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Constructing a Social Event in the Production and Translation of Everyday Knowledge

HeadFilippov, Alexander F.

DepartmentPoletayev Institute for Theoretical and Historical Studies in the Humanities


In the history of social studies, we can see  many cases of skewness: an extreme shift of emphasis in describing social life either towards space or time. In this study, we have made an attempt to: combine the sociology of space and the sociology of events; use the obtained theoretical resources for a fundamental analysis of social reality.

The conceptual platform of this study is the theory of social events – a new area of research related to a specific strategy in the cognition of social life phenomena. Social life events are:

  • Social actions;
  • Social interactions;
  • Communications.

The purpose of this project is to develop the general theory and methodology of social event analysis in a modern urban environment and to test non-standard methods of data collection and interpretation.

As part of the project we were the first research group to create analytic resources that combine the theory of events and the sociology of space and to obtain data about events located in specific urban areas. We prepared and tested an electronic codifier of available description resources that form an analytic environment for the work with relevant texts. One of the features of the results is a flexible and mobile vocabulary that transfers any academic resources into a unified conceptual field and is universally sensitive to social problems.   

The main theoretical result of the research is a detailed development of the theory of social events in space and time. This theory of social events challenges all the concepts that don’t work well with reflected every-day intuitions. Another important result that was revealed in the course of the study is the resource richness of social event theory. Sociology, is going through one of the most acute crises in its history and has many competing schools and areas of research fighting for public attention and the attention of academic community. This theory of social events reveals major codification potential, i.e. the potential to pool data together into a contradictory outline of results obtained in competing schools.

The key result lies in revealing the special nature of social events that occur in a modern city. Briefly, events which occur in a certain environment are extremely heterogeneous in their characteristics.

This research allowed us to formulate the next round of research tasks. The main one is an event-analytic study of the new mobility that characterizes the modern world.  The modern city is changing from a complicatedly organized aggregate of places between which movements are made into a set of complicatedly organized processes of changes that are not always recognized as movement. Cash movement in bank accounts, managing your bank account from a mobile phone, using a system of instant payments, reaching an ATM using transport – all of these phenomena are called by the same word – movement. But we need something more than one word, namely a correct understanding of the phenomenon. The culture of new mobilities represents complexes of meanings that include narratives and frames as well as various logical constructions of events that occur in the modern world by means of the most advanced technology and equipment. We plan to focus on these tasks next year.


 

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