Traian Herseni (February 18, 1907 – July 17, 1980) was a Romanian social scientist, journalist, and political figure. First noted as a favorite disciple of Dimitrie Gusti, he helped establish the Romanian school of rural sociology in the 1920s and early '30s, and took part in interdisciplinary study groups and field trips. A prolific essayist and researcher, he studied isolated human groups across the country, trying to define relations between sociology, ethnography, and cultural anthropology, with an underlying interest in sociological epistemology. He was particularly interested in the peasant cultures and pastoral society of the Făgăraș Mountains.Herseni was also a committed eugenicist and racial scientist, who discarded a moderate left-wing stance to embrace fascism, and parted ways with Gusti over his support for the Iron Guard. A leading functionary and ideologue of the fascist National Legionary State, and a figure of cultural and political importance under dictator Ion Antonescu, he proposed the compulsory sterilization of ""inferior races"", and wrote praises of Nazi racial policy. Indicted by the communist regime in 1951, he spent some 5 years in prison. He made a slow return to favors as a researcher for the Romanian Academy, participating in the resumption of sociological research, as well as experimenting in social psychology and pioneering industrial sociology.Formally a partisan of Marxism-Leninism after 1956, Herseni was more genuinely committed to national communism. The national communist policies instituted during the late 1960s allowed him to revisit some of his controversial theses about the ancestral roots of Romanian culture. His final works dealt with ethnology, national psychology, the sociology of literature, and sociological theory in general.