Metatheorizing trend in the current sociology

Metatheorizing trend in the current sociology

Ivanov D.V.

Dr. Sci. (Sociol.), Prof., Saint Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg, Russia.

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Ivanov D.V. Metatheorizing trend in the current sociology. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2017. No 11. P. 3-10


The article is dedicated to analysis of metatheorizing trend in current sociology. Sociological community shifts focus from discourse of paradigm crisis toward metatheorizing. Two kinds of that conceptual activity are distinguished: stabilization metatheorizing and transformative metatheorizing. Stabilization metatheorizing initiated by G. Ritzer’s works is aimed at sociology’s theoretical unity which would be provided by conceptual order to be established among multiple theories. The main characteristic of such metatheorizing is reflexivity. Transformative metatheorizing identified with works of Manuel Castells, John Urry, Zygmunt Bauman, and Bruno Latour is oriented toward new objectivities discovery. Such metaphoric concepts as ‘network’, ‘flow’, ‘liquidity’, ‘mobilities’ and so on, define social reality arising in recent decades. The main characteristic of this kind of metatheorizing is creativity. The ‘global-North’ sociological community is developing metatheoretical concepts in postconstructivist way while the ‘global-South’ orientation is rather postcolonial theorizing. Postconstructivism and postcolonial theory are considered as distinct orientations in the transformative metatheorizing. Metatheorizing generates the new ontologies issue. The problem of multiple new social reality images created in the process of transformative metatheorizing is considered in the article as crucial for current sociology. The author’s proposal is to solve that problem using the ‘augmented reality’ metaphor.

current sociology; trends; metatheorizing; social reality images; post-constructivism; postcolonial theory


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Content No 11, 2017