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Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Based on Soviet sociologists being able to predict the fall of the USSR in the mid 1980’s, the author of this article seeks to understand whether social forecasting is possible in our unstable and constantly changing modern world. Relying on the theoretical work of Russian and Western sociologists conducted in the 2000’s, including his own research and his participation in three international projects, the author of this article demonstrates that to this day a dichotomous approach prevails in prognostic studies. Such an approach to analysis is preferred by most Anglo-Saxon scientists who study globalization. The article also examines the theoretical-methodological trends being developed outside the boundaries of the aforementioned dichotomous analysis by researchers from third-world countries. For example, subject to analysis is the heuristic potential of analyzing modern globalization as a self-organizing “movement of the movements”, as well as the need for interdisciplinary and metabolic analysis. Special attention is devoted to changes on the micro-level, in other words, to the position and lifestyle of an individual under conditions of fluid modernization. The article is concluded by certain specific considerations on the author’s part concerning the type and nature of the theory and methodology, which allow for adequately analyzing and predicting the dynamics of our modern non-equilibrium and mobile world. Analyzed are the methodological contradictions between social and physical sciences in their ideas and approaches when it comes to criteria and methods for predicting the dynamics of the globalized world.
globalization, dichotomy approach, individual, interdisciplinary and metabolic analyses, the ‘movement of movements’ methodology, social forecasting, theory and methods, Russian sociology.
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