Now, at the anniversary of 130 years since birth and 55 years from his death, ee recall the great personality of the scientist and creator who was Dimitrie Gusti.
It is an honor, but also a professional obligation to learn about his merits that place him in the Pantheon Memorial of scientists and to whom we owe our progress.
D. Gusti was born in Iasi on 13th February 1880, in a family of intellectuals dedicated to the knowledge and progress of the Romanian people and country. In this family became aware of the many facets of a 19th century society where the ancient traditions and village life style were studied and cultivated. He attended the primary school and high school between 1886-1898 in his hometown, followed by studies at the Faculty of Letters in Iasi – and Berlin and Leipzig, where he heard and philosophy courses too. At the same time, he mentained an intense connection and correspondence with Emil Durkheim, the director of the Institute of Sociology in Paris. E. Durkheim is the founder of modern sociology, author of “Rules of sociological method”. He highlighted the objective, logical and specific social phenomena, and D. Gusti was one of his major disciples.
Returned to Romania in 1910, he was appointed Professor of History of Ancient Philosophy, Ethics and Sociology at the University of Iasi. Here, he began the studies that laid the foundation of Romanian sociology, examining the cultural, ethical and civic values, the capacity for suffering and the habits that he recorded observing the life in villages and making public the social issues and shortcomings of human life in Romania. Through this activity he has opened new avenues of study and the perspective of social modelling towards modern living. He tended to a metamorphosis of the majority of the population’s life, including that of the village population, starting from scratch, because there had been no previous concerns in that direction. In November 1920 he was transferred to the Faculty of letters and philosophy in Bucharest, and in 1921 he established the Romanian Social Institute which will activate until 1948.
From that level, he published “Archive for science and social reform” making public the results of the sociological research of the “Gusti Brigades”, too. According to his conception of the sociological system, social reality is an amount of issues, facts and economic, demographic, legal, spiritual and political events.
They are subject to the simultaneous action of several factors: cosmological, biological, climatic, historical and psychological.
D. Gusti’s models and records of many rural areas made at the beginning of 20th century, are still valid and useful in many specific areas of our country. These aspects belong to sociology, law, religion, medicine, ethnography, politics, culture and civilization. We used the information found in the Gusti Brigades’ notes in our research conducted by the brigades studying the genetics of small and isolated populations in our country, between 1963-1975.
As a politician D.Gusti campaigned and supported the extensive educational activities, organized health, cultural and archeological-history activities, in the desire to make these aspects known to the people.
He was Minister in the years 1932 1933 at the Ministry of Instructions, during the poor conditions of the great world economic crisis. Wherever he went, D. Gusti was a tonic and active presence that contributed to many changes in the Romanian state.
In his documented studies he showed the damaging effects of alcohol and pellagra and of other existing vices.
He campaigned for the construction of schools, churches, cultural houses, public baths, libraries, bakeries, human and veterinary clinics. In this respect he wrote village monographs making the inventory of homes, people, animals, teachers, priests, doctors, sick people and diseases in the studied areas. All these efforts of D.
Gusti contributed essentially to the changes undergone by the Romanian village. He has edited and written many publications and is one of the founders, in 1936, of the Village Museum in Bucharest which today bears his name. Also, together with Transylvanian scholars he studied the Transylvanian villages, and founded Village Museum in Cluj.
D. Gusti was thus a forerunner and a pioneer in the study of Romania organizing knowledge, delineating and defining historical provinces folklore areas, mountainous geographical areas, ancient and current cultures of many zones.
After World War II, when the communist regime and the dictatorship of the proletariat came to power scientific, cultural and political personalities in Romania were replaced by ignorant and brutal, individuals who destroyed human beings, civilization and traditions. Communists crushed specialists and sciences which seemed dangerous to them such as psychology, philosophy, theology, genetics, sociology, anthropo-logy, art, etc. They condemned and killed in prisons such leading people as: politicians, scientists, representatives of culture and the church. In 1948, the scientific work of the great scholar D. Gusti has been discontinued, and he was excluded from the official life. He died on October 30, 1955.
Dimitrie Gusti was rehabilitated by the Romanian Academy, as scholar and reformer on February 2, 1990, in recognition of his merits as sociologist, philosopher, historian and ethnologist. Dimitrie Gusti is the founder of Romanian Sociological School and by his extensive studies, concepts and publications focusing on Romanian realities he is seen as a social reformer and contributor to the modernization of our country. Since 1990, the training of sociologists and social workers has been resumed, under the impact of the concepts and experience of advanced countries on the necessity and value of sociology in actual knowledge of all areas of life.
In medicine, especially in medical psychology and child, adolescent and young people psychiatry, social scientists are key components in teams dealing with these ages. Through their contribution, we find out about the development and sociopathic conditions leading to an adequate diagnosis and especially to the progress of the case in study, for which we should create an environment of well being.