suspil’stvo reviewed the latest Western sociological works and published a chronicle of the profession and bibliographies.

A real attempt was made at that time to propagate sociological education and studies through the establishment of chairs of sociology at the Ukrainian Technical and Husbandry Institute in Poděbrady (headed by Olgerd Ippolit Bochkovsky), the Ukrainian Higher Pedagogical Institute in Prague (headed by Stepan Ripetsky), and the Ukrainian Free University in Prague (headed by Otto Eikhelman and later Viktor Domanytsky). Works published by the interwar Prague circle included articles by Bochkovsky on ‘nationology’ and ‘nationography’ as branches of a special sociological discipline for scientific study of the nation (1927), by Domanytsky on ‘rurbanism,’ by Mykyta Mandryka on sociology and problems of public education in the United States (1925), and by Volodymyr Starosolsky on the internal form of the word in sociological terminology (nd); and booklets by Mykyta Shapoval on the army and the revolution (nd) and the city and the village (1926), and his book on the system of the social sciences and sociography (nd). Contributions were also made by Solomon Goldelman, Eikhelman, Tymish Olesiiuk, Ivan Ivasiuk, Valentyn Sadovsky, and Oleksander Mytsiuk.

Postwar émigré sociologists and those born in the West have not had the institutional base that existed in interwar Prague, and their research has not been systematic. Much of it has focused on the study of social processes in Ukraine (Wsevolod Isajiw, Borys Levytsky, Alex Simirenko, Bohdan Krawchenko, and Stepan Protsiuk) and the study of Ukrainian communities in Canada and the United States (Isajiw, Volodymyr Nahirny, Roman Petryshyn, Oleh Wolowyna, I. Zielyk, W. Darcovich, Bohdan Tsymbalisty), Germany (Volodymyr Maruniak), and Brazil (O. Borushenko). Sociological studies about Ukrainians in North America have also been written by non-Ukrainian scholars. The Ukrainian Center for Social Research in New York and the Ukrainian Free University in Munich have been the most important community-based institutions involved in sociological research. Most sociological research about Ukrainians undertaken in the West, however, has been carried out in universities and colleges.

Simirenko, A. (ed). Soviet Sociology: Historical Antecedents and Current Appraisals (Chicago 1966)
Vytanovych, I. ‘Kharakter i orhanizatsiia sotsiolohichnykh doslidzhen' na Ukraïni,’ Suchasnist’, 1972, nos 7–8
Weinberg, E.A. The Development of Sociology in the Soviet Union (London and Boston 1974)
Vucinich, A. Social Thought in Tsarist Russia: The Quest for a General Science of Society, 1861–1917 (Chicago and London 1976)
Matthews, M.; Jones, T.A. Soviet Sociology, 1964–75: A Bibliography (New York and London 1978)

Natalia Chernysh

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]

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