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The discussion about methodologies of research

May 26, 2017


at the anniversary conference "beyond..." in celebration of the 25th anniversary, CISR hosted a methodological debate

the depth of the structures and the bottom is flat.

[organizer: Alexander Bikbov, Center for modern philosophy and social Sciences of the Philosophical faculty of Moscow University, Centre Maurice Halbwachs (Paris)]

In 1960-80-e sociology marked attention to the history and optimism of the structures from the class and professional, to gender and power. In the 1990s former clarity leaves not only reformed society, but also international social science. The disappearance of the old social world and blended models of research practice has produced a paradoxical dual effect: expectations of the new pluralist theories, however, methodological pessimism. In these circumstances, for the past 20 years, sociology and related disciplines have experienced a number of methodological turns. And to clearly answer the question about the next stage, you should draw some conclusions from the experiment. Which of the methodological findings are best "worked" in Russian studies, what were the rhetorical decoration, whether the value of the description of the structures or with the fall in public demand it loses cognitive value, whether it is possible from previous research to derive a certain version of history, and what we can foresee in the future of a society by studying its past and present?

Methodological choice that stands before us is not confined to the collision of the two measurements. As has happened in the last century, today it once again exposes the political foundations of the theory. Explanatory models, withholding the structures in favor of visible interactions, and unlimited network connections, in equal measure intellectual and political replacement of the old epistemological optimism. Failure to find depth of social groups, recognition of their part of the coupling of the arbitrary nature, the transfer of aktentasche at things closely inscribed in the dismantling of scientific institutions in the era of the welfare state. Follow these interpretative models, assuming the role of neophytes methodological skepticism, or looking for ways to re-raise questions about social structures time and social change? Start to search for explanations from the new technologies and phenomena of mass culture or to attend to the classes in a classless society? On what terms elements of "deep" and "flat" approaches are embedded today in the study of Russian society? Without claiming to be exhaustive answers, the discussion will allow you to better organize the search for new solutions.

the Place: the House of Jewish culture YESOD (B. Raznochinnaya 25A, Saint Petersburg), Great hall. Admission is free.