26 ESA Social Theory Conference, Innsbruck, September 11-13, 2008
Nikita A. Kharlamov
Urban Environment as a Machine of Modern – Postmodern Transition in the Light of Georg Simmel’s Sociology
thus one of the general problems of sociology of modernity, and it is the problem of where, in what place, in what environment does the transition from traditional to modern society happen (and where could it be legibly
The problem of linking everyday life and large-scale social and cultural change lies at the heart of contemporary research on postmodernity. Sociological theory has to explain the connection between global processes and mundane human life and understand whether these processes lead to the emergence of a specific postmodern everydayness.
The proposed paper is devoted to clarifying this problem by juxtaposing it with the problem formulated by Georg Simmel in «The Metropolis and the Mental Life». I argue that Simmel was primarily concerned with evaluating the large city as the key place of modernity and as its basic environment (rather than with metropolitan mentality per se). Simmelian problem is
conceptualizing the city as the fundamental mediating device, a «machine» that fuses together different scales of the social life and routinely constructs elementary everyday social interactions and communicative events in urban space and urban time. Working this problem out in contemporary theoretical context leads to assigning the central place, that of a ‘bridge’ between large-scale processes and everyday life, in the modern
postmodern transition to the city and its novel urban
forms and environments. I suggest that proper understanding of the mediating role of cities is crucial to developing sociological theory of postmodern urban everyday life.
Institutional Matrices Theory as Methodology for Theoretical and Empirical Research of Russian Sociologists
The paper presents new social Institutional Matrices
Theory, created 2001), and its
in the early application
institutional matrices theory as basic methodology are singled out. They are - political sociology, comparative sociology and cross-cultural research, social change as well as analysis of institutions and globalization. Proponents’ and opponents’ positions expressed in discussions on institutional matrices theory in Russian journals on Sociology and Economics are analyzed in conclusion.
research. More than monographs of Russian
main sociological disciplines and topics which use the