Theoretical Heritage of Sociology Classics for the Analysis of Modern Society (The Case of L. Mumford Conception)

Theoretical Heritage of Sociology Classics for the Analysis of Modern Society (The Case of L. Mumford Conception)

Zarubina N.N.

Dr. Sci. (Philos.), Prof., Department of Sociology, MGIMO University, Moscow, Russia

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Zarubina N.N. Theoretical Heritage of Sociology Classics for the Analysis of Modern Society (The Case of L. Mumford Conception). Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2022. No 5. P. 15-24


The article analyzes the potential of classical sociological theories for the research of modern societies. It is shown that the reason for the loss of interest in the classical heritage is the spread of vulgar interpretations of sociological postmodernism, radicalizing the rejection of theoretical meta-narratives, as well as presentism in the research attitudes of young sociologists. Using the example of L. Mumford’s “megamachine” concept, the heuristic possibilities of sociological classics for understanding social relations in a digital society are shown. There are similarities and differences of the “megamachines” of the past as machine-like social organizations created to maximize human labor, managerial, etc. functions with social connections mediated by digital media. The conclusion is made that the application of the “megamachine” concept to modern society actualizes an assumption that if in the societies of classical capitalism materialized labor had dominated the living (K. Marx), then in a digital society objectified by and embodied in symbolic systems and in complex techniques communication, information and intelligence assert their dominance over live communications and social connections.


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