Methodological Institutionalism Vs. Methodological Individualism As a Core Principle in Alternative Social Theories of Second Modernity

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 6:15 PM
Room: 304
Oral Presentation
Svetlana KIRDINA , Department of Evolution of Social and Economic Systems, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia
Modern dominant Western social theories are based largely upon methodological individualism principle. Attempts to overcome its confines are undertaking constantly in different analytical programs and approaches (A. Giddens, M. Archer, P. Sztompka, P. Bourdieu, J. Alexander, J. Ritzer, V. Yadov etc). But in fact all these approaches assume an explanation of the social and economic phenomena in terms of individual behavior and follow   methodological individualism principle (S. Lukes, J. Hodgson). In the paper the capabilities and limitations of methodological individualism as a core principle of mainstream sociology and economics are explored. The recent debate dealing with methodological individualism in Russian and foreign sociology and economics is considered. Institutional individualism principle (A. Agassi, F. Toboso) is tested.   As a challenging view, premises for methodological institutionalism (P. Keizer, S. Kirdina) are offered and considered as an alternative and complimentary precondition of the different vision for alternative social theory of second modernity. It is shown that methodological individualism and methodological institutionalism express two epistemological philosophical precondition such as holism ("the whole is more than sum of its parts") and a reductionism (“the whole is understood as a set of primary elements forming it”) respectively. Institutional matrix theory (S. Kirdina) based on methodological institutionalism principle will be presented to explain the success and failures of historical trajectories of modernization for non-Western countries as well for Western ones.