Грушинский концепт "масса" в новую эпоху: сеть, рой, множество и племя
The book “The Politics of Crowds: Alternative History of Sociology” by Christian Borch is devoted to the history of emergence and development of the “semantics” of crowds. Danish sociologist solved two difficult problems. First, he reconstructed broad scientific debate, which revolves around the concepts “crowd” and “mass”. Second, he analyzed socio-political circumstances that has influenced development of this debate. The book reconstructs history of the crowd semantics evolution in France, Germany and the United States and refers to a general analysis of the collective behavior and mass society theories development. Author emphasizes that core ideas of the classical crowds’ semantics such as irrationality, de-individualization, and “abnormality” of mass activity conflict with the liberal program of modernity based on the values of individualism and rationality. Advantages of the reviewed book are a large sample of sources; consideration of various and controversial elements of the crowds’ semantics; original content organization. However, the author leaves unsaid some cases of the “alternative history” – he does not pay attention to contemporary discussion of the crowds in the context of “the rise of crowdsourcing.” Sometimes it is difficult to do distinguish between definition of “mass” or “crowd”, given by particular author and Borch’s interpretations. Nevertheless, this book certainly deserves readers’ attention. It provides a new perspective on the history of the crowd semantics and on a wider context, shows the non-linearity and diversity of history of social thought in XX century.
This article focuses on issues such as the emergence and existence of a collective consciousness among the Soviet engineering/technical intellectuals during the period of real socialism, based on knowledge of the past embodied in the memories of those who represent this group. The analysis utilizes E. Durkheim’s ideas about collective consciousness. This man of science developed the concept of collective or common consciousness, tying it to the idea of “organic solidarity”, which can be interpreted as the ethos of a certain social group, as well as knowledge about social reality and about the place which a certain group occupies within it, with said knowledge producing collective identity. This article attempts to reconstruct certain elements of the consciousness of the Soviet engineering/technical intellectuals group based on analyzing the remaining memories of its representatives, as well as the ETW (engineering technical workers) discourse concept proposed by M. Lipovitsky, which characterizes forms of group consciousness among the said group. The whole point of the ETW discourse, according to M. Lipovitsky, is spontaneous positivism and progressism, confidence in the power of facts, as well as denying complicated polyphonic prisms when it comes to cultivating a mock form of irony given a lack of critical self-reflection. This work examines the issues of the social and professional status of the group of Soviet engineering/technical intellectuals, as well as its position in the social structure of Soviet society. In order to accomplish this, studies by Soviet sociologists, dedicated to engineering personnel, are utilized. It is stated that the professionalism of engineering/technical intellectuals was based on the level of education that they received, as well as the state’s need for a technocratic class, which would make the USSR competitive in defense and civil spheres. The professional independence of various sub-groups of the engineering/technical intellectuals was not equal, and it depended on the industrial affiliation of the organization where certain specialists were at work. Also discussed are certain professional culture characteristics of this group, including technocratic thinking, rationalism, and a critical outlook on the late Soviet period. It is shown that the memories of Soviet engineers can somewhat reveal the life and professional world of this group, they do not, however, indicate the existence of several different professional environments and forms of collective consciousness within it, which are still waiting for their researchers. Search and discussion is the purpose of this text.