DOI: 10.1177/09526951231178434 ISSN: 0952-6951

Socialist gerontology? Or gerontology during socialism? The Bulgarian case

Daniela Koleva, Ignat Petrov
  • History and Philosophy of Science
  • History

This article focuses on the emergence and development of gerontology in communist Bulgaria, looking at the interplay of various circumstances: scientific and political, national and international. We ask if an apparently ideologically neutral field of knowledge such as gerontology may have had some intrinsic qualities imbued by the regimes of knowledge production under a communist regime. More specifically, we ask to what extent and in which ways the production of such specialized, putatively universal knowledge could be ideologically driven and/or politically controlled. To this end, we unpack the ideological, political, institutional, and epistemic circumstances that may have affected the emergence, the institutionalization, and the paradigm of Bulgarian gerontology. We focus in on the social actors, both individuals and organizations, and the roles they played in the process, as well as on international networking and the uses of international contacts and agendas.