The collective monograph contributes to theoretical understanding of the mutual influences and reconfigurations of scientific and lay knowledge about society. This book summarizes the results of theoretical, historical and sociological studies of varying conceptualizations of social knowledge in different disciplinary fields of social sciences, carried out on the basis of an analysis of a representative corpus of classical and contemporary works. The contributors to this volume make use of conceptual tools of the sociology of knowledge, theoretical sociology, as well as modern methodological approaches of cognitive social science in order to attain generalizations about inner mechanisms of reciprocal influences of ordinary social knowledge and social sciences and to make first steps toward closing the lacunae in our understanding of the processes of reflective reconfiguration of scientific and common-sense knowledge about society. These processes are illustrated with examples taken from a broad range of disciplinary areas: sociology of science and social studies of professions, social ecology and bioethics, social epistemology,modern social theory and conceptions of “folk sociology”. The book is supposed to be useful to readers in many different fields of social sciences and humanities, including those studying sociology at advanced level. It also will make an immediate appeal to the general reader familiar with contemporary social theory.
The first volume contains articles devoted to the problems of sociology of space, as well as the theory and the history of sociology. The main issues considered here are the theoretical analysis of the phenomena of empire, the theoretical problems of mobility and globalization and the perspectives of sociological theory in Russia. The are followed by the articles on the value of the classical works of J.-J. Rousseau, F. Toennies, M. Weber et al. The conluding chapters are devoted to the German conservative sociology of intellectuals.
In this chapter, I argue that the Durkheimian theory of the sacred is a crucial yet not fully recognized resource for cognitive sociology. It contains not only a theory of culture (which is acknowledged in contemporary sociology), but also a vision of culture-cognition relations. Thus, Durkheimian cultural sociology allows us to understand the crucial role the sacred/profane opposition plays in structuring culture, perception and thought. Based on a number of theories, I also show how another opposition – between the pure and impure modes of the sacred, allows us to explain dynamic features of the sacred and eventually provides a basic model of social change. While explicating this vision and resultant opportunities for sociological analysis I also criticize ‘cognition apart from culture’ approaches established within cognitive sociology. I argue, thus, that culture not only participates in cognition but is an intrinsic ingredient of the human mind. Culture is not a chaotic and fragmented set of elements, as some sociologists imply to a greater or lesser degree, but a system; and as such it is an inner environment for human thought and social action. This system, however, is governed not by formal logic, as some critics of the autonomy of culture presuppose, but by concrete configurations of emotionally-charged categories, created and re-created in social interactions.
The article discusses the scholarship, methods, and theoretical approaches that have been involved in the interdisciplinary field of Science and Technology Studies from the early 1980s through the early 2000s. It traces the changes in methodological orientations and examines the specificities of ethnographic fieldwork in the STS area, as well as suggests the criteria for evaluating the outcome of research and offers ways of its advancement.