In the Quiet…, Between People…:
Silence as a Subject of Sociological Study
Cand. Sci. (Philos.), Assoc. Prof., Lomonosov Moscow State University; Associate Prof., RUDN University; Leading Researcher, Institute of Sociology of FCTAS RAS, Moscow, Russia. email@example.com
Postgraduate Student of the Faculty of Sociology, State Academic University for the Humanities, Moscow, Russia. firstname.lastname@example.org
The article justifies an original conceptualization of silence as a social phenomenon using the cognitive-methodological tools of the theory of practices and the sociology of everyday life. Various interpretations of “silence” found in social and humanitarian texts are directly related to the forms of using the word “silence” in everyday language. Often they borrow from the latter not only the very understanding of this phenomenon, but also mysteriousness and illogicality surrounding silence, which do not satisfy the researcher who seeks clarity. The concept of “silence” is often used as a metaphor that poeticizes and mystifies the discourse about it. Following silence through the labyrinths of everyday and literary language turns into talk about the “silence of nature”, God, hearts, places and spaces, “silence of peoples” and societies and other “fantastic” forms of silence that are understandable only intuitively, but not amenable to direct scientific study. The concept of silence as a practice, according to the authors, is able to return the conversation about it to a more “dense” empirical level and show how here and now in the world of everyday life people can be silent in typical socially organized situations.