The Structure of Russian Sociological Field – 2020

Publication type Article
Status Published
Affiliation: National Research University “Higher School of Economic” (St. Petersburg)
Address: Russian Federation, St. Petersburg
Affiliation: European University at Saint Petersburg
Address: Russian Federation, St. Petersburg
Journal nameSotsiologicheskie issledovaniya
EditionIssue 11

An earlier study, conducted in 2009–2010, which the present authors were a part of, demonstrated that the sociological population of St. Petersburg, Russia, was divided into isolated “bubbles” drawn apart by their adherence to localist or globalist ideology. The localist ideology ascribed greater importance to sociologists' catering to their country's social problems, praised the development of the national sociological tradition, and was skeptical about the applicability of “Western” theories to the Russian case. The globalist ideology, on the contrary, urged sociologists to address international audiences and ascribed greater value to international recognition. The aim of this study, based on an online survey of 1035 sociologists using nation-wide sample was to establish if (a) the localist-globlist divide was still present 10 years later and (2) if it was traceable at the national level. We studied the intellectual authority structures using nominations during a reputation survey as a source, and the bimodal network analysis as a method. We also studied “attention spaces” (Collins) using direct questions about one's familiarity with peer's work. The answer to both of our questions is positive: globalist and localist bubbles continue existing, and their boundaries are not a product of theoretical or methodological divides (e.g. positivism vs. antipositivism, qualitative vs quantitative methodology), or specialization on different subject areas. Age exerts independent influence on the formation of attention spaces, but not on the authority structures. We conclude by discussing the causes of the persistence of local vs. global divide.

Keywordssociology of science, sociology of sociology, information bubbles, reputation surveys, sociology in Russia
Publication date22.12.2021
Number of characters38094
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