Vol 22, No 1 (2022)

Theory, Methodology and History of Sociological Research

Philosophical foundations of E. Durkheim’s sociological theory

Kapishin A.E.


The article considers the philosophical basis of Durkheim’s sociological theory, which consists of such ‘metaphysical’ concepts as ‘society’, ‘solidarity’, ‘sacredness’ and ‘human nature’. The author also focuses on the philosophical theories based on these concepts, which became the foundations of Durkheim’s sociological theory. There are ontological and epistemological philosophical foundations, on the one hand, and social-philosophical foundations secondary to them - on the other hand. The article raises the question about the connection between Durkheim’s theory and the philosophical systems of Spinoza, Kant and Renouvier. This, Spinoza’s ontological pantheism influenced the concept of ‘sacred’ in Durkheim’s theory. On the contrary, there is no reason to consider the influence of Kant’s philosophy on Durkheim’s ideas decisive. Although sometimes Renouvier is called a neo-Kantian, he developed his own philosophical system, the elements of which were used by Durkheim, especially for the concept of ‘social representations’. The author argues that sociological realism and holism of Durkheim oppose the sociological nominalism common for the British social philosophy and sociology, and believes in the conceptual continuity of Durkheim’s system with the theories of Montesquieu and especially Rousseau (the idea of society as a deified collective being). In the systems of Montesquieu and Rousseau, human nature is understood not as exclusively individualistic and selfish; therefore, in society, the main role is played not by competition, but by cooperation and integration. The article also considers French socialism of the 19th century, especially ‘Simonism’ as a direct ideological predecessor of Durkheim’s sociology. The author argues that Soviet works created a distorted, simplified and ‘demystified’ image of the French socialists of the 19th century (for example, of Leroux’s concept of ‘solidarism’ later developed by Durkheim). Although the founder of the French sociological school distanced himself from the ‘mysticism’ of the socialists of that time, he is undoubtedly their ideological successor.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2022;22(1):9-22
pages 9-22 views

Comte’s religion of Humanity and Fedorov’s sociology of common cause: Measures of positivism

Onosov A.A.


The article considers the social-religious doctrine of the French philosopher, one of the recognized founders of sociology and positivism, A. Comte (1798-1857), and the social paradigm of the Russian thinker-cosmosoph, the author of the doctrine of the common cause, N.F. Fedorov (1829-1903). The social-philosophical comparison of the basic concepts of the two theories allowed the author to identify their key intentions and semantic patterns. The comparative analysis revealed the semantic homogeneities and contrasts of the ideological systems of two thinkers - the religion of Humanity (Comte) and the sociology of the common cause (Fedorov) as determined by the moral-logical core of cosmosophy. Despite the undoubted diversity of their theoretical ideas, the compared concepts have common semantic sources, although initially they were fundamentally differently oriented in the social-historical space-time and in the potential field of the evolutionary possibilities of global humanity. Both thinkers consider science enriched with the religious feeling as the most effective tool for the real transformation of existence, but they differently project the potential of scientific knowledge on the planetary social organization development, which ultimately leads to the polarization of their fundamental ideas. The belief in the resolving potential of positive science and its idea of progress leads the French thinker to the religion of Humanity of the new, sociological-approved type. In cosmosophy, the supramoralistic task of the common cause leads to the demand for ‘positivism of action’ as an application of the theoretical knowledge of the laws and technologies of the directed evolutionary apotheosis of the man and a new type of sociality. The conclusion about the sociological overdetermination of the history of mankind logically leads positivism to the principle of ‘sociological theogony’, i.e., that society progressively develops and gradually acquires the absolute attributes of the divine essence. The central concept of the positive religion is humanity not only as the generalized statistical society, but also as a bearer of metaphysical features. In the cosmosophic theory, the establishment of deep and harmonious psychosocial ties, the moral system of interactions is associated with a special form of community - psychocracy. In its creative expression, psychocracy extends to the whole world, embraces all layers of reality, and the human history turns into a theogonic process.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2022;22(1):23-39
pages 23-39 views

“Dangerous modernity!”, or the shadow play of modernity and its characters: Instrumental rationality - money - technology (Part 2)

Podvoyskiy D.G.


The article is the second part of the essay on the phenomenon of alienation and its forms in modern societies (the first part was published in 2021, No. 4). In this part, the author focuses on technology as ‘fetishized’ by the modern thinking and on various manifestations of alienation in labor, which are not only (and not so much) a consequence of private ownership of the ‘means of production’ (according to Marx), but also a by-product of objective tendencies of social differentiation as aggravated in the course of historical development (division of labor) and the subordination of most spheres of the modern social experience to the logic of instrumental rationality. Excessive specialization, standardization, algorithmization, routinization of activities, technological and functional operationalization of the work process and professional roles, the dominance of means over goals, administrative and bureaucratic regulation and control have become ‘signs of the time’ and distinctive features of the ‘rhythm of activity’ not only in industrial enterprises, but also in non-physical labor. An important aspect (and a background circumstance) in the diagnosis of modernity is the fact that in recent centuries, modern societies have developed mainly in the urban social-ecological environment. The format and style of urban life with its role-based fragmentation and specific depersonification (and an increase in anonymity) also provoked a range of consequences that make alienation a challenge for modern societies. The author uses the concepts of classical sociological theory as a key tool for analyzing and describing the ‘universe of modernity’, and refers to the ideas of M. Weber, G. Simmel, L. Wirth, H.M. McLuhan, H. Marcuse, G. Friedmann, С. Lefort and others.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2022;22(1):40-57
pages 40-57 views

Social issues in the development and application of artificial intelligence

Tsvyk V.A., Tsvyk I.V.


Today the world is going through a period of rapid development of artificial intelligence (AI). Advances in this field determine the creation of machines capable of learning and performing of previously purely human cognitive tasks. AI is one of the key elements in the era of convergence of technologies, which is associated with profound consequences for humans, culture, society and environment. Since AI is a cognitive technology, its various aspects are inextricably linked with the main forms of human activity: education, science, culture and communication. Algorithms of social networks and news sites can contribute to the spread of misinformation and affect the perception of the concepts ‘facts’ and ‘truth’, affect political interaction and activity. Machine learning can reinforce and deepen bias, which, in turn, can increase inequality and alienation, pose a threat to cultural diversity. The scale and power of AI technologies increase the asymmetry between individuals, groups and countries, which is manifested in the ‘digital divide’ within and between countries. Thus, although AI has the potential to change the future of humanity for the better, people are increasingly aware of the risks and challenges of this technology, especially in terms of aggravating existing inequalities and imbalances, and its consequences for human rights. To develop possible scenarios and to use the potential of AI for development aims under the control over risks, we need a more comprehensive understanding of how society is changing under the influence of such a revolutionary technology as AI.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2022;22(1):58-69
pages 58-69 views

The two-component model of behavior factors: Evidences of orthogonality of explicit and implicit factors

Chernozub O.L.


There is a growing understanding in social sciences that even purposeful human behavior cannot be fully explained by rational motives. The ‘behavioral economy’ developed a program for studying economic behavior considering more factors than the blind pursuit of one’s benefit. In social psychology, the theory of two groups of factors that influence human behavior has been developed: explicit factors are determined mainly by conceptual thinking, while implicit factors - by non-rational motives, often not obvious for the subject of action. It is argued that the study of both groups of factors is a prerequisite for the correct understanding and accurate prediction of behavior since they are of different nature, irreducible to each other, and have very different effects on behavior. The article focuses on the issue of the different nature of explicit and implicit factors. Can we say that the models of dual decision-making from social psychology are applicable to social action? We tested the nature of the interaction of the explicit and implicit components of the attitude towards the United Russia party with the basic judgments that, it would seem, should form this attitude. The results were paradoxical. It turned out that ideologically biased statements addressed to the political party form an attitude towards it on the implicit level. At the same time, the attitude to these statements depends on the attitude to the party, but at the rational level. Thus, this is a convincing evidence of the fundamentally different nature of explicit and implicit factors of social behavior.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2022;22(1):70-83
pages 70-83 views

Indeks razvitiya obshchestva potrebleniya: teoreticheskoe obosnovanie i pervichnaya validizatsiya pokazatelya

Babich N.S., Batykov I.V.


The article considers a range of issues in the analysis of the consumer society in order to develop an index that characterizes states in terms of the degree of their ‘consumerization’. The authors suggest the staging of social changes in the development of the consumer society, the possibility of comparing societies on a scale that reflects this staging, and the presence of distinctive features determined by the mechanism of transition to this type of society. The article explains the role of individual demand, the quantitative increase in the possibilities of which is reflected in its qualitative structure, which determines the growth of the non-material demand, the potential of which far exceeds any possible demand for material goods. Based on the review of studies and statistical data, the authors confirm the central role of branding in the consumer society and develop the consumerization index (IC) as a natural logarithm of the product of the average per capita number of registered trademarks (T) and average per capita consumer spending (S) of households (IC=ln(S×T)). The index reflects the space of consumption opportunities for the average individual in a particular society. According to the authors’ calculations, the lowest values of the index are observed in the poor countries of Asia and Africa, where the consumer society is obviously undeveloped, while the maximum values of the index - in the regions that can be considered a reference in terms of consumption. The authors assessed the convergent and discriminant validity of the index on the indicators of the information society development, economic, political and cultural globalization, and the connections it generates correspond to theoretical expectations. Thus, the constructed index can be considered a valid indicator and can be used in empirical cross-country comparisons based on the concept of the consumer society.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2022;22(1):84-96
pages 84-96 views

Contemporary society: the urgent issues and prospects for development

Employment of the elderly: Social imperatives and barriers in contemporary Russia

Barkov S.A., Markeeva A.V., Kolodeznikova I.V.


Based on the expert survey of the Russian HR-managers on the employment of the elderly (the project “Specifics of employment and career of the elderly in contemporary Russia” was conducted in November 2020 - January 2021), the authors present the ideas of HR-managers on the problems in the employment of the elderly and strategies to solve them in the current Russian conditions. In the post-industrial society, older generations can, want and often need to work. The main motives for their employment are not only economic - the need to have an additional income (urgent need for money, feeling of financial independence, need to help children), but also social motives (fear of losing a proactive lifestyle, loss of social status and ability to keep social networks). According to the HR-specialists, older workers have many positive qualities for employment; however, some of these qualities are considered as the elderly’s willingness to accept any (non-prestigious and low-paid) job. Educational programs for older workers are underdeveloped in Russian organizations: even if there are such, they are formal or created by public employment services. Experts are positive about the state’s support for the employment of older people and consider it a primary condition for improving the situation. At the same time, experts support traditional administrative measures that require some budget funding. The survey identified age discrimination as the most important problem of the elderly’s employment as based on the stereotypes of HR-managers. Solving this problem seems to be the most important condition for improving the employment of older people in Russia - by developing educational programs, improving the institution of mentoring (in direct and reverse forms) and fair assessment of the older job candidates.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2022;22(1):97-112
pages 97-112 views

NEET youth: Consumer behavior in the new reality

Bulanova M.B., Artamonova E.A.


The article considers the features of the consumer behavior of the NEET youth. Being a part of the generation Z, this group is known for its refusal to work and study, to look for some forms of employment or training. According to the European statistical data, since 2020, there has been an uneven distribution of NEETs by country, and their average share is 14%. According to the Russian data, in recent years there has been a sharp increase in NEET’s share (28%) due to the instability of the labor and education markets under the coronavirus pandemic. In Europe, the majority of NEETs are non-working (unemployed) youth; in Russia, NEETs are mainly economically inactive youth with an inadequate level or quality of training. Despite some difference in the structure of the European and Russian NEETs, their consumer behavior has common features determined by their belonging to the generation Z, whose lifestyle is based on the delay in growing up and on the development of digital space and new technologies. However, unlike other groups of the youth, NEETs do not reduce alcohol consumption, do not choose a healthy lifestyle and do not have a sense of subjective well-being. The authors identify the main strategies of the NEET consumer behavior, and the most common are basic, demonstrative and symbolic consumption mainly supported by parents, state and charity organizations. Under the pandemic, the NEETs’ attempt to keep habitual life and consumption practices was unsuccessful due to the change in the family and social support. Therefore, the NEET group was forced to leave its ‘social niche’, which allowed it to partially restore its social connections.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2022;22(1):113-125
pages 113-125 views

Features of the public perception of the extremism and terrorism threats (on the example of the Republic of Bashkortostan)

Egoryshev S.V.


Abstact. The article is based on the data of the sociological survey conducted in the Republic of Bashkortostan in August-October 2021. The study focused on the public perception of the influence of the ideology of extremism on the situation in the region and of the activities of the authorities to counter terrorism. 1030 respondents representing all 63 municipalities of the region and its social-demographic structure were interviewed with the formalized guide. The relevance of the study is determined by the potential of the destructive impact of the extremism and terrorism threats on the public consciousness - from anxiety and fear to apathy and aggression, which affects the social-political situation, estimates of the authorities and the state development trends. In recent decades, extremism and terrorism as means of influencing the authorities and society have attracted increasingly more participants and supporters, have globalized their goals, modified strategies and adapted to the measures of state-legal and social counteraction. Such quantitative and qualitative changes of extremism and terrorism explain the need for their more active study and a tough, irreconcilable, anticipatory reaction to them from both the state and society, which requires various means, including sociological, to monitor the dynamics of these phenomena, measure their destructive potential and the efficiency of measures to counter and prevent them at all levels of the social organization, including regional and local. Based on the statistical data for 2018-2020, the article considers the state and trends of the extremism and terrorism threats in the Russian Federation and the Republic of Bashkortostan, and based on the sociological data of 2021, the author identifies the peculiarities of the public perception of the extremism and terrorism threats in the region. The article also presents estimates of the interethnic and interreligious relations for problems and contradictions in this sphere often become causes and a favorable environment for extremist ideologies and terrorist practices; and the respondents’ assessments of their level of security and their attitudes to measures to counter the threats of extremism and terrorism.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2022;22(1):126-136
pages 126-136 views

Education and social networking: Between connectivism and the critical social philosophy of the new media

De Martino M., Kovalenko S.A., Tkach G.F., Isidori E.


The so-called ‘Internet Studies’ have highlighted the importance of pedagogy declined as a philosophy of education, as a science able to provide, together with other social and cultural sciences, a significant contribution to the understanding of the implications and educational potential of the Net in the age of infosphere. Over the past few years, the so-called ‘social networking pedagogy’ has emerged as an interdisciplinary approach focusing on curriculum and training. It is a pedagogy that identifies in the interaction that takes place, for example, in social networks (‘containers’ for communicative interaction) the possibility of developing a learning and training model that not only opens up new scenarios for education of the future through new media but also allows to understand critically the whole contemporary culture. Therefore, starting from the analysis of this scenario and using a theoretical methodology based on mainly hermeneutical-deconstructive and historical-dialectical approaches, the article outlines the possible epistemological framework for the ‘networking pedagogy’ within the Internet studies, and identifies its main issues. The authors highlight how this specific pedagogy develops today as a ‘pedagogy of culture’ characterized by a positive and optimistic approach to the new media (with particular reference to social networks). After identifying the advantages and disadvantages of the new media, such a pedagogy intends to consider pedagogical issues that teachers and trainers have to focus on and transform into effective educational communication content and tools for the curriculum. The article examines the contributions of the critical pedagogy scholars David Trend and Henry Giroux who can be considered the pioneers of networking pedagogy. The article concludes by highlighting the importance of ethics as a pedagogical practice that, through control, regulation and supervision of communicative interactions in social networks, paves the way for their conscious and educational use.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2022;22(1):137-149
pages 137-149 views

Higher education in China: Features of management in leading universities

Donetskaya S.S., Bing W.


In the past three decades, the higher education system of China has shown the most dynamic development. One of the reasons is the president responsibility under the leadership of the Party committee, which was introduced in public universities in the early 1990s and corresponds to the national traditions as the fundamental management system in Chinese general universities. Recent changes in the Chinese society and economy have led to the establishment of private and joint universities, which determined transformations of this management system and the development of several university management systems. The article aims at describing the features of the contemporary university management systems of different forms of ownership in China together with their advantages and disadvantages. The article provides a brief review of the history of the development of public university management systems from the founding of the PRC to the present day; explains the main features of the Chinese higher education system and the changes in the number of public, private and joint universities in the past ten years. The authors focus on the management systems of public, private and joint universities to show that the management system of the university of any form of ownership consists of three parts - decision-making, practices and control. The article explains the specifics of relations between the highest governing bodies of the university - party committee, president and governing board (board of directors) - and the real system of relations between the administrative and academic authorities. The article is based on the data of the Chinese Ministry of Education, laws and other regulations of the Chinese government in the higher education, websites of the leading Chinese universities, and publications available on the Chinese Internet.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2022;22(1):150-167
pages 150-167 views

Economic texts as a reflection of the social reality of the transition period in Latvia and Russia

Mietule I., Komarova V., Ostrovska I., Ignatyevs S., Heimanis B.


The goal of the study is to compare the reflection of Latvia’s and Russia’s transition to the market economy in economic texts. The object of the research is Latvian and Russian textbooks on economics (N = 61) of ‘three generations’ (1990s, 2000s and 2010s) in the Daugavpils University library. The first such textbooks were published in 1993, and the last ones - in 2015. Although the starting point of the analysis is the translation of Samuelson’s textbook (1964), which is beyond the time scope of the research, this book is necessary for a deeper analysis of the textbooks on economics. The research was conducted with the descriptive analysis and case study method applied in the framework of the linguistic discourse analysis based on Weber’s methodology of cultural determinism. The results of the research showed that in the 1990s, the economic discourse of the USA was actively borrowed in Latvia and Russia; however, the business culture of the USA differs significantly from the business culture of our countries. The linguistic discourse analysis allowed to reveal the conceptual challenges of the contemporary economic science in Latvia and Russia: despite as if the existence of some general economic theory, in reality even basic economic processes are often explained in different conceptual systems depending on the beliefs of the economic texts’ authors. Considering the social-economic transformations in the past thirty years and earlier periods, the authors emphasize the special importance of critical thinking in the creation, translation and perception of economic texts. This is especially important since there are no reasons to believe that in the 1990s, the cultural component of the economic discourse of Latvia and Russia changed significantly to the market-oriented. Today readers of economic texts have difficulties in their critical assessment, especially of those texts whose authors use emotional terminology.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2022;22(1):168-185
pages 168-185 views

Features of the contemporary settlement system on the Crimean Peninsula

Gusakov T.Y.


In the 20th century, humanity finally chose the urban path of development as a priority. In the 21st century, the state strategic plans focus on large cities and urban agglomerations under the continuing urbanization. Rural territories are increasingly perceived by the authorities and urbanists as some dying forms, sacrificed for the development of cities. In the Russian Federation, this is especially true for a number of regions (Moscow Region, Sverdlovsk Region, Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District, etc.), in which municipalities are turned into urban districts, and all administrative functions are transferred to the cities. The countryside is still rural, but its population is practically removed from decision-making. At the same time, there are reverse migrations - of urban dwellers to the countryside, which leads to further expansion of cities. The term ‘settlement system’ means a set of settlements located in a certain territory and connected by a common organization of management, services and labor market. Therefore, the Crimean region has both - overpopulated rural areas and developing cities. The article considers the settlement system of the Crimean Peninsula, in particular its urban part, as a basis of its demographic development. Based on statistical, cartographic, regional and historical approaches, the author considers the dynamics of urban settlement and such a phenomenon as urban agglomerations; identifies the main factors in the development of urban settlements, the subsystems of the urban settlement system and its central places. The article also describes the Simferopol-Sevastopol dual-core agglomeration which seems to break up into two autonomous agglomerations due to a range of factors.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2022;22(1):186-204
pages 186-204 views


Time as a key aspect of historical sociology

Behrends H.


This article is a review of Jiří Šubrt’s book The Sociology of Time: A Critical Overview (Cham: Palgrave Macmillan/Springer; 2021. 283 p.). The author places this work in a broader context of previous books by Šubrt in order to show that all these publications analyze the past and contemporary sociological theories, and focus on historical sociology and the conception of sociology as a science on social processes. Šubrt considers time in the context of the long-term development of knowledge, in which efforts have been made to control and master it. He also conducts a critical analysis of the views of previous generations of sociologists who developed ideas about the nature and functions of time. Šubrt examines different fields of the so-called ‘sociology of time’; however, his main interest is the temporalized sociology such as theories of Niklas Luhmann and Anthony Giddens, but especially the conceptions in the field of historical comparative sociology, which combine the object of sociological research with long-term historical processes. According to Šubrt, the basic aspect of time that should be decisive for sociology is its irreversibility associated with the idea of an open future.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2022;22(1):205-210
pages 205-210 views

Estimates of the land reform of the 1990s thirty years later

Vinogradskaya O.Y.


This article is a review of the collective monograph by Siberian authors - O. Fadeeva, E. Bystrov, O. Zbanatsky and A. Sheludkov - Native Lands. Essays on the Transformation of Land Relations in Russia (Moscow: Khamovniki Foundation; Common Place; 2021. 208 p.). The authors consider the results of the land reform of the 1990s through the ‘eyes’ of its direct participants - representatives of various spheres: social, economic, legal, administrative and economic-industrial. The analysis and generalization of the huge empirical data allowed the authors to describe real relations in the system of accounting, distribution and registration of land resources at the municipal level on the example of the Tyumen Region. Such an approach helped the authors to identify the key causes of the slowdown of the land reform, which is primarily the underestimation of the land ownership and of the market mechanisms in its development and functioning.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2022;22(1):211-220
pages 211-220 views

Scientific life

Temporality of social care in the pandemic context of urbanism and culture of inclusion

Yarskaya-Smirnova V.N., Yarskaya-Smirnova E.R., Zaitsev D.V.


The article presents the results of the sociological analysis of the temporal aspects of social care in the new conditions of the pandemic reality. The pandemic is considered as a set of conditions and factors that determine the specific dynamics of societal transformations that affect almost all aspects of the life of society including its temporality - the present and future. Digital technologies, distant models of social relations, mobility and cohesion become priorities for social policy and social care. The pandemic, on the one hand, exacerbates social inequality, on the other hand, levels it out in the ways of self-realization (network technologies), ways of obtaining benefits, primarily from the state (digital social, financial and other services). The pandemic has a binary impact on the practices of social care, programs and technologies for social services, social support, social assistance, and social protection. These practices are most effectively carried out in urbanized areas, where the quality of social care is partly determined by the quality and availability of the relevant urban infrastructure. Based on the results of the new Russian and foreign research presented at the conference under review, the forms, values and resources of social care in the pandemic society are described together with the specifics of distant culture and social inequality in the contemporary city, barriers to mobility (digital, social-perceptual, social-legal), challenges, actors and discourses of social work, lockdowns of social life.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2022;22(1):221-230
pages 221-230 views

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