The Search for an Adequate Denominator of the Current Social World: Theoretical Considerations of Providing Conceptual Labels to Contemporary Societies

Thursday, 14 July 2016: 11:15
Location: Hörsaal 47 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Kresimir ZAZAR, University of Zagreb, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Croatia
A quite considerable number of diverse concepts, as, for instance, ‘risk society’, ‘network society’, or ‘knowledge society’, aiming at attaching a proper label to contemporary societies has emerged in recent decades. Numerous notions have been contrived with the objective to extract and underline key features of current societies and thus delineate their adequate depiction. In the first section of this paper an extensive inventorial list of distinct terms directed at articulating essential features of social world(s) nowadays is adumbrated. The central focus of this discussion is, indeed, given to the examination of theoretical assumptions in which certain conceptual labels have been anchored, and which preconditions ought to be fulfilled in order to assign a particular conceptual prefix to a current society. The denoted epistemological inquiry indicates that such a process of denomination suffers from severe drawbacks which primarily appear as paucity of proper theoretical elaboration and sufficient empirical foundation. Another discussed issue is the dis/continuity with previous forms of the social world and their corresponding conceptual designations, or with difficulties intertwined with the proposition that current societies represent entirely novel entities, accurately distinguishable from former types of society. Special emphasis is placed on scrutinizing theoretical assumptions of emergence of ‘post-industrial society’ and diverse akin concepts, as ‘information society’ or ‘knowledge society’. By unfolding the flaws and stringent basement on which such terms have been rooted, an introduction of an authentic concept of ‘creafit society’ is advocated and exhaustively elaborated. In comparison to former terms, the leverage of the ‘creafit society’ concept is highlighted as it reflects the axial attributes of (most) advanced societies more pertinently. Finally, the immense relevance of proper labelling of actual phenomenology of contemporary societies is emphasized, since conceptual labels and terms inherently possess remarkable heuristic potentials and appreciably contribute to comprehending the social world we inhabit.