Göran Therborn 1 (Transl. by: Irina Tartakovskaya 2 )
  • 1 University of Cambridge, Free School Lane, Cambridge, CB2 3RQ, UK
  • 2 Institute of Sociology, Russian Academy of Sciences, 24/35, building 5 Krzhizhanovskogo str., Moscow, 117218, Russian Federation

On the Scope and Dynamics of Normative Action

2003, vol. 3, No. 4, pp. 42–56 [issue contents]

The article considers the significance of norms in human action. It discusses such issues as the range of normative action and the relationship between normative and non-normative action and tries to answer the following question: when do norms govern actors and their actions? How are norms patterned? What is the dynamics of norms? Why and how do norms change? What governs the strengthening or weakening, the diffusion or the contraction of normative action in relation to instrumental or teleological action? What is conducive to changes in the form or content of a norm, and to the substitution of new norms for old ones?

A norm is described as a whole spectrum of mechanisms for its maintenance, from legal norms backed up by a special apparatus of adjudication and sanctioning, to moral norms, located only in the conscience of the individual.

The article shows that norms do not only constitute an analytical crossroads of disciplines - norms are also central normative issues in today’s world. In front of these concerns and interests, the tasks of science and scholarship with regard to the establishment of functioning norms, the operation of norm conformity, and to the dynamics of norm change seem to surpass the capacity, not only of the individual scholar but also that of the individual discipline. Interdisciplinary analyses fulfill a function even if they only make scholars aware of approaches in other disciplines.
Citation: Therborn G. (2003) O granitsakh i dinamike norm i normativnogo deystviya [On the Scope and Dynamics of Normative Action]. The Russian Sociological Review, vol. 3, no 4, pp. 42-56 (in Russian)
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