The project is multi-disciplinary by character. It focuses upon socio-historical processes of the transformation and 'circulation' of educated and ruling elites in several uniquely composite (both multi-ethnic and multi-confessional) East European regional or national societies, having experienced a number of radical changes of social and political regime as well as state souvereignty in the first half of the 20th century. The historical scope of the study extends from post-feudalism to communism. Societies involved comprise Hungary, Slovakia, Transylvania, Voivodina in the Carpathian Basin, Latvia and Estonia in the Baltics. The study draws upon sociological survey methods applied to historically successive elite brackets in form of exhaustive or quasi-exhaustive computerized prosopographical data banks, based on standardized individual biographies of elite members (as permitted by mostly archival sources to be exploited). The main targets would include secondary school graduates, students and graduates of higher education, the main intellectual professions (like doctors and lawyers.), the political power elites as well as 'reputational elites' - those cited in biographical dictionaries. The information fed into our data banks help to clarify thanks to various procedures of multi-variate statistical schemes the contrasting socio-cultural selection and recruitment of elite members, their educational path from primary to higher education, their professional career, intellectual creativity as well as socio-political standing and orientation. This is the first time that large region- or country-wide elite clusters are submitted to systematic socio-historical analyses, covering simultaneously all or most markets of activity and self-assertion of educated clusters in a vast international and comparative perspective related to culturally composite societal formations.
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