The research is devoted to philosophical reflection on the impact of socio-cultural factors on the modern theory of communication development. The source of the observed diversity of the disunity of modern communication research primarily contains in the multidimensional nature of the phenomenon. Multidirectionality of communication studies is also a consequence of the researchers’ aptitude to the influence of certain socio-cultural factors. The article offers the challenge to outline a number of socio-cultural determinants that caused the dynamics of communication studies of the XX – the beginning of the XXI centuries and to clarify the mechanisms, procedures of their influence on the formation of the theory of communication. As a result of linguistic and chronological approach to modern communication research in the article the author traces the genesis of certain intentions of the communicative theory generated by the state of social and cultural backgrounds of the implemented communication studies. There is a revealed number of significant socio-cultural determinants based on the analysis conducted by the author, such as: a high level of internal autonomy of researchers and research dissonance of cultural and linguistic chronotopes. The impact of social and cultural events from the outside (especially in cases when the events affect the deep layers of society) is located in the same row. Actually, the purpose of the article is a factual verification of generally known terms of the socio-cultural determination of modern communication studies. As a result, we plan to designate a number of socio-cultural factors behind a range of the research intentions in the framework of the theory of communication.
The article analyses the origin and development of social topology as well as the reasons for choosing the paths of its further development. Taking into account the directions in mathematical topological thought which are defined as theoretical multiple and algebraic topology, we distinguish two main vectors in devising socio-topological views: the topology of space and the topology of form. The first is based on the works of Kurt Lewin and Pierre Bourdieu and represented as a configuration of units located in social space. The second originates from the works of Rene Tohm, which conceptualize the forms of objects and urge the research in isomorphic processes, figurativeness and equivalence of their models in a social reality context. The authors analyse the methods of applying the topology of space to modern sociological research ranging from visual physical understanding of place to abstract logical representation of the role and meaning of a social object. They also reveal the reasons why sociologists and social philosophers have mastered and actively made use of space-topology methodology tools. The paper explains the origin of difficulty in realizing the ideas and theoretical methodological capacities of the topology of form in human and social sciences. The authors suggest and prove the conclusion that a one-sided attitude towards topology is non-productive and greatly weakens our sociological understanding, procedures and the results of topological studies of social objects
The author considers the formation and development of the “public sphere”, the construction of its theoretical image, prospects and threats in the epoch of IT prevalence. The author analyzes different concepts of “public sphere” and reveals its substantial similarities and differences. He also gives a thorough analysis of the most popular approaches (terms, ideas, concepts) to the definition of "public sphere" in scientific literature. The author comes to the conclusion, that the result of the long-run discussion is the understanding of the fact, that the rational and fair space for discussions, which was mentioned by J. Habernas, needs the new forms of its implementation. It is quite possible and logical to put it into action in the Internet. At the same time, the problem of threats and the limits of the virtual public sphere are still unsolved. Therefore, the society needs support and coordination of people in the interaction with the new embodiment of “the public sphere”. The concept of "public sphere" is used rather often, but being highly controversial it gives rise to the need for careful consideration of its content for systematizing ideas and concepts that relate to it and predict further ways of its development or transformation to the virtual public sphere in the space of the Internet.
The article presents the problems of critical discursive studies in political communication. In particular, the authors demonstrate the methods and strategies of administration through constructing authoritative metanarrative. Media institutions of linguistic (cultural) domination, according to the authors, ensure the stability of the existing hierarchical order and express the fundamental "will to power" in practice of public relations. The nature of domination is manifested in the tightening of control and regulation of communicative actions of citizens almost at the level of generation text and speech. The power authorities (the linguistic ones) in the modern context are not satisfied with the control of discourse as a social practice; they are increasingly interested in the process of subjectification (individualization) of the perception experience. Power wants to control texts and speech products in the media space, and also it sees itself as a generator of the subject's inner experience. The transformation of people into subjects is in essence a special way of representing them in the modern public legal space. The authors believe, that turning to the verbal technique of parresia, allows you to see alternative ways of self-constitution and self-presentation that existed in the traditional consciousness. The socio-cognitive nature of symbolic politics is considered in the general context of the development of the sociology of knowledge as a promising area of social humanitaristics. The authors carried out an analysis of the forms and mechanisms of the discursive reproduction of the elite power taking into account rich research experience of the Western theory of political communication.
The article poses the problem of differentiation of sociology and social sciences. Though sociology refers to the social sciences, but now, it has become unclear what its specificity as a social science is. The traditional understanding of the subject of sociology as a social science has been criticized, and the new proposals are clearly unsatisfactory. In order to consider the stated problem, the author analyzes the works of Zygmunt Bauman and Bruno Latour, discussing this topic, he also considers the stages in the development of sociology, provides a methodological reconstruction of sociological thinking. In particular, the author shows that Bauman in his methodology implements three important principles. First, epistemic status of sociological knowledge, the second provision is, that social forms of life are multiple (populyativny) and sociology in its terms must seize this moment. Finally, the third, the sociologist considers human actions and relationships from the perspective of freedom (svoboda). The author tries to show that sociological knowledge and concepts are based on schemes and models; and then, on their basis ideal objects and concepts of sociology are formed. It is stated in the article, that a social phenomenon is not an object, but a process, a cycle beginning as an act of freedom and ending with the formation of social knowledge and creating the machine (usually a social institution), in which the freedom has been already limited by social norms. Sociological schemes and the based on them sociological concepts and theories are developed by different sociological schools and directions of sociology as a reflection of social experience that is plural, because different forms of social life are behind that experience. Sociological knowledge should not create additional frustration and anomie in the society. Therefore sociological creativity and thinking must pass the "test on the road", which is provided by methodological criticism, analysis of the possible consequences of sociological knowledge application in human life and society, and discussions involving the main interested users (sociologists, population, representatives of various social institutions).
This article is a critical response to the book by A. Davydov and M. Rosin "Discussion on Mediation". Davydov’s concept is the main idea of the book which is criticized. He suggests "mediation methodology of sociocultural analysis of the Russian society," where he uses the following categories: "split", "transition", "value dominance", "inversion", "traditional", "personal" etc. The main Davydov’s insight is the value of self-determination of a person in the terms of transition to a "humanistic" type of sociocultural system. A person has to leave the "inversion" of traditional thinking through "mediation". Rosin takes the position of a critic and a "realist" and he views Davydov’s position as "idealistic". The author of the article joined the discussion extending the context of it and introducing communicative-methodological space of modernity. It’s important for the author to show communicative-logic space of modernity, which is filled with strategic alternatives with complicated interrelations. This space is closely tied up with communicative-methodological space of modernity in general. The author presents his own project-system methodology of investigating “the logic of modernity”. According to this methodology modernity is understood as the tendency to develop “postcultural-intercultural” socio-cultural architecture. Modernity is a response to the life challenges, the main one among which is the challenge of the negative "cultural" architecture of the world. The deployment of “postcultural-intercultural” architecture of modernity defines a specific structure of its communicative - methodological space. The author shows how this relates to the logic of pro-modern, counter-modern and post-modern theories and practices.
Among the impasses of radical constructivism, one of the most problematic is the modern understanding of democracy. The newest theory of democracy, developed in the newly published book of A. Magun, is an obvious example. The choice of the method logically brings the author to the left radicalism, whose apology turns out to be a model of genuine democracy that corresponds to its historical meaning. Attempts to write this model into the historical and cultural context provide the possibility of several critical remarks. The main problem of the concept of "actual" democracy is the easiness with which historicism is sacrificed as a fundamental epistemological principle. This is expected, since historicism in constructivism loses its significance. To reach the historical reality, we need the will to reality as such, but in radical constructivism it is impossible. And then the arbitrarily designed optics with the blinded diaphragm, taken from the slogans of today's political establishment, transferred with uncontrolled energy to the view of the subjects of history, since we have rejected the very possibility of control along with the concept of reality, and then the historical reality begins to be judged according to the standards of fashionable templates. This is the prerequisite for the possibility of declaring any significance as "emptiness". This is how the warlike skepticism towards historical versions of democracy appears. The courage to go to the edge provides the dignity of A. Magun's concept, she is interested in the consistency, the readiness to firmly declare totalitarian violence by the meaning of democracy.
The article presents a sociophilosophical analysis of the problem of identity formation in contemporary society with its systemic transitional character. The idea of complex identity formation in sociospatial form is put forward and substantiated. Identity types, presented as a hierarchical structure in some conceptions, are positioned as components of sociospatial identity. Due to highly dynamic social changes and processes the structure of sociospatial identity undergoes transformations, resulting in strengthening some components and loss of importance of the other ones. Factors, determining new identity types and transformations of the process of identification of the social actor are discussed. Major tendencies of its self-identification and their results are revealed. The most relevant of them are the following: identity fragmentation and, consequently, the breakdown of its hierarchy, transgressing the limits of national identity and formation of alternative identities (transnational, binational), strengthening of ethnic and cultural identities. Overall, the shift of identity formation from macro-social level and its dispersion to meso- and micro-social levels is established. The significance of the structure center loss is emphasized, indicating the state of chaos, which is analyzed from post-modernist viewpoint as a chance for plural identity formation in the contemporary society and, consequently, antinomic tendencies of the process. The most relevant aspects of the presented issues, requiring further empirical investigation, are identified in the conclusion.
In the publications of 1904-1907 N. Berdyaev traced two lines of knighthood’s idealization: the embodiment of medieval mystical Christianity’s depth and the noble human type. In his book “New Religious Consciousness and Society” (1907) he added the third line, which is formed on the basis of the first two and it portrays the knight as an attractive example of overcoming a self-sufficing, depersonalized, godless state. The main theme of the book is the necessity to update Christianity and all parts of public life. Religious revival, according to Berdyaev, can be connected only with the development of a person. In the modern world the false hierarchy of values is dominating: subjective interests, relative willpower of a person forces out the higher unconditional values connected with the universal objective God’s will. The state serves as an expression of subjective human will, a product of the boundless enslaving power of one person over another. N.A. Berdyaev recognizes free theocracy as an ideal, the only morally justified form of the state. He sees an alternative to the modern false theocracy in the system of values of medieval culture - anarchical principles of feudalism and the personal knightly honor. The Russian philosopher correlates the knightly ideal of the Middle Ages with the modern epoch and convinces a reader of the necessity of its actualization. New forms of organization of public life assume a knightly war for the liberation of a person, including the liberation from violence of the state. Speaking about the mutual relationship between the individual and the state, Berdyaev joins the internal polemic with Slavophiles. He formulated his position on this question earlier, in the articles of 1903-1904. Berdyaev rejects the Slavophile idyll of the former Russia. Greatness and individuality of the nation presupposes freedom of a human being, the national spirit manifests itself not in the solution of the state problems, but in creative realization of universal tasks, common to the whole mankind.
On August 6, 2017 Boris G. Yudin (Doctor of Philosophy, Professor, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Chief Research Fellow of the Humanitarian Expertise and Bioethics Sector of the Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences, editor-in-chief of the journal "Man", member of the “Ideas and Ideals” editorial board) died after a prolonged critical illness.