5 Answers

  1. You can also refer to the article by Edward Rose “The English Record of a Natural Sociology “(American Sociological Review, 1960, 25(2): 193-208), This article analyzes the emergence and evolution of key concepts of sociology, including “society”, in natural English.

  2. Marcuse “Critical Theory of Society”, Galbraith “New Industrial Society” – what I'm reading now myself. look at the program texts of sociology and political science, for example

  3. Everyone knows the word “society”, but the concept of” society ” is very complex. Historically, the modern Russian language misleads us. “Society”, “general”, “community”, and” communicate ” are all words of the same root, but this hinders, rather than helps, the transmission of scientific terms. Intuitively, we understand that it is possible to communicate even with those with whom we have nothing or very little in common, and that “limited liability company”, “high society” and “Russian society” are different things, only they are called the same. But it is still very difficult to overcome the inertia of the tongue, the ear hears the same thing. For comparison, we will give, for example, the terms of the German language. Here “Gesellschaft” – “society”, “Gemeinde” – “community”, “Öffentlichkeit” – “public”. In English, “society” means “society”, ” community “means” community”, and” public “means”public”. But in all major European languages, including Russian, you can say “mutual credit society”, but you can't say “public” or “community”. This is because “society” (and in Russia it was known, no worse than in other countries, although we also had our own important features) arises for communication, for some purpose, and does not extend beyond communication: “Little by little, a small society was formed in my house from patrons of drama, from submissive and obliging actresses…” and so on, – we read, for example, in the popular novel by F. V. Bulgarin “Ivan Vyzhigin”at the end of the first third of the XIX century. This very limited concept of society persisted for a long time, especially because the political unity of the people was called differently: “polis”, “republic”, “state”, but no one called it “society”. Since ancient times, political unity has been understood as a civil community. If we do not go into historical details, we can say that political unity was formed by citizens, communication of citizens or “civil communication” (in Latin societas civilis) – this is the term that in modern times has become known as “civil society”. But we know this latter as a special kind of communication, the opposite of political communication, which, of course, was not the case initially. The civil community did not cease to exist, but only interests could now connect people outside the civil community, around the world. But even within the state, political unity began to be contrasted with non-political communication of citizens who were connected by interests, and not by a political community. But not everyone was going to identify society and the economy. One of the founders of modern sociology, Max Weber, called his great work “Economy and Society”. It turned out that society is the whole social life of people, which is not an economy. Later, sociologists began to refer to the state and politics as one of the spheres or systems of society. The society has turned into a “big social”, where all other types of joint life of people are located. It is difficult to work with such a concept of society. It seems to be everywhere and nowhere, it has no territory of its own. Therefore, many modern sociologists do not like the concept of “society” and do not use it. Nevertheless, there is still a tradition to call society the totality of all forms of communication, all ways of organizing social life. In sociology, it goes back to Emil Durkheim. His works “On the division of social labor” and “Rules of the Sociological Method” (in Russian translation: “Method of Sociology”) are very important for anyone who wants to start from reliable sources. They are available in Russian. F. Tennice's classic book “Community and Society” should be set aside for slower and more advanced reading, but in general its translation is in Russian, very decent. The famous American sociologist Tolkot Parsons considered himself the successor of the classics, including Durkheim. He devoted one of the chapters of a small but very important book “Societies: Evolutionary and Comparative Perspectives”to the concept of society. This chapter is available in the Russian translation: hse.ru German sociologist Niklas Luhmann, in turn, considered himself the successor of the “Parsons case”. But for Parsons, “society” is not the most extensive system, it is a subsystem of the general system of action. And Luhmann's society is the most extensive, as he said, encompassing social system. From the mid-60s of the last century, Luhmann wrote articles on the concept of society for thirty years, and shortly before his death he published the book “Society of Society”, the title of which polemically echoes the title of Weber's book. This book was also published in Russian in separate issues. From the monographic works, it is impossible to keep silent about the book “Constitution of Society” by one of the most famous modern British theorists Anthony Giddens, but although it is available in Russian, I do not really recommend reading it. The Russian translation is not entirely successful, and in general there are many good things in the book, but the concept of society is poorly developed, although the title focuses on something else. For those who read English, it is much more useful to read Giddens ' book Nation-State and Violence. From the collections of articles, I recommend the slightly outdated, but still useful volume “Theory of Society”, which was published under my editorship in 1999. If desired, you can find it on the web.

  4. Any books and articles (texts) contain “the historical genesis of the concept of “society””. By reading them, you will learn what the authors of these texts think about society. A concept, unlike the name of an object, only indicates the attributes of this object. And authors can “drown” in small, insignificant, and associative features of this object. It's like studying the delusions of a schizophrenic instead of trying to isolate this object in the world around you on your own.

  5. The UFO publishing house released last year the collection “Dictionary of Basic Historical Concepts”, which consists of articles and a 9-volume dictionary ” Basic Concepts of Historical Science. Historical Encyclopedia of the socio-political language in Germany”, in the second volume there are two articles “Society, civil” and”Society, community”. You should start with them.

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