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Article

Социология в современной России: институциональные вызовы

This article analyzes the current state of Russian sociology as a science and as a professional community, and serves as an invitation to a broader discussion. I formulate six main challenges currently facing Russian sociology: 1) the non-classical, hybrid character of modern Russian society; 2) the threat of sociology losing its critical function as a science; 3) the failure of sociology to help society understand itself and its perspectives; 4) the failure to help understand institutional shifts in academia (in the broad sense) which affect changes in the organization of science in general; 5) the need for self-reproduction and the fostering of a new generation of sociologists; and 6) the spread of anomia and adverse academic practices eroding the profession (e.g. plagiarism). I then draft some possible responses from the scientific community. Addressing the first challenge requires the development of a research paradigm explaining the possibility of the coexistence of heterogeneous settings in a single social system. The second urges the professional community to shift its focus to the issues of paramount importance for society and the profession, to reduce the dependence on public funding and to develop the ability to design flexible but long-term projects. The third requires the development of platforms for public dialogue. The fourth prompts more attention to the analysis of modern academia in the context of University 3.0 and predicting its consequences for the profession. The fifth requires the revision of the channels through which the current professional community is recruited, and the sixth invites the establishment of standardized and objective practices for working with scientific texts in sociological journals.