Srđan Vrcan (1922-2006)
Sad news to end the year. This text arrived last night from Christophe, friend of East Ethnia. The text of the obituary is by Srđan Dvornik:
Srđan Vrcan was professor of sociology at the University of Split, Croatia. Born in 1922, he was the head of the Chair of Sociology at the Law School of the Split University from 1961 to his retirement in 1990. In 2003 he was awarded the title of Professor Emeritus. He also taught at graduate and post-graduate studies in Zadar, Zagreb, Ljubljana, Belgrade, Sarajevo, Vienna, Rome, Pecs, Berkeley, Sacramento. For many years he was a co-leader, together with the German professor Rudolph Siebert, of the seminar "The Future of Religion" at the Inter-University Centre for post-graduate studies in Dubrovnik. He presented the results of his scientific researches at conferences and symposia in Rome, Florence, Bergen, Dresden, Moscow, Berlin, Paris etc.
He was the Chairman of the Croatian Sociological Society. Through three consecutive terms he served on the Executive Board of the International Conference for Sociology of Religion in Lille/Paris. For many years he was on the Editorial Board of the journal for sociology of religion Social Compass, first published by the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium), later by the Sage Publications (London). He was among the founders of the journal for social issues Pogledi (Views), which was published in Split from 1969 to 1990. He was also on the Editorial Boards of journals Sociologija (Sociology, the journal of the Yugoslav Sociological Association) and Revija za sociologiju (Review of Sociology, the journal of the Croatian Sociological Society).
The main field of Vrcan's scholarly interest was sociology of religion. On that subject he published the books Raspeto kršćanstvo (Christianity Crucified, 1980, co-authored by Boris Vušković); Od krize religije do religije krize (From the Crisis of Religion to the Religion of Crisis, 1986); Faith in the Swirls of Transition (Vjera u vrtlozima tranzicije, 2001). He studied social inequality (Social Inequalities and the Modern Society – Društvene nejednakosti i moderno društvo – 1974); the relationship between sport and violence (Sport and Violence Here Today – Sport i nasilje danas u nas, 1990; Sport, Violence, and Politics – Sport, nasilje i politika – 2003); as a co-author, he participated in two studies of voting behaviour (A Raid on Voters – Pohod na glasače, 1995; Packaging Power – Pakiranje vlásti, 1999); he was also a co-author of a study of youth (Position, Awareness, and Behaviour of the Young Generation of Yugoslavia – Položaj, svest i ponašanje mlade generacije Jugoslavije, 1986). He also published hundreds of scientific and review articles, articles in newspapers and interviews, which makes him one of the most productive Croatian sociologists.
Vrcan's particular merit is establishing and development of the particular sociological disciplines such as sociology of religion, of sport, of politics, of the youth, and of elections and electoral systems.
Srđan Vrcan actively supported democratic civic initiatives; thus, he was among the founders of the Association for Yugoslav Democratic Initiative, the first political civic initiative in the communist Yugoslavia (established in early 1989). He participated in many civic education activities, such as summer schools for democracy and human rights, and spoke at many public panel hearings on relevant political issues.
The photo is from an interview with Rade Dragojević in Zarez, in which Vrcan discusses his research on football fans and politics.