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Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences
This article analyzes the tendencies for the development and complication of sociological knowledge within the context of the effects of the sociological “arrow of time”. With this in mind, theoretical innovations provided by materials from the XV-XIX Global sociological conventions are put to use. Each worldwide sociology forum stimulated the expansion and complication of sociology: there is an ongoing “rediscovery” of social reality occuring, which in itself indicates the relevance of sociological knowledge. The XV convention (Brisbane) stimulated the development of sociology by way of increasing various theoretical-methodological approaches towards studying society, which implies the integration and widespread use of achievements by other social and physical sciences. The XVI convention (Durban) was marked by an internationalizing of sociology, which was reflected in the latter attaining its polycentricity. The XVII convention (Gothenburg) defined the fact that transformation of sociological knowledge became dependent not necessarily on an accelerating, but rather on an ever more complicated dynamic inherent to society. The XVIII convention (Yokohama) highlighted the emergence of new social and cultural inequalities, which occurred due to certain side effects of the development of current global realities. The XIX convention (Toronto) accentuated the analysis of the side effects which occur due to human activity, which basically change the socio-cultural nature of power, violence and justice. Special attention was devoted to the fact that today the sociological “arrow of time” is aimed towards studying the involuntary consequences of the digitalization of society, scientific knowledge, as well as the rise of digital technology. Unprecedented issues have emerged, which have to do with power being concentrated in the hands of a few global IT companies. The newfound realities of a digital society radically change the relationship between people and digital machines: an individual’s socialization and reasoning become subjugated to the function of “smart” machines. However, most importantly, fundamentally new power structures are emerging, which are determined by the digital realm and represent a formidable force in economical and geopolitical conflicts, as well as control individual bodies and social relations. Sociologists see a path to overcome the recent challenges faced by modern civilization in a transition towards interdisciplinary knowledge with a cultural backbone. This requires a humanistic shift in the development of all sciences.
sociological "arrow of time", world congresses of sociology, side-effects, knowledge, digitalization of society, metamorphosis, interdisciplinarity, humanistic turn.
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