Communities and Identities

The “Communities and Identities” Department was established in 2008 as a result of the merger of then “Communities and Social Stratification” and “Ethnosociology and Social Psychology” departments, in which scientists such as Stoyan Mihailov, Mincho Draganov, Nikolay Tilkidzhiev, Veska Kozhuharova-Zhivkova have left their academic traces.

The scientific topics of the department stem from areas which are relevant, leading and important for contemporary Sociology, as well as for research fields related to the peculiarities of Bulgarian society in the context of globalization, glocalization and EU membership, understood as complex social processes of transformation and postmodernization, and encompassing all social structures, institutions, social groups and strata. In the theoretical quests and scientific developments of the researchers from the “Communities and identities” department one could find inherited, yet upgraded, both the traditions and the modern achievements of sociological, ethnosociological and socio-psychological research on the challenges facing modern Bulgarian society. In accordance with the national scientific priorities (which are social relations, structures, communities and groups, national identity, history and culture, reassessment of social values, social construction, education, problems of ethnic communities and cultural interaction), the leading areas of the departmental work are identified below:

  • Social groups, communities, social stratification and inequalities. The Middle class and strata. Elites.
  • Ethnosociology and Ethnopsychology – ethnic communities, nation, nationalism, interethnic relations and communication in cognitive dimensions, ethnic tolerance in the context of the notions of the in-group and out-groups; models of interethnic communication; ethnic tension, ethnic cohesion, ethnic exclusion;
  • Social distances, we-image and they-images; social notions, prejudices and stereotypes in late modernity;
  • Identities: national identity, ethnic identity and cultural identity;
  • Historical sociology of Balkan nationalisms;
  • Social Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Comparative Sociocultural Psychology – social communication, social knowledge, intellect, socialization;
  • Demographic policy, migration and refugees; fluid identity in the context of returning migrants.
  • Urban Sociology; urban-rural relations;
  • Rural Sociology and the rural communities, regional inequalities, analyses of agricultural policies and the social context of innovations in agriculture; urban agriculture;
  • Entrepreneurship, small and medium business; entrepreneurial models; sustainable development, informal economy and employment;
  • Gender studies;
  • Education, educational policies and the labour market; studying inequalities in access to education disaggregated by gender, ethnicity, place of residence, etc.;
  • Lifestyle, consumption patterns and leisure;
  • Тhe Middle class, local communities; consumption patterns, lifestyles and social structures in a comparative perspective: Bulgaria, Japan, China and Taiwan;
  • Local community festivals;
  • Local resources for coping with crisis, including with the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Historical Sociology of socialism and post-socialist policies of memory, Social History and memory of the Balkan in the twentieth century;
  • Social capital and its transformations;
  • History of sociology;
  • Historical Sociology, populism, critical theory;
  • Human Resources Management;
  • Media research: community media and community broadcasts for the Roma, the image of Roma in the media; gender-responsive and gender-sensitive communication for community media workers; spaces of ethnic non-communication and interethnic dialogue; food, nutrition, and the media.
  • Sociology of medicine and healthcare; childhood research; parenting research.


Projects: 2020-2024 ““Local festivals: A resource of local communities for coping with crises”, funded by National Science Fund – Ministry of Education and Science of Republic of Bulgaria”; 2020-2024 „EFUA: European Forum for Urban Agriculture“, funded by HORIZON 2020; 2021-2025  „Balkan History Wars“, National Scientific Program “Vihren-2021”; 2022-2023  „National Indifference“ as a Modern Phenomenon? Theories of the Pervasiveness and Intensity of Nationalism and Their Application in the Field of Balkan History“, Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin.


The department organizes and conducts a regular webinar “Communities and Identities”.


Staff Members

Prof. DSc Maya Keliyan – Head of Department

PhD, Assist. Prof. Dona Pickard

PhD, Assist. Prof. Svetlana D. Hristova – Vladi

PhD, Assist. Prof. Georgi Medarov

PhD, Assist. Prof. Chavdar Marinov

PhD, Assist. Prof. Maria Martinova

PhD, Assist. Prof. Zdravko Angelov

PhD Students: Tsetska Hadjigeorgieva and Todorina Todorova

Tina Kusheva – Secretary