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Department of Sociology

The Department of Sociology was opened in September 1989 together with the creation of new faculty (philosophical and economic, renamed in 1999 in the Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences) consisting of three affiliates: philosophy, economics and sociology. The Faculty and the Department was headed by Professor Albert Elsukov. From 2003 to 2005, the department was headed by Professor David Rothman. The corresponding member of National Academy of Science Professor Alexander Danilov has been the head of the Department since 2005.

The Department of Sociology is a large scientific subdivision of the Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences, Belarusian State University. Currently, the faculty of the Department consists of 17 staff members. Among them are known in the country and far abroad scientists A. Elsukov, L. Titarenko, J. Gryshchenko, S. Burova, L. Filinskaya, A. Rubanov, L. Gutsalenko, P. Ukrainets, etc. The following lectures – D. Beznyuk, E. Kechina, H. Kuchko, N. Kurilovich, Y. Chernyak, T. Burak, E. Pavlova, L. Shkurova – have defended their thesis during the last five years.

The Department of Sociology organizes work of the affiliate of sociology, which prepares students for the specialty "sociology" of full-time and distance courses. The first graduation of the Department of Sociology in Belarus was in 1993. the graduates of the Department of Sociology successfully work in the scientific sphere, in public administration, in business, in educational institutions, in mass media.

The opening of the Department was preceded by considerable preparatory work and corresponding traditions.

Professor G. Davidyuk was at the beginnings of revival of sociology and did much to its development. His books "An Introduction to Applied Sociology" (1975) and "Applied Sociology" (1979) were the first to reflect the history of formation and development of the national sociological. Belarusian branch of the Soviet Sociological Association (the first Chairman – G. Davidyuk) was established in September 1976. The necessary preconditions, in which sociology was institutionalized in higher education, have formed by mid 1980-s.

Systemic crisis of the late 1980's made new demands to social science; the interest in the investigation of systemic transformation of the Belarusian society, the value orientations of different social groups, political participation, stratification and demographic characteristics sharply increased.

The establishment of scientific-theoretical journal "Sociology" (chief editor – A. Danilov) in Belarusian State University (1997) showed the high level of sociological science development. The journal consists of the theoretical, methodological, methodical, informational materials, the results of applied sociological research, chronicle of major events in scientific sociological life, information about sociological thesis. The oldest edition RAS "Sociological Research" regularly announces the basic materials of the journal "Sociology".

The first "Sociological Encyclopedia" (under the general editorship of A. Danilov) was published in 2003. It fully corresponds to the current level of social and human sciences and the basic problems of sociological education in the Republic of Belarus and other CIS countries. This encyclopedia, prepared on the initiative of the Belarusian State University sociologists, is a logical continuation of the efforts of Belarusian sociologists, who were at the beginnings of revival of sociology in 1960-s.

The constituent assembly of sociologists in the Republic of Belarus (6/16/2000) was convened on the initiative of the Belarusian State University sociologists in 2000 after the termination of the Belarusian branch of the Soviet Sociological Association. It created the Belarusian public association "Sociological Society" (chairman – A. Danilov). State registration of Sociological Society was 10/11/2000. Sociological Society is a Republican public association, and its activities extend to the entire territory of the Republic of Belarus.

During the last 20 years the staff of the Department prepared more than 2000 highly skilled sociologists, who work successfully both in our country and in countries near and far abroad. Nowadays 552 students, including 320 students of full-time course and 232 students of distant course, study on the Department of Sociology.

The staff of the Department lectures more than 20 primary and 12 special training courses. The course of sociology is lectured in all faculties of Belarusian State University.

The staff of the Department prepared the fundamental publications on various aspects of sociology, as well as tutorials on basic and special courses of sociology. Publications of lectures are devoted to the acute problems of modern society history, methodology and methods of sociology; reflects the results of sociological investigations and research projects. The lectures of the Department are the authors of scientific monographs, learning and teaching tutorials, teaching materials, articles in national and foreign scientific magazines, in collections of scientific papers. The Scientific Council of Belarusian State University awarded the Picheta Prize in the social sciences and humanities to Professor A. Elsukov, Professor P. Ukrainets, Professor L. Gutsalenko and Professor L. Titarenko for tutorial "Sociology".

Graduate, Postgraduate and Doctorate in such specialties as 22.00.01 – Theory, Methodology and History of Sociology and 22.00.08 – Sociology of Management work at the Department of Sociology. 15 postgraduate students (10 students of full-time course and 5 students of distant course) and 6 graduate students of full-time and distant courses study at the Department.

Leading scientists lecture special courses and conduct methodological seminars devoted to the study of acute problems of modern society. Graduates of the Department of Sociology are qualified as "Sociologist. Lecturer of sociology and socio-political disciplines" and work successfully in sociological and marketing services, advertising agencies, the structures of public relations, in public and private organizations, research centers, government and municipal management, in universities, as well as consultants and analysts in public organizations and associations. Some graduates of the Department of Sociology became PhD's and successfully engaged in scientific and tutor activities in research centers and universities of Belarus and other countries.

Sociology today has become one of the main sources of social knowledge about modern society, the processes occurring in it, about a man, his social well-being. The institutionalization of sociology, its professionalization created the prerequisites for the development of professional sociological environment within which social scientists were able to solve specialized tasks, search and find solutions to the conceptual, methodological and empirical social problems.

The Department of Sociology has sufficient capacity to look ahead with confidence. The graduates of the sociological department of Belarusian State University declare themselves on a par with the old generation. They will eventually bear the burden of the main worries about the future of social science in our country. For sure there will be new our followers, who are just preparing enter the sociological branch of the leading university of the sovereign Belarus.