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Sociology: People


Dominik Zelinsky

Dominik Zelinsky
Dominik Zelinsky
Edinburgh UK
Research Interests
Social theory, Cultural Sociology, Communism, Central Eastern Europe, Dissent, Semiotics, Literary Theory, Comparative/Historical Sociology, Hermeneutics, Historical sociology, Sociology of Knowledge, Sociology of Religion, Sociology of Art

PhD Research

My research focuses on the phenomenon of unofficial philosophy seminars in communist Czechoslovakia. Unofficial seminars emerged after the Czechoslovak reform movement was terminated by the invasion of the armies of the Warsaw Pact in 1968. In the following process of 'normalisation', the Communist Party imposed strict regulations on academic life that debarred many from pursuing their studies or careers in research and academia. Unofficial seminars offered an alternative, unofficial education and provided spaces for discussion of philosophical, sociological, or theological topics forced out of the official academy dominated by Marxism-Leninism. My approach is based on the tradition of interpretive social science, inspired by the works of Émile Durkheim and Max Weber. It further draws inspiration from phenomenology, symbolic anthropology, and from American cultural sociology.

More on my Academia and Research Gate profiles.


Lisa McCormick

Ross Bond


2016 - 2020 - PhD in Sociology, University of Edinburgh

2014 - 2016 - Mgr. (MSc) Sociology, Masaryk University (Czech Republic)

2011 - 2014 - Bc. (BA) Sociology, Masaryk University (Czech Republic)

Non-Degree Programs

2018 - Visiting Assistant in Research, Yale University (USA)

2013-2014 - Erasmus Exchange Student, University of Warsaw (Poland)

Other Affiliations

2019 - Pre-Doctoral Fellow, Yale Center for Cultural Sociology


2019 - Sociology 1B: The Sociological Imagination (University of Edinburgh)

2017 - Introduction to Sociology Proseminar (Masaryk University)

Awards and Scholarships

2018 - SSHA/Tilly Graduate Student Award

2018 - Tatrabanka Foundation Grant

2018 - ESRC Overseas Institutional Visit Grant

2017 - Jan Hus Educational Foundation Scholarship

2016 - Graduate School of Social and Political Science Special Award

2016 - Economic and Social Research Council +3 Scholarship


Želinský, D (2019) ‘Becoming Socrates: Five Elements of the Consecration Process and the Case of Jan Patočka.’ European Journal of Social Theory. DOI:

Želinský, D (2019) 'From Deduction to Abduction: Constructing a Coding Frame for Communist Secret Police Documents.' Forum Qualitative Social Research.

Želinský, D (2019) 'Freedom from, or in Socialism? The Prague Spring in Slovak Political Discourse' 1968: Origins - Myth - Impact. London: Routledge.

Želinský, D and P. Janebová (2017) 'What Does It Take to Become a Hero: Perspectives of Cultural Sociology and Political Science.' Pp. 37-46 in Transregional versus National Perspectives on Contemporary Central European History, edited by M. Vít and M. Baran. Stuttgart: Ibidem Verlag.

Želinský, D and W. Binder (2017) 'How Not to Prepare Majales: A Meaning-Centred Analysis of Subversive Student Performances in Communist Czechoslovakia.' Sociální Studia 13 (4): 61-79.

Želinský, D (2017) 'An Ethnographer inside the Stasi: On Andreas Glaeser's Political Epistemics.American Journal of Cultural Sociology 6 (2): 387-400.

Conference Presentations

Želinský, D (2019) 'Intellectuals and Myths: Jan Patočka and Czech Philosophers.' Identities in Conflict Conference. Brno, Czech Republic.

Želinský, D (2019) 'The Only True Philosophers?: Charismatic Performance and Boundary-Work in Czechoslovak Unofficial Philosophy.' European Sociological Association Annual Conference. Manchester, UK.

Želinský, D (2019) 'The Only True Philosophers?: Charismatic Performance and Boundary-Work in Czechoslovak Unofficial Philosophy.' British Sociological Association Annual Conference. Glasgow, UK.

Želinský, D (2018) 'The Only True Philosophers?: Iconicity and Knowledge Production in Czechoslovak Underground Seminars.' Social Science History Association. Phoenix, USA

Želinský, D (2018) 'To Anyone Who Might Be Listening: Understanding and Expectation in Unofficial Philosophy Seminars.' Association for Slavic, Eastern European, and Eurasian Studies. Boston, USA.

Želinský, D (2018) 'The Appeal of Understanding: A Sociological Analysis of Underground Seminars in Communist Czechoslovakia.'  British Sociological Association Annual Conference. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

Želinský, D (2017) 'Philosophy and power: Solidarity, resistance, and underground seminars in communist Czechoslovakia.' 13th Conference of the European Sociological Association. Athens, Greece.

Želinský, D (2017) 'The Music of Spiritual Poverty: Jazz in Stalinist Czechoslovakia.' Yale Center for Cultural Sociology Annual Spring Conference. New Haven, USA.

Želinský, D (2016) 'Where It All Happened: Authenticity and Commemoration Ritual.' ISA 3rd Forum of Sociology. Vienna, Austria.