The Idea of Constitutive Order in Ethnomethodology
Despite its frequent appearances in sociological textbooks, dictionaries and theoretical opuses, ethnomethodology is still one of the most misunderstood and undervalued domains of sociological inquiry. This is particularly evident in the case of the central sociological question: social order. Harold Garfinkel, the founder of ethnomethodology, provided a unique answer to the question of order. His answer emphasized a contingent, situated character of constitutive practices of local order production. Initially a response to Talcott Parsons’ question about the conditions of the stability of social order, Garfinkel’s conception of constitutive order was later radicalized and used as the foundation of the programme of empirical ethnomethodological studies. To properly understand the radical character of the conception and programme, it is necessary to reveal the core elements of it and to separate them from the historically changed components.
From the beginning, sociology has tried to explain the emergence of social order, and to describe the conditions of solidarity. It has often been criticized for neglecting social conflicts, revolutions, and warfare. However, some sociologists have always been concerned with conflicts and revolutions. Warfare, indeed, has been a rare focus of sociological inquiry. It has only been during recent decades that sociologists have tentatively approached the topic, while the sociology of warfare is still a minor discipline for others. This may explain why social scholars still do not pay attention to the fact that the opposition of war and peace can be questioned. In sociology, social order before modernity is mainly understood as being imposed upon society by the police state which fulfills its legitimate monopoly on violence through specific institutions. Despite globalization, it is often assumed that the self-organization of society takes place within the secure borders of national states. We have to abandon this assumption since there are many instances of hybrid situations in the contemporary world. Examples of various undeclared wars, terror, the strengthening of secret intelligence services, overthrows of governments (coups d’etat), and revolutions challenge the traditional oppositions of the external and internal, or war and peace.
Warfare and social order have always been in an ambiguous relationship to each other. Any warfare causes disorganization and disorder, but it also causes reorganization and the beginning of a new order. Warfare is directly related to the redistribution of resources, border shifts, and the hybridization of social forms. War metaphors permeate into civil narratives. The chance of being killed may be higher in a peaceful city than at the front line. Wars can begin without a formal declaration. Peace is often made beyond legal systems, so there is always a possibility to breach peace without the fear of being accused of violations of agreements, or of being unreasonable. Warfare transgresses the border between the real and virtual worlds, since we live in the age of information-, financial-, hybrid-wars. There seems to be a new global situation which is reminiscent of the era of civil and religious wars, rather than the social order that has been a part of the foundational experience and the intellectual model for sociology at its birth. As a disturbing observation, it is also a challenge for the social sciences, which should not advocate for peaceful processes but should objectively analyze the current situation and the perspectives of social transformations.
With this special issue, we would like to go beyond conventional “sociologies of war”, which recently became a popular field of studies. We aim to radically reconsider the theoretical problem of the constitutive nature of warfare in terms of the (im)possibility of social order, i.e., when war is understood as ultima ratio but also as conditio humana.
The questions considered in this review of the recently published book "There Is No Such Thing as a Social Science" by Phil Hutchinson, Rupert Read, and Wes Sharrock, pertain to the philosophy of the methodology of social sciences: what research problems can sociology study? is it possible for sociology to study social world as an empirical world, and what consequences will this sociologists' empirical attitude toward their subject have? The review explores how the authors of the book, with the help of Peter Winch's philosophy of the social sciences, criticize the project of sociology as an empirical enterprise. Then their own project of sociology is critically examined.
Several approaches to the concept of fatherhood present in Western sociological tradition are analyzed and compared: biological determinism, social constructivism and biosocial theory. The problematics of fatherhood and men’s parental practices is marginalized in modern Russian social research devoted to family and this fact makes the traditional inequality in family relations, when the father’s role is considered secondary compared to that of mother, even stronger. However, in Western critical men’s studies several stages can be outlined: the development of “sex roles” paradigm (biological determinism), the emergence of the hegemonic masculinity concept, inter-disciplinary stage (biosocial theory). According to the approach of biological determinism, the role of a father is that of the patriarch, he continues the family line and serves as a model for his ascendants. Social constructivism looks into man’s functions in the family from the point of view of masculine pressure and establishing hegemony over a woman and children. Biosocial theory aims to unite the biological determinacy of fatherhood with social, cultural and personal context. It is shown that these approaches are directly connected with the level of the society development, marriage and family perceptions, the level of egality of gender order.
This article is talking about state management and cultural policy, their nature and content in term of the new tendency - development of postindustrial society. It mentioned here, that at the moment cultural policy is the base of regional political activity and that regions can get strong competitive advantage if they are able to implement cultural policy successfully. All these trends can produce elements of new economic development.