Krzhizhanovskogo Street, 24/35, korpus 5, 117218, Moscow, Russia
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Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences
The main purpose of this article is to create a typology of modern society’s critical states based on analyzing Russian and foreign studies, as well as the author’s own theoretical constructs developed over the last 30 years. I personally consider geopolitical, natural-climatic and manmade catastrophes of global and continental scale to be the main archetypes of critical conditions. After that we have artificial, but virtually indistinguishable critical conditions of society (inner degradation and collapse, mass epidemics and social “diseases” such as alcoholism, drug addiction, corruption and crime). And, finally, critical conditions which emerge when the existing forms of institutional or other social organization have run their course; for example, poverty and other manifestations of an individual or group critically lagging behind society’s current pace of development. As a result, the amount of people who are basically excluded from public life begins to multiply. We also have society’s rapid shift towards the “digital” age taking its toll. In order to minimize the negative consequences of all sorts of critical conditions, all social agents, regardless of their magnitude and purpose, must be prepared for critical situations arising as part of their everyday routine. In other words, in current conditions the differences between the “norm” and “abnormalities” are gradually becoming ever the more arbitrary. Such an assertion isn’t just relativism, but rather a testament to the fact that the current global SBT-system, of which Russia is an essential element, is constantly evolving. Volunteers and civil society in general are indispensable players when it comes to preventing critical conditions at all stages of their development, influence on society and subsequent adaptation of those who suffered as a result of them. As for the “digitalization” of public life, the author insists that “digital” tools were always and will be merely an instrument in the hands of human beings, who must be able to think independently, reflect on the changes occurring in the world and make their own decisions.
acceleration, accidents and disasters, critical states, digitalization, geopolitics, social institutions, society, volunteers
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