Tidsskrift for samfunnsforskning. 2000 (4), 639-668
A Bundle Institution Between Tradition and Vision Department of Sociology, University of Oslo, 1950-2000 The first department of socio-logy in Norway is describ-ed and analyzed as a bundle of five disciplinary activities 1) research, 2) teaching, 3) dis-semi-nation, 4) expert services for users and 5) self-governance. The research style is characte-rized as problemoriented empiricism and as dialogues with the clas-sics. Five leading Oslo-sociologists (Aubert, Lysgaard, Galtung, Øster-berg, Bråten) are presented. 1100 socio-logists have been educated in Oslo. The task of contri-buting to opinion and will-formation in civil society is regarded as essential in the history of the department. The Department was probably the first in the OECD-area to define an expert role as part of sociology proper and introduce it into its curriculum. Relative to popu-lation, the number of socio-logists in Norway (ca. 1800) is probably larger than in any other country, and it may be the case that Norwegian sociolo-gists have a stronger influence on society than in any other nation. If this is the case, one important factor in the explanation is the productivity of the institution of hovedfrag (an advanced degree similar to Master of Philosophy).