Practical Sociology:
Difficulties of Conceptualization and Spontaneous Interdisciplinarity

Aksenova O.V

Dr. Sci. (Sociol.), Leading Researcher, Head of the Department for Analysis of Sociocultural Foundations of Political Processes, Institute of Sociology of FCTAS RAS, Moscow, Russia

DOI: 10.31857/S013216250010576-6
ID of the Article: 8331

For citation:

Aksenova O.V Practical Sociology: Difficulties of Conceptualization and Spontaneous Interdisciplinarity. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2020. No 10. P. 13-23


The paper discusses problems of sociological theory from the perspective of empirical research experience of the author and her colleagues. Main obstacles to conceptualization of research results are related to modern sociological theory and its commitments. Current interpretations of the commitment as inevitable, reflexive and open are shown. The main risks are apriority and rising totality. Crisis of explanation power of the theory is related first of all to the disintegration of sociology, emergence of a number of branches, theories, methods. Another problem is caused by the origin of theoretical instruments created in the Western modern society (T. Parsons, R. Merton, etc.). It is difficult to use it for analyses of the Russian (Soviet) modernity. The ways to solve above problems in empirical sociology are suggested. Several methods and theoretical conceptualizations are shown. These concepts are a result of spontaneous interdisciplinarity of the sociolinguists educated in the USSR. The paper also shows the adaptation of polyparadimal approach to the research goals – the results of historical methodology and steps of theorizing resulted by way of concepts of actor, agent, dichotomy of social action, actor and technological models of management.

empirical research; sociological theory; historical retrospective; dialectic logic; subjectivity; commitment; crisis of explanation


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