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.
While many past theoretical discussions on nature of social norms were centered on a problem of their precise definition, I propose an analysis of peculiar character of sociological theorizing about norms which is grounded in a wider interdisciplinary context (particularly, on sociologically relevant implications from H.L.A. Hart’s and H. Kelsen’s views on law and norms) and based on systematization of principal norm-related questions which varying types of theories attempt to answer, i.e., nature of norms, social mechanisms of their maintenance and change, analytic and empirically-based distinctions between norms and rules and conventions, irreducible complexity of norms, etc. Besides, the chapter presents a systematic review of classical and modern approaches to elucidation of intricate relations between multiple normative systems, e.g., law and morality. I also discuss some recent arguments against moral relativism in social sciences brought forward by S. Lukes.
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.