«Society», «State», and Institutional Matrixes:
a Case in Interdisciplinary Meso-analysis

Kirdina-Chandler S.G.

Dr. Sci. (Sociol.), Chief Researcher, Head of the sector for the evolution of social and economic systems, Institute of Economics of Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia. kirdina@bk.ru

Kruglova M.S.

Junior Researcher, Institute of Economics of Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia. mashakruglova999@gmail.com

DOI: 10.31857/S013216250007101-4
ID of the Article:

For citation:

Kirdina-Chandler S.G., Kruglova M.S. «Society», «State», and Institutional Matrixes: a Case in Interdisciplinary Meso-analysis. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2019. No 10. P. 15-26


The paper presents an example of interdisciplinarity in the development of sociological theory. It is about incorporating the immanent content of such language constants as «society» and «state» into the theory of institutional X-Y matrixes. For this purpose, the method of interdisciplinary meso-analysis is used, which allows us to systematise and organise knowledge from linguistics, obtained by etymological analysis, and apply it in sociological studies. In our sample we compare the etymology of the words «society» and «state» in the languages of those countries where X-matrix institutions dominate (Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Hindi / Sanskrit) and Y-matrix institutions dominate (English, French, German). It is shown that the etymology of the language constants «society» and «state» in the investigated languages quite clearly reflects the essential features of institutional organisation in countries with different dominant matrixes. Thus, it was revealed that the construction of such a basic language constant as «society» in the countries with the dominance of a Y-matrix follows the logic «from the particular to the general», or the deductive logic of aggregation «from the bottom» (bottom-up) – from individuals to society. In turn, for countries with the dominance of X-matrix, the etymological analysis of the word «society» reveals the inductive logic «from the general to the particular», or «from the top» (top-down) – when the whole (society) is pre-eminent in relation to individuals who are secondary in relation to it. Also, a different etymology of the language constant «state» has been revealed in countries with a dominance of the X- or Y-matrix. The results obtained are not only additional evidence of significant differences between societies with the dominance of institutional X- or Y-matrixes, but also substantiate the relevance and application of meso-analysis when conducting such interdisciplinary research. They also serve as a contribution to the development of linguistic sociology, since they show the relationship between the types of societies (their social structures) and the content of the most important linguistic constants that are characteristic of these types of societies, «cleansed» from the cultural context. The results obtained are also important for deeper understanding in international communication between sociologists.

meso-analysis; methodological institutionalism; interdisciplinarity; society; state; language constants; theory of institutional X-Y-matrixes; linguistic sociology
Content No 10, 2019