ISSN online: 2221-1616

Bulletin of the Institute of Sociology (Vestnik instituta sotziologii)

Research Article

Дмитрий Д Кошлаков , first deputy director, ,
Categories “symmetry” And “asymmetry” In Sociological And Politological Research.
Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2013. Vol. 4. No. 1. P. 196-206

This Article is downloaded: 624 times
Topic: Questions of theory

For citation:
Кошлаков Д. М. Categories “symmetry” And “asymmetry” In Sociological And Politological Research. Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2013. Vol. 4. No. 1. P. 196-206


The article concerns the use of the symmetry and asymmetry concepts as general scientific knowledge categories, as well as the incidence of these concepts in modern sociology and political science. We put special emphasis on the great importance of general scientific categories for the modern social and humanitarian studies in terms of methodology. Due to the development of systemic analysis and other means of gaining general scientific knowledge (mathematics, logics, probability and statistic calculation methods, cybernetics, information theory, synergy), as well as due to their wider application and expansion into social sciences, we are experiencing a high proliferation of general theories in social and humanitarian fields. This process is being further spurred on by the high heuristic potential of general scientific categories and by the relevance of such categories to the challenges of conceptualizing social information and reflecting on the methodology at the highest level. The categories of symmetry and asymmetry are used in modern political science and military politics, where they facilitate the methodology of understanding how the relevant field functions. These categories have also been adopted by sociology. For instance, sociology and social and economic studies often use the term of information asymmetry. Furthermore, social and economic studies also focus heavily on gender asymmetry. Some of the most obvious signs of gender asymmetry include the differentiation of male and female social and family functions; the gap between the average male and female life expectancy, wage, and standard retirement age; and the uneven shares of men and women in different professional communities. Aside from the categories’ significant heuristic potential, it is also important to consider how deeply engrained the notions of symmetry and symmetry are into the world around us. It is not as much about whether or not it is possible to use these specific terms as metaphors to create models of reality, as about the sheer role that symmetry and asymmetry play as an integral part of social sciences and humanities and the key to understanding their laws. The symbiosis and mutual proliferation of methodology, terminology, and data masses of natural sciences, social sciences, the humanities, as well as science in general, reflect an important feature of post-neoclassical knowledge, linked with the drive to achieve a unified rationale.


asymmetric conflict, asymmetry of information, asymmetry, gender asymmetry, political science, sociology, symmetry