Introduction

The Institute for Sociology, Centre for Social Sciences, HAS is the leading research institution in Hungary, successor of the Institute of Sociology HAS, founded in 1963. Its major mission is to explore and analyse the social processes affecting the long term wellbeing of Hungarian citizens through methods of international standards. The researchers of the institute share the basic values of 21st century Euro-Atlantic civilisation: maintaining democracy, and aiming at the universal protection of basic human rights.

The tasks of the institute’s researchers include implementing their research projects through intensive communication with the international academic communities of their fields; at the same time, aiming at presenting to the general public their results that can directly be utilised in shaping social policies.

The institute has been working in a structure based on three research departments:

  • Researchers at the Research Department for Social Integration and Social Policy examine the income, spatial and value stratification trends of contemporary Hungarian society, the impact of certain social policy issues on stratification and wellbeing in an international context. The goal of their work is, besides internationally acknowledged basic research results, to provide the general public and government actors with directly utilisable information.
  • At the Research Department for Social Relations and Network Analysis, internationally recognised research is carried out in a field with a long tradition in Hungary, complemented by research outcomes of socio-political relevance.
  • The Research Department for Methodology and Research History organises in-house discussions of qualitative and quantitative dilemmas of the institute’s researchers, collects and organises the databases and results of projects running in the Centre. The professional heritage of researchers with a remarkable impact in the past fifty years of Hungarian sociology is also collected and analysed at the Department.

 

Research streams have been working with a narrower focus, namely:

  • Families and gender
  • Medical sociology, health policy
  • Studies on memory, culture, and values
  • Network analysis, big data
  • Qualitative sociological methods
  • Social integration
  • Social inequalities and public policy
  • Urban and environmental research

The research streams are labels attached to researchers and research projects rather than separate teams, in order to serve the overview of the institute’s manifold activities, and help the international communication of the research projects. Several researchers and projects are connected to more than one research streams.

Over two dozens of basic and applied research programmes are going on at the institute (partly financed by outside funders), three of which are of special importance:

  • the comprehensive research programme promising a novel approach to the study of social integration: Integration and disintegration processes in Hungarian society (funded by the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund);
  • the archiving and cataloguing programme aiming at rescuing and recycling the qualitative data that accumulated in Hungarian social sciences during the past five decades, and the dissemination of various social science researches of the recent past and present (Voices of the 20th century, funded by the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund and HAS); and
  • coordinating the Hungarian part of the European Social Survey in partnership with the Institute for Political Science (funded by the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund and HAS).

 

Our colleagues edit and the Institute for Sociology publishes the open-access, peer-reviewed online quarterly socio.hu publishing scientific papers in Hungarian and English.