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The article considers one of the most urgent and topical issues for the contemporary socio-logy - how to study society and its constituent parts. There are many interdisciplinary and special studies of the issue; however, to understand the nature of society we are to apply methods of both general sociology and social philosophy for the latter enriches social science with a new perception of the object under study through the prism of its universal features. The author proposes to conduct social analysis with the methods of system and activity approaches as the principles explaining both different social processes and society as a whole. These methods also reveal the nature of society as based on the activities of people pursuing their goals. The article focuses on the specificity of social relations and their differences from natural phenomena, the value measurement of social facts and their subjective nature, freedom as a human ability to control external conditions in pursuing individual and collective goals. When considering the structure of human activity and its key components, the author identifies four types of collective activity according to the well-known spheres of social life, and revises the categorical apparatus of social analysis. The author explains why it is incorrect to consider the economic sphere as a separate structure for there are economic elements in all spheres of society; shows the mechanism of interaction of all types of collective activity and spheres of society, their interconnection and mutual influence; identifies some ways to study society with the system-activity approach; emphasizes the importance of revealing ontological and epistemological grounds at the very beginning of the social processes study to optimize its course and methodology.

About the authors

T V Naumenko

Lomonosov Moscow State University

Author for correspondence.
GSP-2, Leninskie Gory, Moscow, Russia, 119992


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Copyright (c) 2017 Naumenko T.V.

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