Elemér Hankiss

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Hankiss in 2012

Elemér Hankiss (4 May 1928 – 10 January 2015) was a Hungarian sociologist. His first wife was MEP Ágnes Hankiss.

He was born in the Eastern Hungarian town of Debrecen, where his father was a professor of literature.

He received his university degree in French and English languages from Budapest University, where he later graduated with a PhD.

After the 1956 Hungarian Revolution he spent 10 months in pretrial detention but was eventually acquitted.

He was the President of the Hungarian Television between 1990-93, a state-owned monopoly at the time, which he tried to turn from a propaganda tool into a modern, production- and viewer-oriented, competition-ready media company.

He has written extensively on values system in Hungary and Central Europe, as well as on global civilisation. His concept of Second Society has been much cited in East European Studies.[1]

He has been a professor at Stanford University, the Bruges and Florence University Institutes as well as the Central European University.

He died in Budapest after a short illness on 10 January 2015.[2]

Fears and Symbols: An Introduction to the Study of Western Civilization[edit]

One of his most important books is Fears and Symbols: An Introduction to the Study of Western Civilization (2006).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Stranius, Pentti: Lähde 2/2005, Joensuu. The source for Secoond society: Hankiss, Elemér (1988): The "Second Society": Is There an Alternative Social Model Emerging in Contemporary Hungary. In Social Research 55/1988, Nos 1-2, pp. 13-42.
  2. ^ http://hvg.hu/itthon/20150110_Elhunyt_Hankiss_Elemer/