88. szám // 2022. Építészet – képzőművészet – társadalom
Állami elvárások. A hivatalos állami statisztika és a társadalom megismerése a szocialista időszakban
State Expectations: Official State Statistics and Understanding Society in the Socialist Period
Statistics are never innocent. Although many studies have shown that statistical sources are as much in need of critical reading as politicians’ statements, social statistics still shine with the light of reliability. Many people believe that if the figures are not directly falsified or denied, they are essentially credible and accurate descriptions of the society under study. However, a more thorough analysis should leave no doubt that, on the one hand, the concepts of statistical data collection fundamentally determine and limit the picture of the society they may yield, and, on the other hand, these concepts are closely linked to both the agenda of the government that commissions statistical surveys and to the expectations and needs of various social groups.
Therefore, in my study, I will examine how and to what extent their content is determined by the circumstances of the formation of statistical sources and the environment surrounding them. Who was statistical data collection addressed to and what was its function in socialist Hungary? Who did the Central Statistical Office (KSH) answer to and what did it want to know? What expectations and constraints did the Hungarian state impose on its statisticians after 1945?