Liquid Stability in Theory and Society

Monday, July 14, 2014: 7:00 PM
Room: 304
Distributed Paper
Yury ASOCHAKOV , Sociology, St.-Petersburg State Unversity, St.-Petersburg, Russia
The legitimacy of sociological theoretical knowledge cannot be provided by just a simple logical proof of its categorical system. It is provided by the presence of a relevant system of meanings and denotations, objectified in the practices of everyday life. Specialized sociological theories designate different social objects, and by describing connections between these objects they offer interpretive models of the social world - i.e. define the project of social reality - to the individuals acting in the world of everyday life.

   In simple and traditional societies, presuming high stability level, the institutionalized monopoly on the projection of social reality was possible and also desirable as a factor of social-structural stability. Their models of official symbolical universe were resistant enough to withstand emerging “heresies” (alternative symbolical projects) suppressing them through the therapy and the denial.

   This paper argues that contemporary societies as complex “life worlds” are based upon a type of “liquid” stability and presume such a level of permanent structural flexibility and mobility that not only provides for a possibility of the inclusion of alternative versions of the symbolical universe but also creates the need and the necessity for the existence of such. The very historical project of sociology as a new science about society supposed its development as an alternative version of social reality which was still non-existent. Its further advancement is connected to the presence in its theory of the different irreducible theoretical tendencies that cannot fit into the frames of a single paradigm.

   Social theory of the contemporary society cannot exist in a form of an enclosed self-sufficient complex of propositions, it tends to become an active self-challenging and self-alternative theoretical context of the efficient first response to the unlimited possibilities and uncertainties of social dynamics.