In nineteenth-century Europe, the foundation was laid for the sociological direction of the study of society and culture. Its representatives seek the sources and explanation of culture not in history and in the self-development of the human soul, in the psyche or in the biological prehistory of mankind, but in its social nature and organization. Their focus is on society itself, its structure and social institutions.
One of the most prominent representatives of this school is the French sociologist-positivist Emile Durkheim (1858-1917). He studied “social facts” (public institutions, laws) and sought to establish a cause-and-effect relationship between the facts of public life.
A prominent representative of the School of Sociology was the French ethnologist and philosopher Lucien Lévy-Bruhl (1857-1939), who studied the way of thinking of primitive (“primitive”) people, as well as the difference between primitive and modern types of thought. His most notable works include La Mentalité primitive (1922) and Le Surnaturelet la nature dans la mentalité primitive (1931).
The starting point for Levi-Briuli is e. “Collective notions” borrowed from Durkheim. These are ideas (beliefs, moral ideas) that a person receives not through his own life experience, but through upbringing, public opinion, moral customs. The researcher aimed to study the manifestation of collective perceptions in societies at different levels of development.
The peculiarities of collective representations are determined by the peculiarities of cultures. For a traditional (archaic) society, collective feelings and emotions are much more important than the mind. In this regard, Levi-Bruhl criticized E. Taylor’s notion of a “primitive (wild) philosopher” who would become intellectually acquainted with the world. Levi-Bruhl himself believed that the laws governing the collective representations of “primitive” peoples were fundamentally different from the laws of logical thinking; They are inseparable from emotion, from tangible aspects.
In traditional cultures, the defining factor of collective notions is the belief in and relationship with supernatural mysterious forces. “The savage does not try to explain the phenomena of the surrounding reality; these phenomena are perceived by him in the complex with the magical properties of the surrounding world and the representation of mysterious forces, and not in a structural-analytical form. Man and his image, name and shadow.Primary thinking is closed to temptation, to tempting experience.
This type of thinking was called Levi-Briulian pre-logical, or prologue thinking. It was characteristic of traditional, pre-written cultures. In modern society, according to the researcher, pre-logical thinking is manifested in areas such as religion, morality, and so on.
Levi-Bruhl’s concept of primitive, pre-logical thinking became the object of multifaceted criticism, under the influence of which he gradually softened the controversy of pre-logical and logical thinking and pointed to their interdependence.
Pitirim Sorokin (1899-1968), a well-known American sociologist of Russian descent, studied sociology at St. Petersburg University. During the Russian Revolution A. Kerensky was a member of the Provisional Government. After the October Revolution, for his anti-Bolshevik activities, he was sentenced to death which was later replaced by deportation. He emigrated in 1923 and settled in the United States, of which he became a citizen in 1930. Was Professor of Sociology at the Universities of Minnesota and Harvard (the latter establishing the Department of Sociology).
Sorokin represented the historical process as a process of cultural development. In his view, culture, in the broadest sense of the word, is the unity of all that is created or recognized by a given society at this or that stage of development.
In the process of development, society creates different cultural systems: cognitive, religious, ethical, aesthetic, legal, etc. These cultural systems are characterized by a tendency to merge into a higher ranking system. As a result of the development of this trend, cultural super-systems are being formed. Each of them, according to Sorokin, “has a characteristic mentality, its own system of truth and knowledge, its own philosophy and worldview, its own religion and pattern of” purity “, its own conception of justice, its own forms of artistic speech and art, rights, laws, code of conduct, social Dominant forms,
These cultural super-systems are not even a conglomerate of the various systems mentioned above, but a unity, an individual, all its constituent parts of which are imbued with a fundamental principle and represent, express, reveal one and the same core values.
According to these core values, Sorokin distinguished three types of cultural supersystems: ideational, idealistic, and sensate.
The ideological superpower is based on the notion that the only reality and truth is God – the superficial and the sensible. The morals, ways of life, and way of thinking that prevailed in this culture sought unity with God as the sole and supreme goal; Attitudes towards the tangible world, its diversity, values are negative or indifferent. Sorokin considers this type of culture to be primarily a medieval European culture, as well as Brahmanical India, Buddhist and Laoist, dating back to the 6th century BC. III-II centuries. Greek cultures.
The idealistic system of culture, according to Sorokin, is intermediate between the ideological and the sensible systems, because its prevailing values are focused on both heaven and earth. The starting point for him is the notion that objective reality is partly tangible, partly tangible. It includes the sensory and sensory, as well as sensory and rational aspects. Sorokin attributes this type to the XIII-XIV centuries. Western European culture, as well as BC. V-IV centuries. Greek culture.
Modern European culture, according to Sorokin, is a tangible culture. The starting point for him is the principle that objective reality is tangible. “Only what we see. We feel, hear, feel and perceive with our sense organs – it makes sense, it is only real. There is nothing beyond this sensible reality, or there is something we cannot feel, it is the equivalent of non-existent, unreal. The formation of a tangible culture begins in the XVI century and reaches its apogee in the middle of the XX century.This culture seeks to free itself from the other values of religion, morality and ideological culture.Its values are concentrated around everyday life,
No form of culture has limitless possibilities, the possibilities of all of them are limited. Otherwise, there would be not several forms of one culture, but one, absolute, all-encompassing culture. When the creative forces are exhausted, all the limited possibilities – realized, relevant culture and society – either become dead and uncreative, or take on a new form that brings new creative possibilities and values. Every great culture that has retained its creative potential has undergone such changes. On the other hand, cultures and societies,
Sorokin acknowledges that in the twentieth century, sensible culture has exhausted its creative potential, it continues to exist only in the field of science and technology, even in the form of a crushing or creative force. Nothing can save this culture. According to Sorokin, for the sake of merit before humanity, this culture should be placed in the museum with gratitude and respect. But as long as there are people, culture will not die. There is already a new big ideological culture based on the ethic of altruistic love and solidarity.