Professor Zsombor Bódy

Curriculum Vitae

Bódy Zsombor is a fellow at the Imre Kertész Kolleg from April to September 2014. He has held an extraordinary professorship at the Institute for Sociology at the Philosophical and Sociological Faculty of Pázmány Péter Catholic University in Piliscsaba since 2011. He taught until 2010 at the Philosophical Faculty of the University of Miskolc. Zsombor attained his post-doctoral qualification in sociology at the Sociological Faculty of Eötvös Lóránd University in Budapest. He completed his dissertation in the field of social history at the Philosophical Faculty of the same university in 2001. Prior to that he studied history and sociology, also at Eötvös Lóránd University.

Research Project at the Kolleg

Technical Intelligence and Failed Modernization Plans under State Socialism

This project aims to analyze the relationship between modernity and state socialism in Hungary based on a study of the history of the Icarus Plant in Hungary. The plant manufactured busses for Comecon states (and a number of developing countries). It was one of the largest bus manufacturers in the world and was at the same time a flagship of state socialism in Hungary. The project looks for continuities in the self-image, the visions, and the activities of technical experts in Hungary. The transportation and bus technology experts who were involved in realizing the 'Icarus project' in the 1950s and 1960s were trained before and during World War II. The empirical part of this study aims to contextualize the knowledge applied in the realization of the Icarus project. To what extent did the concepts and visions of technical experts originate in the period in which they were first employed? To what extent were these concepts and visions shaped by the war? What influence did the first two decades of state socialism have on technical experts? Did the new circumstances result in new knowledge and ideas about how to apply technical expertise? The study conceives of modernity not in the sense of the theory of modernization, but as a constellation that resulted from diverse factors: a certain level of technization, greater scientification, the creation of communication networks, the overall level of education, and methods of industrial production that furthered a particular social stratification.

Main areas of research

  • Social history, in particular the history of the social question, social politics, and employment
  • History of agrarian movements
  • History of the historiography of social history

Positions and Memberships

  • Board member of the Hungarian Social History Society since 2012