An Anatomy of 'Collective Anti-Collectivism': Labor Sociology in Ukraine and Romania

  • Mihai Varga Freie Universität Berlin
Keywords: labor, labor sociology, Romania, Ukraine,


This article shows that workers (their life-worlds and instances of collective action) have been conspicuously absent from the work of local sociologists by researching three sociological journals of professional associations and Academies of Sciences in Ukraine and Romania. Such an absence is particularly puzzling given the dramatic deterioration in the material situation of the working class in both countries during post-communism, some experience during Soviet times with the sociology of work in Ukraine, and the widespread worker protests in Romania throughout both decades since the fall of communism. The article reviews several possible explanations for the absence of a labor sociology, and settles on a perspective situating sociology in its wider national context and noting that the current generation of sociologists might have more in common with the countries’ ruling elites than with workers and other subaltern groups, and therefore might be reluctant to study workers and their life-worlds.