In the year of 2018, the Internet is no more a wholesome phenomenon, but when recognised as a subject of studies, becomes similar to a teenager having already gained a certain independence. It understands its communication with other people but still wants to change the whole interaction system in order to nd its own place. At least, this is exactly the impression we receive: the impres sion of an ambitious object of study, of a misunderstood one. In this issue we offer you an occasion to think about different scenarios of the relationship between studies on the Internet and classic social sciences approaches. We do not focus on methodological issues, but on the Internet in its being an object of studies and a scienti c problem. We focus on studies on the Internet that accumulate knowlege about the Internet as a social phenomenon, being also an internation al and indisciplinar area of research. So cial sciences are represented in this case by sociology and anthropology, as well as other ones such as mediastudies, stud ies on sciences and technologies (STS), social geography etc.
This article outlines major trends in the development of social semiotics during the last four decades of its existence. The starting point was the interface between functional analysis of the semiotic system of language and the structural interpretation of language as a social system. Their convergence provided the basis for further developing an interdisciplinary domain of social semiotics. Michael Halliday’s book “Language as social semiotic: The social interpretation of language and meaning” (1978) gave an initial impetus to exploring the interface of semiotic and social. Ten years later his approach was reinterpreted by Bob Hodge and Gunther Kress in “Social Semiotics” (1988). They suggested that both the social and semiotic nature of language had a broader significance and extends to the entire domain of human activity and existence. Thus, social semiotic (in singular) of language was enhanced into all-embracing social semiotics (in plural). This article further examines linguistic as socio-semiotic, semiotic as social, semiotic as multimodal, socio-semiotic as functional, interpretative as socio-semiotic. The article outlines two frontiers of social semiotics, that of its subject matter and that of its methodological dimension. Finally, the article focuses on current challenges faced by social semiotics, particularly those relevant to sociology.
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.