Pitirim Sorokin's Model of Altruistic Transformation of Society

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 11:15
Location: Hörsaal 6A P (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Margarita KALASHNIKOVA, St. Tikhon's Orthodox University, Russia
Igor MIKHEYEV, St. Tikhon's Orthodox Humanitarian University, Russia
In the middle of the 20th century, P. Sorokin, a well-known Russian-American sociologist, founded the Harvard Research Center in Creative Altruism. The main goal of the Center was to study the phenomenon of unselfish creative love and identify whether this love could be used to build a harmonious society. Scholars involved in the Center’s activities assumed in their studies that neither political, nor economic, military, educational or other means possessed by humans could provide a solution to social problems, mitigate existing conflicts, as well as establish peace and social order. Further advance of the humankind is possible only if it is based on the moral improvement of its members, increase of altruistic feelings and creation of a strong potential of altruistic love having a huge transforming power. Since altruistic love is the basis of social solidarity and the highest form of human relationships, the humanity is facing a paramount task to produce, accumulate and use more altruistic energy. Therefore P. Sorokin suggested about 30 methods and mechanisms (from physiological and biological ones such as formation of conditioned reflexes, habits, to those being of intellectual and social nature, i.e. creative incentives, self-reflection, self-analysis, rational beliefs, pressure of public opinion, spreading heroic examples, etc.) aimed at maintenance and dissemination of altruistic behavior in all spheres of human activity. Moreover, these methods and mechanisms aimed at altruization of the society and culture. At the same time, P. Sorokin believed that such steps were not utopian, but could be implemented in practice. It seems important that clinical sociologists consider whether such ideas and methods are applicable in the current situation within the field of clinical sociology in order to solve social issues, balance interpersonal relationships and make advanced social changes