Ruslan Braslavskiy 1, Vladimir Kozlovskiy 2
  • 1 Sociological Institute, Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Ul. 7-ya Krasnoarmeyskaya, 25/14, Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation 190005
  • 2 Sociological Institute, Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Universitetskaya Nabereznaya, 7/9, Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation 199034

The Civilizational Dimension of the Structurating of Societies

2021, vol. 20, No. 1, pp. 148–175 [issue contents]

The civilizational approach in contemporary sociology aims at clarifying the relationships between social structure and culture, and institutions and actors. The civilizational dimension of the structuring of societies focuses on uncovering the complex interactions between the civilizational pattern and social structure. The focus is on a historically-defined combination of interpretive models and institutional frameworks in which the social dynamics of society unfolds. The fundamental premise of civilizational analysis in sociology is the rejection of social or cultural reductionist determinism. The key moments are distinction and autonomy, and are contingent on the interweaving of the structural, institutional, and cultural aspects of social interaction. The basic concepts of the civilizational dimension of structuring societies are (a) the determination of the method of differentiation and integration of the spheres of social life; (b) the establishment of basic norms and “debentures” for the main institutional sectors; (c) the building a social center and establishing its relationship with the periphery; (d) the construction of collective identities; (e) giving order to the formation of social stratification and the social division of labor; and (f) a self-representation and the strategies of sociopolitical elites, and their management practices. The key aspects of the civilizational structuring of social formations are highlighted and considered in the examples of the Imperial and the Soviet periods in the history of Russian society. Contemporary societies in the civilizational dimension are a combination of (a) inherited local civilizational traditions (often with their own anticipations of modernity), then (b) perceived in the course of inter-civilizational encounters with cultural and institutional influences of “other” traditions and reactions to them, and then (c) develop, inherit their own, borrow, or take on imposed-from-the-outside articulations and visions of the problems of modernity civilization, including models of modernity which receive universal meaning and value.

Citation: Braslavskiy R., Kozlovskiy V. (2021) Tsivilizatsionnoe izmerenie strukturirovaniya obshchestv [The Civilizational Dimension of the Structurating of Societies]. The Russian Sociological Review, vol. 20, no 1, pp. 148-175 (in Russian)
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