ISSN online: 2221-1616

Bulletin of the Institute of Sociology (Vestnik instituta sotziologii)

Research Article

Олег О Яницкий Doctor of Philosophy
Institute of Sociology of the FCTAS RAS, Moscow, Russia
ORCID ID=0000-0002-0409-5065
The typology of modern society’s critical conditions.
Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2020. Vol. 11. No. 1. P. 16-31

Дата поступления статьи: 03.11.2019
This Article is downloaded: 269 times
Topic: Volunteers: boundaries of research

For citation:
Яницкий О. Н. The typology of modern society’s critical conditions. Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2020. Vol. 11. No. 1. P. 16-31


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


Bauman Z. A Chronicle of Crisis: 2011–2016. London (UK), Social Europe Edition, 2017: 163.

Bauman Z. Wasted Lives. Modernity and its Outcasts. Cambridge (UK), Polity Press, 2004: 140.

Beck U. Risk Society. Toward a New Modernity. London, Sage, 1992: 260.

Beck U. World Risk Society. Malden (MA), Polity Press, 1999: 184.

Castells M. The Internet Galaxy. Reflections on the Internet, Business and Society. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2004: 292.

Humanistic Turn: Imperative of Human Civilization. Ed. by S. A. Kravchenko. Moscow, MGIMO, 2018: 209.

Kravchenko S. A. Sociological knowledge through the prism of the "arrow of time": The demand for humanistic turning. Moscow, MGIMO, 2015: 343.

Wilson J., Harel Z., Kahana B. Human Adaptation to Extreme Stress. From the Holocaust to Vietnam. New York, London, Plenum Press, 1988: 397.

Yanitsky O. N. A Qualitative Model of the Besieged City: The Case of Aleppo (Syria). Sotsiologicheskaya nauka i sotsial'naya praktika = Sociology and Social Practices, 2017: 1: 129–144 (In Russ.).

Yanitsky O. N. Are the Sociologists Well Prepared to the Modern War? Journal of Social Sciences Research., 2015: 6 (3): 1090–1098.

Yanitsky O. N. Transition period: research goals, theory and practice. Moscow: RossPEN, 2019: 287 (In Russ.)

Yanitsky O. N. Sociobiotechnical systems: New Approach to Man-Nature Interactions. In: On Globalization and its Environmental Consequences. Moscow, IS RAS publ., 2016: 123–135.

Yanitsky O.N. Sociology of Critical Areas. Open Journal of Social Science Research, 2014: 2 (3):112–118.