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Sociocultural: from an undivided concept to dual oppositions

Research Article

Aleksandr L. Temnitskiy, Doctor of Sociology, Associate professor, leading researcher, ,
mailto: taleksandr@list.ru
Sociocultural: from an undivided concept to dual oppositions.
Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2011. Vol. 2. No. 2. P. 141-163

This Article is downloaded: 734 times
Topic: To the methodology of scientific research

For citation:
Temnitskiy A. L. Sociocultural: from an undivided concept to dual oppositions. Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2011. Vol. 2. No. 2. P. 141-163


In the article, on the basis of various approaches to the interpretation of the concept of “social and cultural”, its analytical potential is revealed. The main sources of information for revealing the focus of the author’s interpretations of the concept analyzed were the articles from the “Sociological Research” magazine, in which the term “social and cultural” appeared. The category “social and cultural” is adequate to Russian history, culture, sociality and is used in undivided form much more often than in Western works. However, the inseparability of the social and the cultural in this category has weaknesses, since it complicates the possibilities of operationalization and inclusion in the sociological toolkit. In many cases in the sociological works of the post-Soviet period, this concept is not accompanied by an interpretation of the meaning of the social and cultural, but is used as an indication of the fundamental nature of a social phenomenon or a process conditioned by cultural traditions. The analysis of the meanings implied by the authors in the category under study made it possible to distinguish eight different interpretations: reduction of the social and cultural to other fundamental concepts, such as mentality, cultural codes, archetypes, etc.; his interpretation on the basis of culturology, in which the social is the derivative function of the cultural; interpretation of the sociocultural as everything that is connected with the spiritual aspects of economic activity on the basis of M. Weber’s approach; interpretation based on the approach of P. Sorokin, in which the social and the cultural are inseparable; interpretation based on the paradigm of structural functionalism; interpretation based on the approach of A. Akhiezer, which examines inconsistency of sociocultural approaches as their attributive characteristic; maximally broad interpretation of the social and cultural, including all sociomaterial, socio-demographic and sociopsychological trends; interpretation of the social and cultural as a latent property of social systems or institutions, that is, anything that goes beyond the direct functions of the social system. On the basis of this analysis, it is proposed to consider the contradictions between social and cultural manifestations as the leading fundamental attributive characteristic of the social and cultural (processes, phenomena, etc.). Specific aspects of the social and the cultural that form the dual oppositions are singled out, suitable for development of the sociological measuring instrument.


sociocultural, social, cultural, dual oppositions


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