The authors discuss concept of Russian intelligentsia from the standpoint of the present. Particular attention is given to examining the concept of “intelligentsia” and considering objective external indicators of its position in society. In particular, by using the conceptual tools of social geography the authors explore trajectory of geographical migration of intellectuals from the big cities to the countryside (late 19th – early 21st centuries.). They discuss such phenomena amidst intelligentsia as a cautious attitude towards urbanization, emergence of cultural perception of nature and rural traditions, passion for country recreation. The examples of enclaves of intellectuals in non-urban areas are reviewed with regard to the social role of the Russian intelligentsia. By positioning itself in geographical non-urban space, the intelligentsia thus refers to its social role and produces self-identification.
This article analyzes the historical and theoretical aspects of interrelationship of sociology and other disciplines. The author examines the “positive” and “negative” sides of this interrelationship. The “positive” aspects can be seen in the explorations of the problems located on the borders of different disciplines, in the forms of inter-, multi- or trans-disciplinary studies, such as, for instance, the diffusion of innovations, gender or cultural studies. Even the thinkers, whose attitude towards sociology was sceptical or hostile, exercised a fruitful influence on the development of sociology. As examples it can be cited the theory of close and open societies by Henri Bergson or the treatment of hermeneutics by Wilhelm Dilthey. The “negative” influence is illustrated by the postmodernism in sociological theory. Although, according to some analysts, it is dead in this field, its influence continues there; besides, it is reviving in new guises (“postpostmodernism”, etc.). The author emphasizes such traits of postmodernism as the vagueness or senselessness of conceptual constructions; denial of interdisciplinary borders; devaluation of science and, at the same time, tendency to establish itself in it; pseudo-newness and pretention to ultra-newness; verbiage, shocking, faddishness, political partisanship, etc. These statements are illustrated by the case of Michel Foucault, the most characteristic and famous postmodernist in sociology. One of the main conclusion of this article is the need of sociology to be more selective, critical and reflexive in its choice of external influences.
The ratio between universal and national components of sociology has been discussed for decades. Not only is this discussion interesting for sociologists, but it is also important for science managers. International databases and ratings are used to assess scientific performance more and more often in Russia. It is widely known that the coverage of the most famous and commonly used databases is biased towards English-language literature. One can suppose that the role of English-language publications is not the same for all science fields. Thus, the validity of international databases as instruments for assessing scientific performance depends crucially on the geographical universality of the research frontier, theories and methods of the particular field of science. In this study we compare the globalization level of sociology and applied physics in terms of quantitative characteristics of the scientific communication system. The results obtained show a significant difference in the globalization level of the fields considered. Thus, this study gives us another proof to the necessity of a differentiated approach to the scientific performance assessment.
The studies of large families are focused either on poor material conditions and problems of families with many children, or on their insecurity and social exclusion. Such questions as “How do people create large families?” and “How do parents perceive this transition?” are beyond the scope of the majority of sociological investigations. This article contains the results of a research of parents’ transitions to large families based on the analysis of 46 in-depth interviews conducted in three Russian cities – Arkhangelsk, Vladimir and Moscow. The recruited respondents varied in number of children, marriage experience (number of marriages), level of education and religiosity. A comparative analysis of family stories allowed constructing a formalized typology of 5 transitions to large families: accidental, formal, planned, natural, collaborative (joint). The types of transitions described represent two opposite logics of argumentation: at one pole there is the logic of openness to births and at the other one – the logic of responsibility for birth. The results obtained allowed making an assumption that religiosity is still being an important determinant of modern fertility for large families. For example, joint transition to a large family illuminates the importance of religiosity in the post-Soviet context of fertility, as it helps parents with many children to build specific social networks – a supportive environment for communication and interaction between parents and the formation of collective forms of life (family kindergartens, family associations, parish community).