Engineering and technical intelligence: definitions and historiography of research

Main Article Content

Т. Chubina
О. Spirkina
S. Korotiaiev


Abstract. Introduction. The rapid development of the region’s industry has led to the expansion (and sometimes the emergence) of the region’s engineering and technical intelligentsia.

The study of the engineering and technical intelligentsia as a special socio-professional group of intellectuals in the light of the attention of modern domestic researchers to the so-called small social groups is of undoubted scientific interest. However, researchers face a methodological problem associated with insufficient development of the social and professional structure of the intelligentsia. In Ukrainian historiography, the criteria for belonging to the engineering and technical intelligentsia are not sufficiently developed and it also does not have a single term that would mean this social and professional group. In most cases, researchers use the terms «industrial and technical intelligentsia», «engineering and technical workers», «engineering and technical personnel», «technical intelligentsia», etc. We believe that this is not entirely true, although it is impossible not to agree with the opinion of one of the researchers of the Soviet technical intelligentsia – O. V. Struchenkov, who noted the stylistic convenience of using all these terms.

The purpose of the research is to study the history of the development of the concept of «engineering and technical intelligentsia» in Soviet and Ukrainian historiography and put forward its own interpretation of the definition.

Methods. The leading approach of this article is an interdisciplinary one. The conceptual apparatus of this scientific work is characterized by the usage of terms and categories both traditionally historical and borrowed from other contiguous sciences (sociology, culture study and others).

Results. Despite the large number of points of view in the definition of the concept of «intelligentsia», most of them are reduced to the two largest ones: ethical and sociological.

According to the first point of view, formed before the revolution, the intelligentsia is understood as the so-called spiritual elite of the nation, the «guardian» of universal and national values, which differs from the broad masses of specialists and from the ruling bureaucracy. According to the second one, the intelligentsia is considered as a mass social and professional stratum, the main criterion for belonging to which is the occupation of professional intellectual work. Most researchers consider the intelligentsia from a sociological perspective. This concept significantly reduces the level of subjectivism in determining the criteria for belonging to the category of intelligentsia.

Most definitions of the term «intelligentsia» are based on the category of «intellectual work», which is characteristic of this social group of society. According to a great number of researchers, the main criterion for belonging to the intelligentsia is the nature of work. However, the occupation of intellectual work is characteristic not only of the intelligentsia, but also of employees. Solving the issue of distinguishing these social groups of society, researchers made attempts to find professional features in the very nature of knowledge work, as a result of which the question of its criteria arose.

The authors of sociological works in relation to socialist society consider the concept of «employees» more broadly than «intellectuals», understanding by it people who are engaged not in physical, but in mental work, and are in the service of state organizations and institutions, as well as in the apparatus of public organizations. If the social boundaries of these two strata of society coincide, the intelligentsia acts as a kind of «top level» of employees. Thus, «employees», in the narrow sense of the word, are layers of people who are engaged in intellectual work, which remains minus the intelligentsia. This term is most often used in this sense. The differences between intellectuals and employees are determined by their level of qualification. Employees, unlike the intelligentsia, are engaged in less qualified intellectual work, which is less creative in nature. This type of work, according to some researchers, does not require long-term special training and special secondary education.

Thus, the educational qualification and qualification level become decisive, which is reflected in the definitions of the concept of «intelligentsia» that appear in the scientific literature. In the scientific works of historians, this approach has often been criticized, since it does not allow us to clearly distinguish the intelligentsia from employees.

Originality. The new definition of the concept «engineering and technical intelligentsia» was offered.

Conclusion. So, as a definition of engineering and technical intelligentsia, we offer the following: engineering and technical intelligentsia is a social and professional group engaged in qualified intellectual work in technical management, operation and scientific and technical preparation of production in the field of material production, which requires higher or secondary technical education.

Article Details

Author Biographies

Т. Chubina

Chubina Tatiana – Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor, Head of the Department of Social Sciences of the Cherkasy Institute of Fire Safety named after the Heroes of Chernobyl of the National University of Civil Defense of Ukraine

О. Spirkina

Spirkina Oksana – Candidate of Historical Sciences, Associate Professor of the Department of Foreign Languages of the Cherkasy Institute of Fire Safety named after the Heroes of Chernobyl of the National University of Civil Defense of Ukraine

S. Korotiaiev

Korotiaiev Serhiy – Candidate of Historical Sciences, Lecturer-Methodist of Cherkasy Territorial Courses of Civil Defense and Life Safety of the 2nd category


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