In search of neurosociology

Shkurko Yu.S.

Cand. Sci. (Sociol.), Assoc. Professor, Institute of Economics and Entrepreneurship, Lobachevsky State University of Nizhni Novgorod, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

ID of the Article: 6805

For citation:

Shkurko Yu.S. In search of neurosociology. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2017. No 8. P. 3-11


In the article, I discussed the features of development and current status of a new research area — neurosociology. This approach appeared in the decade of the brain — 1990s, and the first work in this direction was published in 2000s. In the moment of the appearance, other multilevel research areas — cultural neuroscience, social neuroscience, neuroeconomics had taken their first steps towards integrating neural, cognitive and social levels of organization of different psychological phenomena, such as emotion, clinical disorders, self-regulation, development, decision making and so on. Sociologists are less intensive in their efforts, the neurosociological association is very small, and has not yet clearly defined their area of investigation; thus, studies under label “neurosociology” are closest to the aforementioned integrative research, especially social neuroscience. Sociologists fear biological reductionism and elimination of social mechanisms in considering social phenomena. Moreover, in contrast to psychologists, sociologists have poorer background for conducting experiments by using specific neuroscientific methods — fMRI, PET, ERP, TMS, etc. And they have no institutional connections with the scholars from neuroscience. The perspective of neurosociology is research of neurobiological mechanisms of social processes represented simultaneously on micro- (social behavior and interactions, social perception, decision making, etc.) and macro-levels (social institutions, socio-economic differentiation, political ideologies, cultural values, etc.).

neurosociology; sociobiology; social neuroscience

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Content No 8, 2017