‘Global sociology’ in different disciplinary practices: Current conditions, problems and perspectives
This article discusses perspectives for the formation of a truly ‘global sociology’, implying active, open, mutually beneficial and equal interaction between sociologists from different locations, countries and cultures, in their joint efforts to comprehend, explain and improve the social world. The study is based on the conceptual scheme proposed by Burawoy, highlighting four different disciplinary practices: ‘professional sociology’, ‘policy sociology’, ‘critical sociology’ and ‘public sociology’. The formation of a ‘global sociology’ demands harmonious development and mutual enrichment between all the four ‘sociologies’, however, each of them has its own path in the global arena. The literature analysis demonstrates serious limitations in the global progression of ‘professional sociology’, while ‘policy sociology’ and ‘critical sociology’ also experience major difficulties. ‘Public sociology’, largely inspired by Burawoy, seems to be especially promising globally due to its key advantages: orientation towards non-academic audiences and a focus on the most acute social problems. However, currently this disciplinary practice has several fundamental constraints: marginality, radicalism, ideological bias and inherent conflict-orientation towards other ‘sociologies’. Drawing on John Meyer’s theory of ‘Scientized Environment Supporting Actorhood’, the article proposes the project of the new ‘Global Solidarity Sociology’, which utilizes the advantages of Michael Burawoy’s project while overcoming its principal limitations.
“The Futures We Want: Global Sociology and the Struggles for a Better World. View from Russia” is a collection of more than 50 papers of Russian sociologists from different regions of the Russian Federation, from Austria and USA. The papers present achievements of the Regional Affiliations and Research Committees of the Russian Society of Sociologists, which are dealing with problems of social life under conditions of the processes of the transformation, modernization and the prospects of development of the Russian society. In the chapters the book considers the methodological problems of contemporary sociology; the problems of the youth, education and labor market; the important sociological aspects of Health and Ecology; the sociology of professions and professionalism; actual problems of the social communications and Internet opportunities, religion and so on are in a focus of theoretical discussions of the social sciences.
The book will be of interests for scholars, scientists, postgraduate students, students, lecturers and teachers and for the experts in the sphere of the social forecasting and analyzing.
This ground-breaking volume is a follow-up to Intellectuals and Their Publics. In contrast to the earlier book, which was mainly concerned with the activity of intellectuals and how it relates to the public, this volume analyses what happens when sociology and sociologists engage with or serve various publics. More specifically, this problem will be studied from the following three angles: - How does one become a public sociologist and prominent intellectual in the first place? (Part I) - How complex and complicated are the stories of institutions and professional associations when they take on a public role or tackle a major social or political problem? (Part II) - How can one investigate the relationship between individual sociologists and intellectuals and their various publics? (Part III) This book will be of interest to academics and students working in the fields of the sociology of knowledge and ideas, the history of social sciences, intellectual history, cultural sociology, and cultural studies. © Christian Fleck and Andreas Hess 2014. All rights reserved.
The paper introduces an analysis of the academic publications as a key indicator of the sociologist’s professional culture. The results of the empirical study that includes a comparative survey of 1829 research articles from top Russian and international sociological journals are presented. Based on quantitative indicators, the empirical evidence of the Russian sociological culture’s considerable lagging behind compared to international standards, was demonstrated. The most obvious gaps are observed in such areas as the structure of research articles; their theoretical and methodological background; diversity and transparency of research methods; sampling; and using of advanced methods of statistical data analysis. It is emphasized that Russian sociologists drop out from modern international trends for non-survey methods of data collection, and the language of Russian sociology is highly «normative» and ideologically-biased. The author concludes that the crisis in Russian sociology is mainly an endogenous process that can be described in terms of a «vicious circle of lack of professionalism».
The aim of this article is to highlight key features of the Russian sociological tradition and to demonstrate its relevance for certain ongoing international debates. In the current literature the image of “Russian sociology” remains fragmentary and incomplete. Different stages in the history of Russian sociology are usually considered as mutually antagonistic. We challenge this view by arguing that the Russian sociological tradition can be seen as a continuing trajectory of social thought development, lasting from the XIXth century until present days and unified by a set of underlying historically determined common features: publicism (an orientation to non-academic audiences and a desire to promote changes in the real world); moral and ethical concern (a clear expression of value orientations; the particular importance of ethical and moral issues); problem orientation (a focus on urgent social concerns with “problem” dominating over “method” in sociological research). We demonstrate the importance of these features for a better understanding of the perspectives and contributions of Russian sociologists to current international debates.
The article presents the experience of constructing of the social problems by students and teacher within the sociological course. Last years the course “Sociology of Social Problems” includes optional actionist part with a claims-making concerning some situations. The article describes actions made by the participants of the course with the aim to include in the city agenda such problems as the destroying of one of the famous historical buildings in Kazan (Karl Fuchs House), the inaccessibility of urban space for disabled people and the imposing of the music and ads on the pedestrians. The influence of such constructionist projects and their alleged significance for the students are discussed. In conclusion some questions concerning the transition from traditional teaching of sociology towards the teaching connected with the sociological intervention are formulated.
This paper begins by outlining the two-sided ‘ethical challenge’ that international sociology faces in the 21st century. First, formulating the ethical stance of a sociologist towards the subject of disciplinary inquiry and the potentially involved social groups. Second, elaborating the adequate research tools for studying the ethical dimension of globalizing social reality. We conduct a critical analysis of the current literature on these issues from the Global Sociology perspective. We show that the ‘value-involved’ Global Sociology is the only possible mode of successful and appealing international disciplinary practice. However, existing ‘value-involved’ approaches are Eurocentric by nature and lack sensitivity to the ethically diverse global social reality. We propose the conceptual framing of ‘Ethically Responsible Global Sociology’ as a new vision of our discipline in the global world.
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.