University of Zagreb

Faculty of Philosophy

Department of Sociology


Zagreb, January 2005.

1. Introduction

Department of Sociology at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Zagreb was founded in 1963 and it continues to function for the last 42 years. At first, it was established as a two-subject study group, but in the middle of 1970s it expanded into a concentrated and oriented Major Study Program and in that way enabled the development of special sociology subjects which stimulated the development of professional sociology as well as faster and more contemporary acquisition of new scientific insights.

The Department of Sociology is a unique department in its own mission – even there are other institutions and units in Croatia nowadays who are more or less similar to the study program of the Department. Professional sociology is taught at this Department for many decades, based on the contemporary research of the most important social issues such as are general aspects of society, problems of social structure, social change, social relations, etc. The content of the Sociology Study Program encompass a wide range of actual and highly important aspects that are studied within specialized sociology subjects.

a) The reasons to begin with the study of sociology

University study of sociology could be found today on almost every university in the world. It is really very rare to find study of sociology only as a general subject taught only on the scientific study groups.

In this sense, it might also be said that very rarely different university study groups are left only with general sociology as an general subject – it is just opposite, and sociology today is taught as a specialized professional discipline adapted to different major profiles of any type of specific study groups. In this sense, a specialized sociology subjects exist today almost at every university in the world such as, for example, Sociology of Education, Sociology of Culture, Sociology of Science and Knowledge, Political Sociology, Sociology and Economy, Urban Sociology, etc.).

Furthermore, it is even very difficult to imagine an educational university institution where students are not provided with possibilities to learn and understand her/his own society and many contemporary phenomenon explained in the theoretical perspective and within specific areas and fields they are preparing for as they future professions.

In Croatia today, sociology as a teaching specialized sociology subject apart from the Department of Sociology, Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb is taught, for example, at The Faculty of Lay, Faculty of Political Sciences, Faculty of Economy, Medical Faculty, Faculty of Electrotechnics, Faculty of Engineering and Shipbuilding, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Faculty for Agronomy.

It could be said also that – during the last 15 years – many reasons emerged in the social life that stimulated again the need to introduce sociological professional thinking into social development. Croatia as one of the post communist societies is just going through painful and complex transitional process burdened with many problems and social changes that need to be professionally evaluated, scientifically researched, objectively assessed and discussed and on that basis understood with an evaluation of potential ways of further social development. As many other transitional societies, Croatia is also a multicultural and multiethnic society, with different religious affiliations and interesting social aspects that need to be scientifically sociologically seriously studied - especially the interactions that emerge from this cultural diversity. In this way the respective layers of society will be aware on the potential problems and conflicts that are usually emerging in this kind of societies. To understand and investigate different aspects of contemporary social development in the modern world is almost impossible without sociology as a professional discipline and without a sociologist as a specialist who can apply sociological knowledge in his daily professional actions and activities.

New social changes in modern societies are burdened also with many complicated phenomenon such as unemployment, drug abuse, aggressivity in general, uncontrolled growth of cities and settlements, growing strata of older population, environmental degradation and pollution, etc. We believe that all these problems and aspects of contemporary life need to be investigated through systematic researches to be able to develop workable solutions. We believe also that sociology study offers the education of qualified and specialized professionals to tackle contemporary social problems.

Newly constructed social reality also asks for some changes in the education in general in the society and especially in the process of education of future social professionals. It simply means that different segments of sociological education – i.e., research, consultancy and educational components – must be transformed to fit better the needs of today's and tomorrow's society.

This is a primary goal and substance of the educational program of sociological study we offer.

It should be also emphasized that sociologists could apply their knowledge in a wide spectrum of social division of labor – in the organizations and enterprises (organizational and market researches), media studies (radio, TV, newspapers) as well as in other institutions where sociological knowledge is necessary. Professional activity of a sociologist contributes to better understanding and formation of social potentials of development. Sociologists are also employed in secondary schools and at the universities where they teach different subjects. During the last decade, for example, graduated sociologists found their place of work also in the private sector of economy – they work as specialists in market research, in the research on mass media, in different polls research as well as for different state institutions and offices. Non-governmental sector is also growingly asking the professional services of sociologists mostly in the roles of consultants on major aspects or as experts for the investigation of complex social phenomenon. It should be also emphasized that sociologists are more and more employed in the administrative services and in different planning institutions where they work as professionals for social planning and development.

Newly organized study of Sociology Program that is offered for evaluation could be compared also with the programs of some respected educational sociological university institutions such as are for example:

  • Yale Sociology Department, USA
  • Heinrich Heine Universität Düsseldorf, BRD
  • Universität Bremen, Institut für Soziologie, BRD
  • LondonSchool of Economics and Political Science, UK
  • Department of Sociology at the University of Bristol, UK
  • Department of Sociology, College of Letters and Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
  • Department of Sociology, Division of Social Sciences, College of Letters & Science, University of California, Berkeley, USA

b) Experiences of the present organization in the realization of the equivalent or similar programs

The Department of Sociology at the Faculty of PhilosophyUniversity of Zagreb, during 42. years of its existence went through several phases of its own development. That development itself has enriched the basic sense, as well as overall social and scientific justification of the study of sociology and sociology as a profession through new teaching programs and through the development of specialized sociologies as teaching and professional subjects. The need to develop of the discipline oriented especially towards the development of sociological methodology as a real base for the development of the profession itself was also stimulated. That was one of the basic features of the development of scientific basis of sociology as a profession at the Department.

To demonstrate the recent developments at the Department, it should be emphasized that – in recent years – the Department of Sociology included in its curriculum many newly designed special sociologies as teaching subjects such as, for example, Social Ecology, Sociology of Religion, Sociology of Ethnic Relations, Sociology of Science and Knowledge, Sociology of Sex, Gender Sociology, Risk Sociology, Sociology of War and Peace, etc.

This program proposal contains many newly designed teaching subjects as electives that open a possibility to enlarge and modify the overall program of study of sociology.

c) Potential partners outside of the systems of higher education

A professional profile of graduated sociologist gives to a person an important role in every research project where the society as a whole or its segments, or fundamental or specialized aspects of the society are at stake. It should be also stressed that a professional sociologist is a unavoidable member of the team researching public opinions, in different expert teams to investigate social development within state offices and institutions as well as within different agencies involved in researching of social reality.

Finally, it should be also mentioned that professional sociologists are more and more involved as researchers and evaluators in the contemporary problems connected with migrations, displaced persons and other aspects of human migrations in the world.

The research, scientific and educational cooperation is also possible with many other partners who stay outside of regular educational systems such as are scientific research institutes (Institute for Social Research in Zagreb, Institute for International Relations, Institute for Migrations and Ethnic Studies, etc.) as well and domestic and international organizations, professional associations, similar universities and departments in the country and abroad.

d) Openness of the study Program towards student’s free selection

If the importance of sociology as a profession and as a scientific discipline engaged in the explanation of contemporary society is understandable, then there is no special need to explain that pre-diploma study of sociology as well as a complete study of sociology represent a fertile ground for the continuation of education in different fields, especially in the area of humanistic and social sciences. We believe that no subject in the contemporary society should be studied without the help of sociology. This is the reason why in the program of study of sociology many subject are of an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary nature and in this way rather approachable to students of almost any kind and specializations. The fact that sociology has been included in many interdisciplinary educational programs as well as in practical research and scientific program – not only within the area of humanistic and social sciences, but also within technical, medical, architectural etc. areas - should also not be forgotten.

In this sense, it is expected that teaching subjects which we offer in our program of study could be taken not only by the students from other basic specialized groups of study but also that sociology students, with their acquired knowledge in the pre-diploma study of sociology will be able to continue their education in other study groups and study orientations.

We should also mention that many teaching subject at The Department of Sociology are open to the students of different profiles and professions. Respecting the principle of free student movement, we suggest a teaching program which will enable our students to select and combine – on a personal basis – different, interrelated interdisciplinary educational programs of different professions as well as we expect the same possibilities for the students from other educational institutions to select our electives.

2. General information

2.1. Title of the study group

Study of Sociology (sociology major and sociology as one of two subjects – sociology minor)

2.2. Educational institution and responsible department

Educational institution: Faculty of Philosophy, University of Zagreb.

Responsible department: Department of Sociology.

2.3. Duration of study

Overall duration: 10 semesters (3+2 years).

Pre-diploma study: 6 semesters (3 years).

Diploma study: 4 semesters (2 years).

2.4 Enrollment conditions

Enrollment conditions for pre-diploma major and minor type of study of sociology:

-Graduated secondary school, positive result of the classification exam or state baccalaureate, and according to the state regulations, University and Faculty regulations.

Enrollment conditions for scientific diploma study:

-Graduated major study group of sociology at the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb or any other compatible type of study

-Graduated two major groups of study (sociology minor) at the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb or any other type of compatible study group; special conditions for the enrollment are the following: (1) during the first semester of this diploma study a student must enroll the following subjects: «Qualitative methods of research», «Quantitative methods of research» and "Computations and analysis of data», (2) all subjects to be enrolled in the first two semesters of diploma study must be the subjects provided by the Department of Sociology at the Faculty of Philosophy.

Conditions for enrollment to the diploma study program for the educational orientation:

-Graduated study of sociology major or two groups study of sociology at the Faculty of Philosophy or any other compatible study program

2.5 Pre-diploma study Program

The major goal of the pre-diploma study program of sociology is to teach a student with the basic notions of sociology, with basic methodological principles of science and specific principles of social sciences and sociology with the basics in sociological theories. Students are taught also in basic principles of scientific analysis as well as in appropriate methods and techniques of scientific research and with major prerequisites concerning theoretical analysis. Students are also taught in the classic and contemporary sociological theories. Two important teaching subjects are provided for the study of Croatian society and a number of the electives will give an opportunity for a student to create and select personal orientation that could also end in the continuation towards the diploma program study in sociology as well. A graduation in the field of sociology major or sociology as a two group study Program in the regime of pre-diploma study Program will end with a title of "baccalaureate in social sciences – orientation sociology" that enables the continuation of the study of sociology or some other study group at the university. The graduation of a pre-diploma study Program enables a student to perform different kinds of tasks in which a good understanding of social processes as well as a good knowledge on the principles of scientific approach to the analysis of social dynamics is needed. At the same time, a strictly expert approach and level of understanding is not expected. Graduated pre-diploma student is expected to work in the media, in non-governmental organizations, in publishing companies, in the field of culture, etc.

2.6. Diploma study Program

A goal of the diploma study Program of sociology is to enlarge, add and close the acquired knowledge during the pre-diploma study Program of sociology as well as from the selection from five different groups of subjects that will enable a student to create a personalized profile of the professional sociologist. In this way, a student can concentrate and select the subjects from one or another study group as well as to combine subjects from different study groups and in that way acquire a wide range general education in sociology as a profession. It is however possible that a student can orient towards – for example – a group of methodological subjects which could enable her/him to work on specific issues in sociology and related sciences. A system of two study group at the Faculty of Philosophy is suited primarily for the educational profiles of students, but it could also be selected in the case if a student chooses a concentrated group of educational and methodical subjects which is provided especially for the students of one study group of sociology (sociology major).

Students who graduate diploma program in sociology are educated mostly for the following tasks:

  • Research and scientific investigations on different issues with an analysis of society as well as specific researches targeted towards social assessment or sociological expertise on different issues
  • For the work in scientific institutes to research fundamental issues as well as applicative investigations in the field of sociology targeted towards different areas and problem subjects (for example, migrations, ethnicity, rural and urban topics, etc.)
  • Professional and scientific expertise for governmental and non-governmental sector
  • Expert engagement in the institutions specialized for public media and other types of applied investigations
  • Teaching sociology in secondary schools (potential teaching in other disciplines, in the case of graduation in two study groups programs)
  • Work in the education process of new professionals in higher education
  • Professional and consultation activities as well as administrative work in the governmental services
  • Engagement in media
  • Engagement in publishing business
  • Engagement in the culture field
  • Engagement in non-governmental organizations
  • Engagement in organizations and firms

2.7. –

2.8. The graduation of one subject study group of sociology will enable a holder of diploma to accomplish an academic title "baccalaureate in social sciences – orientation sociology" which enables the continuation of the study of sociology or some other study group.

The graduation of the diploma scientific study program in sociology will enable a holder of diploma to an academic title "master in sociology – scientific orientation".

The graduation of the diploma educational study group will enable a holder for an academic diploma title "master in sociology – educational orientation".

Subject: Civil Society in Croatia

Lecturer(s): Miroslav Jilek, Ph.D., assistant professor

Course description: Philosophical and theoretical foundations of civil society. Historical development and evolution of the idea of civil society. Historical aspects of human emancipation. From totalitarianism to democracy. The development of standards applying to human rights and freedoms. Political system as an arena of civil society. Public and other media as basic institutions of civil society. Values and value orientations of civil society. Normative regulation and protection of human rights in Croatia. Inventarization and organization of the institutions and organizations of civil society (Trade unions, Minorities, Religious entities, Non-governmental and non-profit organizations and associations. Ways and methods of establishment of civil sector in the society. Methodology for researching and analysis of civil society.

Course objectives: a) General: The program will make an introduction for the students on major knowledge and recognition of different features, aspects and problems facing the development of civil society in Croatia. b) Special: Completion of the proposed program will make a basis for studying of civil society in Croatia, for active inclusion and actions in the society as well as for the better professional clarification of the role of sociologists in the Croatian society.

ECTS-points: 6