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19 ESA Social Theory Conference, Innsbruck, September 11-13, 2008

Keith Doubt

Wittenberg, USA

On the Non-tenability of Evil as Action

Is evil action? In the framework of empirical logic, the null hypothesis is that evil is not action. While evil exists, it does not exist as action. Plato, Martin Buber, C. S. Lewis all take this position. The alternative hypothesis is that evil is action. As action, evil is radical and powerful. The alternative hypothesis is the one most widely accepted in popular culture and scholarly discourse. In sociology, Jeffery Alexander and Thomas Cushman support the alternative hypothesis. To accept the alternative hypothesis, it is necessary, I argue, to

explain how evil correlates not with one but with each element of Talcott Parsons’ action frame of reference. If, for example, evil were action, its logical end would be sociocide, the killing of society, a neologism. Evil, though, does not establish relationships, except the relationship of randomness. Evil instead results in the loss of human togetherness, exactly what social action

sustains

and

develops.

This

study

revisits

the

significance of the action frame of reference in sociological theory; it tests the alternative hypothesis, not with experimental research, but with the rhetorical methodology that Kenneth Burke calls "perspective by incongruity."

Nail Farkhatdinov

Moscow, Russia

Painting as a sociological phenomenon

Although different methodological approaches exist in sociology of art equally, they give us the same perspective of consideration of art. Art is often reduced to the things that play significant role in social life, but are not appropriate to the essence of art. From this point of view art is something external. In these perspectives we learn about social conditions of art

production,

power,

institutions

etc,

but they are

irrelevant to art, when we have to investigate art in itself, its nature. Some of these theories are discussed in the paper. I pay more attention to one of the methodological programs of sociology of art – the field

of art by Pierre Bourdieu. I discuss the possibilities and limitations that sociology provides by the example of Bourdieu. So the main requirement to sociological theories of painting is not to exclude art specifies, but to include them into the sociological conceptualization of art. Finally I discuss ways of overcoming the limits of traditional approaches to art. I solve these problems by emphasizing the act of perception of painting and constructing sociology of painting. One of these ways is to revise the classical sociological approach on the whole and to find out the obstacles to construct sociology of art, which will concern with the nature of art itself in sociological sense.

Kenneth F. Ferraro

West Lafayette, USA

are set in historical time, with opportunity and risk

embedded in macrosocial structures.

Developmental

Time and Cumulative Inequality Theory: Demographic and Developmental Processes

processes are set in biographical time and are highly dependent on perceptions of one’s life trajectory. People have a sense of how they are doing, and this

Cumulative inequality theory is new set of axioms and propositions designed to explain life course stratification

processes advantage

.

such as allocation and accumulated Central to studying such processes is

recognizing the importance of timing in how individuals are exposed to risks and benefits and interpret

sense influences their subsequent actions. Drawing from pioneering works in interactionism, I articulate how diachronic

symbolic processes

are central and one’s trajectories

to interpretations of accumulated inequality

life are

chances. inherently

I argue that perceived life social comparisons and that

reasonable courses of action.

The purpose of

paper is to understanding

explicate temporal processes the accumulation of inequality over

this for the

favorable

trajectories

are

associated

with

greater

self-

efficacy and a

more strategic

approach to

the future.

By attending

to diachronic

evaluations,

cumulative

life course and within societies. According to cumulative inequality

systems

generate

inequality,

which

is

theory,

social

manifested

over

inequality

theory

privileges

the

structure/agency

dialectic for the study of human development and stratification processes.

the life course via processes. Time is

demographic and developmental central to both processes because

it enables one to identify the onset exposures. Demographic processes

and

duration

of

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