SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY IN BULGARIA
Author: Mincho Draganov
Editor's Note: What we can say for the development of the discipline as a science is very little, considering the format of this presentation. There are many good books on the history and theory of social psychology in international literature. In Bulgaria, which has formed an imagery of a modern European nation somewhat later in the end of the 19th century, the efforts to clarify this issue are scattered. The preciousness of this book is not in its primacy since there have been many excellent writings for the soul of the Bulgarian in the past 150 years. The book from Prof. M. Draganov /1937 - / is being good because it comes first of its kind to give an overview of social psychology in Bulgaria, commensurably, as aggregate of many branches and as general theoretical problematic, ditto.
The development of the social-psychological knowledge in Bulgaria from its emergence up to nowadays is traced in this book. After a short analysis of the methodological premises of the history of the social-psychology, the author sketches out the interesting process of spontaneous conversion of fragmentary social-psychological knowledge in comparatively independent sphere of pre-scientific cognition. The process proceeds at the time of the First Bulgarian Kingdom. to be precise the Xth and XIth century and it is connected with the names of the great old Bulgarian scholars: John the Exarh, Peter Chernorizets, Presbiter Cosma etc. From the Second Bulgarian Kingdom some works of Patriarch Eutimius of Tirnovo, Grigorii Tsamblak etc. are examined.
The Ottoman invasion puts an end to the active cultural life in the country. Only just during the last hundred years of the Ottoman rule, the social-psychological thought in Bulgaria restores itself and has its distinctive achievements. The restored social-psychological cognition, represented in the works of Joseph Bradati, Paisii Hilendarski and Sofronii Vratchanski, has much more developed forms and brings the spirit of the new time.
During the first half of the XIXth century the social-psychological cognition reaches its fullest ripeness as a pre-scientific sphere of social knowledge. Here V. Aprilov, N. Bozveli, Ivan Seliminski ets. give their contribution. The interest in the mentality of the Bulgarian people which appeared in the works of the XVIII c. now turns into a main trend of the social-psychological demands in our country.
During the second half of the XIX century runs the process of the origination of social-psychology as an approach and trend in the other branches of social knowledge. This processes begins in the works of G. Rakovski, who except the analyses in people psychology in some of his books treats a number of ethnographic phenomena in their social-psychological side. During that years Rakovski speaks also about the ,,spirit of the Bulgarians” as a comparatively independent sphere. Lyuben Karavelov has left a number of valuable investigations upon the mentality of the Bulgarians. He speaks also about the crisis in the traditional psychology. Hristo Botev leaves magnificent pages where he understands the essence of the bulgarian spirit with unusual foresight. Vassil Drumev, L. Yovchev ets. have left a detailed treatment upon the different social-psychological events. A characteristic feature is the social-psychological purpose in the great part of the headlines of our journals and newspapers.
The process of the origination of social-psychology continues after the Bulgaria’s liberation from Ottoman rule (1878). P. R. Slaveykov has left a number of valuable analyses on problems of the political psychology. Our ethnographers S. Shishkov and D. Marinov have left particularly rich contributions.
The social-psychological thought develops in our country not because of inner gnosiological regularities but mainly to satisfy the necessities of social life. The object of social psychology is realized quite early, but no opinions are made either for itself or for its subject. A considerable wealth of research in Bulgarian people’s psychology is accumulated.
In our country the realization of the social psychology as an independent branch of the social knowledge begins during the last 3 - 4 years of the last century. The first period in the process of its formation as a science continues for three decennials. Then psychology of the social life becomes a leading trend - an event conditioned by social and class changes and struggles in our country. The problems are treated mainly by Marxists who make profound materialistic research upon the social-psychological events in social life. The impressive figure of D. Blagoev dominates among the research workers. He has left numerous treatments which can be classified in three main lines: theoretical problems of social psychology, problems of the psychology of social life and mainly those of the social classes and problems of the psychology of the political movements and parties in our country. His treatments in the psychology of social life depend on the ideological and class struggles of the working class, on the organizational and political practice of the left wing socialist party. Another prominent marxist social psychologist of that time is M. Dimitrov who investigates the social-psychological side of personality and of laughter too. The Marxists G. Kirkov, G. Georgiev, D. h. Dimov, V. Kolarov, G. Dimitrov etc. also make social-psychological treatments.
The Freud adherent I. Kinkel who deals with psychology of religion, revolutionary movements etc states a number of social-psychological problems. His treatments suffer serious methodological and social class defects. Here works T. Panov, basing himself upon the positions of G. Lebon. A. Ilkov writes on problems of the psychology of bourgeois political parties.
People psychology is also a main trend in our social psychology during this period. Few marxists work there but all research workers stand on national-democratic and spontaneous materialistic positions which conditions the scientific-social value of their contributions and at the same time shows certain narrow-mindedness on their part. The treatment of D. Strashimirov is notable at the end of the last century and that of P. Darvingov in the beginning of our century. T. Panov makes the first attempt to classify the people psychology on the basis of Bulgarian people psychology. Here the greatest figure is A. Strashimirov who treats a vast range of problems in Bulgarian people psychology. A subtle power of observation is seen in his books. He uses a considerable ethnographic material. His investigations upon the mentality of the Bulgarian ethnical groups - Shopps (peasants of Sofia District), Rouptsi, Macedonians, Thracians and Misians are particularly interesting. And our great ethnographer historian and literary critic M. Arnaudov has left numerous investigations on the Bulgarian people psychology too. Problems of psychology of the literary works, psychology of the army and war are treated also.
The second period in the process of the formation of social psychology as science include the years 1930-1944. The great marxist philosopher Todor Pavlov treats the basic methodological problems of social psychology during this period and first of all he clarifies its subject as a science. T. Pavlov differentiates social psychology from the other social sciences. Ivan Hadjiiski who is a marxist too, treats the Bulgarian people psychology as a systematic subject. He shapes the architectonics of social psychology as science, classifying the problems in three groups - socialpsychoogical problems of personality, of the small groups and of the larger human unions. The mentality of our peasant is investigated and also that of our small owner etc. The mentality of ,,zadrouga” and the psychology of social life are investigated too. With Hadjiski the people psychology and psychology of social life find their organic synthesis. Hadjiiski investigates a great number of most different social-psychological problems. His main work ,,Life and Mentality of Our People” is an original encyclopedia of Bulgarian psyche.
Important problems of social psychology are touched in G. Dimitrov’s paper before the Seventh Congress of Comintern. During this period social psychology in our country turns in the aggregate of many branches. Besides the general theoretical problematic, people psychology and psychology of social life, the following sections are treated: psychology of culture, psychology of education, psychology of everyday life, psychology of religion etc The achievements in this section are drawn quite in detail.
After 9 September 1944 the social psychology in our country went through a certain crisis connected with the reorganization of its interrelations with the direct social practice, with its immediate participation in socialist building and also with some dogmatic-sectarian infatuations.
Copyright © 2006 by the author.