The Institutionalization of Military Sociology: The Russian Path of Gains and Losses

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Igor V. Obraztsov


This article contends that the current view of military sociology is neither complete nor detailed (particularly at the early stages of its development). It maintains that the institutionalization of military sociology is dominated by one perspective, that is, by the American tradition. Its evolution in Europe, including Russia, is underrepresented. Without claiming to be all encompassing, this article attempts to critically reconsider the Russian approach to the institutionalization of military sociology under the challenging conditions of an autocratic and totalitarian political regime. One of the most characteristic particularities of the Russian approach was the establishment and growth
of the subfield primarily within the military itself—that is, the emergence and formation of “a science in uniform.” The article maintains that it would be useful to consider the Russian experience in order to reconstruct a global, multifaceted institutionalization of military sociology. In turn, this may lead to a more robust scholarly debate about the past, present and future prospects of this field of sociological study.

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