Modernization Re-Visited: Searching for a New Conceptual Scheme

Modernization Re-Visited:
Searching for a New Conceptual Scheme

Chernysh M.F.

Dr. Sci. (Sociol.), Corresponding Member of the RAS, Acting Director of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of RAS, Moscow, Russia

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Chernysh M.F. Modernization Re-Visited: Searching for a New Conceptual Scheme. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2021. No 7. P. 3-13


The article reviews a monograph devoted to modernization in Russia. The monograph consists of chapters prepared by an international collective of researchers. The monograph introduces a new paradigm of research targeting social change in the Russian society. The paradigm is based on Anthony Giddens’ theory of structuration. The theory allows to expand the number of actors capable to affect the situation in the country. The theory incorporates three levels of analysis – the general one, reflecting on the basic structural characteristics of a society, a local one aiming at theorizing in the middle-range context and an empirical one, amassing and analyzing data, attempting thereby to confirm or reject the hypotheses related to reproduction and change. The prospects of the Russian society are presented as an inevitable choice between several scenarios of further evolution. The structuration theory approach has both advantages and obvious constraints. It leaves out a problem of real actors of social change understood as modernization. In the current situation the Russian society faces a consensus between the elites and a large part of the population that guarantees relative stability of the social order and social system. Devoid of obvious agents, modernization in Russia is likely to assume the form of a gradual, «cultural» evolution that includes a gradual transformation of the basic values and norms of behavior.

modernization; reforms; social structure; the ruling elite; social institutions


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Content No 7, 2021