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Pitirim Sorokin. Sociology as a Science

One, Two, Three...

One hundred and twenty three years ago, on February 4th, 1889, Pitirim A. Sorokin was born in a remote village of Northern Russia. He was among the few who shaped the development of world sociology in the twentieth century. In the course of an eventful and productive life he built a world view still valuable today for its conception of a sociology suited to an era of globalization and social and political upheaval. Here we present his short article from 1931 which defines the discipline and places it on the map with other social and natural sciences.

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Global Sociology - Russian Style

Although published in the year 2008, a study done by the Canadian sociologist Gregory Sandstrom still remains one of few to analyze transformations in Russian sociology from the time of Pitirim Sorokin up to present-day efforts to find its identity. An abstract of the article is given here.

Abstract

Although the sociological tradition in Russia reaches back to the late 19th century and is historically linked with western European sociological traditions, it is only since the end of the 1980s that contemporary Russian sociology has begun to blossom again and take tangible shape. This article elaborates the characteristic role that Russian sociology has played, now plays, and could possibly play in "globalizing sociology." An integrative perspective or synthetic approach to knowledge most suitably defines the Russian tradition, placing sociology creatively between the humanities and natural sciences. This is partly due to the cultural and geographic diversity of a nation that crosses borders between east and west. Significant figures in the history of Russian sociology such as Pitirim Sorokin and Maxim Kovalevsky show how both importing and exporting sociological ideas constitute globalization, as well as the importance of traveling outside of one's home nation to discover the views of other civil societies. The article gives an overview of problems, resources, and recent events in Russian sociology, highlighting lessons from Russia's experience in the transition to<br />democracy and from state to market. These two transitions pose significant challenges to academic autonomy for professional sociology that are widely shared in the discipline outside the Big Four of the United States, Britain, Germany, and France, further suggesting the potential importance of the Russian experience for globalizing sociology.

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