Disciplinary Institutionalization and Reconfiguration of Sociological Theory

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Senior Researcher
Affiliation: Sociological Institute of FCTAS RAS
Address: Russian Federation, St. Petersburg
Journal nameSotsiologicheskie issledovaniya
EditionIssue 10

Сontemporary changes in social sciences involve emergence and spread of practices that transgress established disciplinary boundaries. Scientific disciplines imply not only conventional classification categories arranging forms of knowledge, but are perceived as structured by the world itself. Disciplinary divisions between social sciences are increasingly evoking a sense of arbitrariness and contingency rather than of natural predetermination and embeddedness. The most profound changes in modern sociological theory are caused by the desire to rethink and overcome conceptual gaps formed in the course of institutionalizing of socio-humanitarian disciplines. These conceptual transformations may be considered as indicators and factors of modern civilizational dynamics. However, not all research activities that go beyond a discipline lead to disappearance of or threaten existence of disciplinary boundaries. Taking into account the multidirectional and incomplete character  of the changes, a thesis is argued for about reconfiguring the disciplinary space of modern social sciences. To analyze various forms and directions of disciplinary reconfiguration, the article proposes to scheme of seven phases in social sciences disciplinary development: pre-disciplinary, mono-disciplinary, multi-, inter-, anti-, trans-, and post-disciplinary phases. Current situation in the social sciences is characterized by intersections and weird interactions of the above phases, where different phases are in different interrelations with each other.

Keywordssociological theory, disciplines, phases of disciplinary development of social sciences, disciplinarities, civilizational analysis, modernity
AcknowledgmentThe work was supported by RFBR (project No. 19-011-00950).
Publication date13.10.2019
Number of characters28722
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