What Makes an Ethnographer? Institutionalized Teaching and Informal Learning of Anthropology in Romania

  • Alexandru Iorga University of Bucharest and `Constantin Brăiloiu` Institute for Ethnography and Folklore


The processes of disciplinary institutionalization emerged from practices of preserving written and oral documents, establishing local and national museums, and developing university courses. In the last 100 years, archives’ development assured the professionalization of scholars interested in disciplines unrepresented at the university level, such as ethnography and anthropology. After the 1990s, as the South-Eastern European countries could not imagine an alternative path of development, a westernization process emerged as the main strategy for catching-up with Western Europe.

My paper discusses the institutionalized anthropological and ethnographic research agenda in Romania, questioning its relationships with other social sciences in the context of national development of ethnography as a distinct branch (e.g., from anthropology). Secondly, I argue that institutionalized ethnographic and anthropological practice in Romania during communism significantly lacked reflective assessments and development of a theoretical corpus.