THE JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY
AND SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGY

2005, volume VIII,
issue 3.


Abstracts

EPISTEMOLOGICAL PROBLEMS OF SOCIOLOGY

Medvedev V. Conceptual Space of Sociology in the Format of Nonclassical Rationality

The article refers to study of epistemological peculiarities of modern sociological knowledge. As a material of this research the concept of "society" is used, which is very differently treated by sociologists. Because of this fact the structure of the work is organized as a movement from a particular epistemological example to some wider metatheoretical questions the questions of self-integration of sociological knowledge by means of "mechanisms" of theoretical models transmission within the epistemological structure of sociology.
The study of this issues resulted in the conclusion that epistemological space of sociology appears in the format of the nonclassical ideal of the scientific rationality as a "differentiated system" of sociological approaches. And despite of differences of the approaches, their functional interrelation and theoretical-methodological interconnection is the basis of sociological knowledge development. While to get such "interconnection" it is not enough to coordinate institutionally the process of scientific communication. To get such a result it is also necessary to produce an adequate system of epistemological principles of nonclassical sociological inquiry.

LIFE COURSE ANALYSIS

Ezhov ?. Life Course Paradigm in Sociology

The life course has emerged over the past 40 years as a major research paradigm. Distinctive themes include the relation between human lives and a changing society, the timing of lives, linked or interdependent lives, and human agency. The life course represents a major change in how we think about and study human lives. This change is a part of a general conceptual trend that has made time, context, and process more salient dimensions of theory and analysis. Overall the life course can be viewed as a multilevel phenomenon, ranging from structured pathways through social institutions and organizations to the social trajectories of individuals and their developmental pathways.

Nilov V. Life Events and Population Health in Transforming Society

The article presents some results of sociological research "Health and well-being in transforming societies" carried out at Petrozavodsk State University. One part of this research dealt with problems of how life events influence population health. The analysis of open questions provided the data on family events including family holidays, death of relatives and economic problems such as unemployment, bankruptcy, etc. The data on "social comfort" allow a diagnosis of the degree of adaptation to social crisis together with strategies to overcome life hassles.

SOCIOLOGY OF LAW

Maslovskaya E., Maslovskiy M. The Modern Reading of Max Weber´s Sociology of Law

The article is devoted to the main propositions of Max Weber´s sociology of law and interpretations of Weber´s ideas in the works of contemporary sociologists and legal scholars. Particular attention is paid to the interpretations offered by Wolfgang Schluchter and Harold Berman. It is pointed out that while Schluchter tried to systematize and develop Weber´s ideas Berman was looking for shortcomings of Weberian sociology in order to substantiate his own theory of the development of western law. The works of Russian scholars who used elements of Weberian theory for the analysis of political and legal institutions in Russia are also discussed in the article.

Glazyrin V. The Concept of Law in the Sociology of Max Weber

This article treats the sociological conception of law proposed by Max Weber. Despite the fact that Max Weber is one of the classical thinkers in the sociology of law his ideas in this field are not fully developed in scientific literature. They are usually presented fragmentary which prevents us from having a general look at his sociology of law.
The article aims at exploring the main categories of Weber´s sociology of law, its "hardcore". The sociological interpretation of law in Weber´s Verstehen sociology is revealed, the definition of law in the context of his explanation of the legal order is given, the conception of formal-rational law is considered together with the analysis of Weber´s approach toward legal institutions within social system.

Gergilov R. Law as a Social Control: Georges Gurvitch´s Conception

The article analyses Georges Gurvitch´s concept of social control. It is compared with the concepts of the American sociologists E. Ross, R. Pound and T. Parsons. The basic element of society is not an individual, but a social entity which produces its own forms of social control.

PROBLEMS OF THE MODERN CIVILIZATION

Ivanov S. Social Partnership as a Civilization Phenomenon

The article presents the analysis of social and cultural aspects of social partnership. The author examines the stages of theoretical synthesis of social partnership conception as an evolution of ideas of solidarity, consent and "social contract". Here is also given the systematization of modern interpretations of this phenomenon. This is the first sociological analysis of social partnership integration: particular features of its structure and functions as a social action, as a social interaction and communication, as a cultural and social phenomenon. The author comes to the conclusion about dual character of social partnership phenomenon, its determination from social structure and activity of social actors, which makes it one of the most interesting objects in social analysis.

Kulyasov I. Ecological Modernization Theory

The article deals with the theory of ecological modernization. The main purpose is to make the overview of the existing literature on this topic and briefly represent theoretical aspects of ecological modernization theory. The author deals with contemporary social-environmental problems in the context of ecological modernization theory and shows the role of ecological modernization for society development. The main perspectives of ecological modernization theory, levels and mechanisms of ecological modernization process are emphasized in the article. The author illustrates ecological modernization practices with the examples taken from industry and environmental movement. He also highlights the ecological modernization of discourses and everyday practices.

ETHNOLOGICAL THEORY

Wiener B. Postmodern Constructivism in Russian Ethnology

The article continues a discussion of new theoretical orientations in Russian ethnology started by the author in the previous issue of the journal. In particular, the author criticizes an approach of S.V. Sokolovskii, the brightest representative of Russian postmodern constructivism, towards ethnicity. The author offers to condense the less controversial elements of contemporary Russian theories of ethnicity into frameworks of the middle range theory model based on Y. Bromley´s theory of ethnos. Such a new model of ethnicity might be compatible with theories of higher (societal) order.

SOCIAL PROBLEMS AND SOCIAL POLICY

Grigoryeva I. New Priorities in a Social Policy: the Elderly People

The article presents the change of priorities of a social policy caused by ageing of the population. Elderly people are the most traditional object of social policy. From the 1990s many states are reconsidering their social obligations. Sharp discussions were caused by a question of expansion of paid social services. In each country the change of social service is based on their own historical and cultural traditions. It has resulted in the rise of communitarian ideologies (community development) as opposed to the state paternalism or/and rational exchange relations of insurance. What could be changed in Russia concerning social protection of elderly? The normative model of relations between elderly people and the state is not found yet.

Shmeleva E. The Elderly People in St. Petersburg: Main Factors that Influence their Well-Being

The need and demand for clear scientific evidence to inform gerontology and support the health policy for the elderly people are greater than ever. The issue of the social determinants of the elderly people´s health is perhaps the most complex and challenging. It refers to key aspects of people´s living circumstances and to their lifestyles. It also refers to social health implications of economic and social reforms in Russia, as well as to the benefits that investing in health and social policies can bring.
This publication offers an analysis of the social gradient in the health of the elderly people in a big city, followed by an explanation of psychological and social influences affecting their health. In this case, the focus was on the role public policy can play in shaping the social environment so as to improve the social and physical health of the elderly.

SOCIOLOGY OF FAMILY

Shmankevich T. The Eclipse of the Family: a Discussion in French Sociology

This article provides the analysis of the text "Family and School" (2000) ("L´?cole et la famille") by French sociologist Fran?ois de Singly. Referring to discussion in French and Russian sociology concerning family and school the article examines how socialization functions of these social institutions are transformed in contemporary society.

SOCIOLOGY OF RELIGION

Eremitcheva G. Trends in Spiritual Quest and New Religious Movements (The Church of Christ in St. Petersburg). Part I

The crisis of the traditional religion and religious institutions is noticeable. The trends should not be interpreted as a mere elimination of religion from people´s lives, but rather as changes in the interaction between religion and the society. The formation of new religious movements through which people realize their religious potential is the result of these changes.
The few hypotheses were formulated to explain the explosion of spirituality in the post-Soviet era. The hypotheses were founded on the materials of joint Finnish-Russian project conducted in 19932005 and devoted to everyday life of Russian families. The further development of above hypotheses were based on empirical material consisted of interviews with members of the religious community of the Church of Christ on the Neva.
In our opinion, the researched circumstances play a decisive role in people´s search for spirituality, as well as in their choices of a particular church. Their fascination with nontraditional religions is not surprising, given the fact that the traditions of the Russian Orthodox Church were not deeply rooted in the Russians of the Soviet era; on the other hand, the religious organizations in question to a great extent integrate principles of contemporary Protestantism in their daily practices.
The very entrepreneurial spirit, so characteristic of the Protestant Church, finds a kindred soul in the budding Russian entrepreneur, and this is exactly what makes nontraditional religions so popular with the younger, better educated Russians.
Overall, new religious movements satisfy the needs of those seeking not "celestial truth", but modern-day truth.

NEWS/INFORMATION

New and Traditional Occupations in Changing Russia: Social Anthropological Approach

The conference "New and traditional occupations in changing Russia: social anthropological approach" has taken place on the 2930 September 2005 in Saratov, Russia.

NEW BOOKS ON SOCIAL SCIENCES AND HUMANITIES

Surkova I., Jarskaja V.

New Phenomenon of Russian Culture. Grigoryeva I., Kelasyev V. The Theory and Practice of Social Work. St. Petersburg: SPbGU, 2004.


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