The Issues Of The Dialogue Of A Modern Subject With The Society


The article considers the problem of the mutual relations of the social subject as a carrier of the social relations system and the society. The dialogic nature of this interaction is manifested in the fact that the degree of adequacy of reproduction of the social specificity of this society in the subject in the reverse causality determines the capabilities of the subject in the processes of self-realization. The comparative analysis of philosophical and scientific approaches to the phenomenon of social subjectivity defines the modern subject as communicative. The hypothesis of the research is in the assumption that the role of subject activity in objective social laws essentially determines the process of their disclosure, their content. A special methodology has been developed to determine the main directions of transformation of the forms of society existence depending on the evolution of the social subject characteristics. The reverse causality reveals the impact the changed social environment has on the process of formation and existence of the subject. It is shown that the priority of the strategy of solving this problem is the creation of a new paradigm of social subjectivity. Analysis of the certainty of the subject’s social status allows stating the risks of loss of the integrity of all communication and information flows in society. The negative consequences of this process in the political and legal sphere are emphasized. The consequences of ontological nihilism in relation to the social subject are formulated.

Keywords: Social structuresubjectculturedialoguesociety


Modern social development characterizes by growing contradictions in all spheres of society. Their disclosure has a devastating impact on the activities of subjects, whose activity forms the integrity of the social sphere. The complexity of the situation is that the contradictions themselves are determined by the peculiarities of communications and interactions of subjects. Therefore, the degree of effectiveness of opposition to negative trends depends on a detailed analysis of the phenomenon of social subjectivity and systematization of the main ways of interaction between the subject and society. The quality of social relations is determined not only by the state of their bearers, but is largely determined by the range of realized opportunities for dialogue between the subject and society. Hence, the process of dialogue itself can be seen as the ontological basis for the sustainability and stability of social systems. The specificity of the subject's interaction with the social environment is defined in its basic essential characteristics, the historical change of which requires the logical allocation of common features of their development. At the stage of development of the communicative subject of post-industrial society, the leading characteristics of the subject of the industrial stage fall under the laws of denial. In particular, the rationality of the subject and clear boundaries of its social status are transformed. However, these transformations do not exacerbate the crisis of theoretical understanding of the role and content of the subject, but, on the contrary, insist on the "resurrection" of this problem. The solution of relevant problems of the dialogue of the subject with society will allow not only to achieve necessary results in theory, but also to minimize many risks of modern social development.

Problem Statement

The communicative stage of social development significantly changes the stratification of subject levels of social relations. The social structure becomes more complex, the boundaries of social groups are blurred, and the existence of the subject becomes multilevel, which urgently requires a correlation of philosophical and scientific approach to the study of these phenomena. Modern sociological theory today in the study of social structure of Russian society, offers a complete system of models developed in the framework of neo-Weberian, neo-Marxian and resource approaches, where the empirical data of the ISRAS sociological research in the reverse causality reveals the theoretical essence of the data of philosophical concepts of society (Tikhonova, 2014). In turn, modern philosophy pays special attention to the difficulties in determining the integrity of society (Marchenkov, 2019). The dialectics of the unique and typical in the analysis of the changed status of the social subject is a prerequisite for the revision of the main provisions of the theory of class reductionism as a fundamental methodological principle of the society structuring (Bocharov & Gavrilyuk, 2018). On the one hand, this brings the theoretical analysis of the relation between the subject and society as close as possible to their actual interaction in practice, since, for example, it shows the strengthening of the role of the superstructure in the determinants of social movement in the changed subject (Erman & Möller, 2019; Sankaran, 2019). But, on the other hand, revision of class demarcation has negative consequences in theory when the dialectics of collective and individual is violated (Tamminga & Hindriks, 2019). The inclusion of the analysis of changes in rationality in the system of fundamental properties of the modern social subject that determine its existential certainty is fundamentally new in the theoretical thought (Zhilina, 2018; Kara-Murza, 2016; Majeed, 2018; Pruzhinin, 2004; Sushentsova, 2017).

Research Questions

The study of the problem of modern dialogue between the subject and society is based on the fact that the social structure today is not just a form of existence of society. It is also a factor in the manifestation of the real refraction of culture in the everyday existence of man, the deployment of which is the content of the social form of the world existence. The subject of the study determination involves a comparative analysis of the consideration of the essence of the social subject in the traditions of industrial and post-industrial society (Kara-Murza, 2016; Tikhonova, 2014). The subject is determined in the framework of structural and functional approach based on the use of system theory, which allows reconstructing the logic of sociological definition of stratification and the place of the subject in it (Tikhonova, 2014). In particular, the transformations of the forms and content of the dialogue between the subject and society are considered through the critical attitude of the subject to the rational forms of self-comprehension, the world and the rational model of the relationship between the subject and the world. Consequently, the subject denies the frozen demarcation lines that determine its position in the strata of society, which reflects the increased mobility of the subject in its communicative stage of development. These conclusions allow to conclude about the "resurrection" of the subject after its "death" in postmodern theories. However, the revealed contradictions of the emerging interest in subjectivity indicate the strengthening of uncertainty trends in the state of society (Bird, 2018). Accordingly, the actual state of culture represented in the subjects of society can be considered as the direct subject field of this study.

Purpose of the Study

The aim of this study is to identify and systematize the main causes of changes in the forms and content of the subject's interaction with society. The general basis of determinative factors is the subject's achievement of the communicative stage of development in the post-industrial society. Strengthening the role of communication and information flows in the system of social laws not only forms a new subject, but also significantly affects the mechanisms of functioning of the institutions of society. In General, there is a significant shift in the paradigm of subjective consideration of society. In order to trace the patterns of modern dialogue between the subject and society, it is necessary to solve the following problems. First, it is necessary to determine the qualitative changes in the rationality of the subject to find a real way to relate to the social environment. Further, secondly, in the statement of modern features of this leading mechanism of the society awareness it is necessary to open change of processes of reflection. In social practice, most generally they are manifested in demarcation of borders of the social status, position and roles of the subject. The criticism of the theory of class reductionism serves here as the evidence base for the change of rigid boundaries of class division by mobility and processuality. The interdisciplinarity of the problem defines the expansion of the analysis purpose to the legal and political spheres. In this regard, it is necessary to identify the risks associated with changing the dialogue of the subject with the society in the field of human rights and political freedoms. Third, the ontological aspect of the problem determines the need to study the trends of the theory conclusions after the symbolic "death" of the subject. In order to develop a strategy to overcome the negative consequences of the loss of the subject it is expected to trace the transformation of the theoretical analysis of the ideological certainty of the subject.

Research Methods

The leading methodological basis of this study is the structural-genetic approach developed in non-classical ontologies of social life. It allows an interdisciplinary approach with use of the methods of empirical and theoretical levels of knowledge. Reliance on regional phenomenological ontologies, ontologies of human culture, dialectical-materialistic models of socio-historical process, spiritual life of society allows to trace the dynamics of social life and to specify the place of the subject in it. The principles of phenomenological methodology – the principle of consciousness intentionality and the principle of non-objective description of experience to determine the evolution of changes in its content-are actively involved. The research is also based on the hermeneutic methodology, the application of which allows clarifying the characteristics of the subject in dialogue with society through a holistic interpretation of the diversity of social life internal relations. In the analysis of dialogical moments of the relationship between the subject and society hermeneutic experience is allowed as an evidence of the existence of "I" and as the reality mastered by man. The material is organized according to system-structural and historical approaches, and the method of analogy and ascent from the abstract to the concrete, taken in the dialectical aspect, which allows structuring the qualitative integrity of the subject and describing the specifics of its development.


The research of modern theoretical thought makes it possible to prove the birth of a new quality of social subject, which can be defined as a communicative form of new semantic content. The emergence of a new always shows the brink of opposites own source of. In a social subject such inconsistency often leads to domination of destructive tendencies in activity and, consequently, to violation of integrity of the subject. In order to effectively overcome the negative trends in the active functioning of the carriers of social relations, it is necessary to systematize the main transformations of the subject characteristics that determine the process of dialogue with society.

Changing the form of rationality of the modern social subject

Analysis of scientific and philosophical thought convinces that the most common and universal characteristic of a person is considered to be the presence of the Mind. In the processes of cognition of something external and in reflection consciousness takes the form of rationality. Therefore, regardless of the specific stage of historical development, the characteristics of the subject necessarily include the property of being rational. The significance of this characteristic is found in the ontological analysis of specific historical states of society. Thus, at the end of the existence of the Soviet system, the leaders of the USSR stated the gap in the rational understanding of the subject of Soviet society and its real content as the determinants of the impending social catastrophe (Kara-Murza, 2016). The collapse of Soviet power and the destruction of the former country demonstrate the power of a rationality form to influence the objective factors of social development. Moreover, the rationality of the subject claims the status of an objective historical regularity. In particular, all attempts of the Soviet government to narrow the gap observed in the subject through the governmental directive towards the scientific activity of the intelligentsia by spreading the position of the government instead of violating of the rational perception of the current social period were in vain (Karnaukh, 2005). Sociological research shows that the greatest danger is the situation of shifting the logic of rationality towards the predominance of ideological or utopian components (Kara-Murza, 2016). The current situation in social communications indicates the emergence of a new level of rationality of the subject. The principal difference from the previous stages is the following. If during the transition to industrial society it becomes obvious that it cannot be adequately perceived by the subject in ideological political constructs and the new phase urgently requires adjusting the social rationality of the subject in the likeness of the scientific, the current state of society is doubt up to the complete denial of the effectiveness of the scientific form of rationality in the awareness of the social sphere. Consequently, the origins of the irrational destructiveness of the social subject are to be found in the actual transformations of its rationality (Slobozhankina, Teplykh, Akhmetzyanova, Zhilina, & Nazaricheva, 2018). As the essential features of this transformation, one should note the displacement of criteriality of the truth of the pragmatic intention (Majeed, 2018), and playing science in pseudo-scientific fields (Pruzhinin, 2004). The change in the economic paradigm of rationality should be particularly highlighted (Sushentsova, 2017): the preservation of the ethical core of economic rationality – the idea of well-being takes place against the background of the transformation of rationality into a universal tool. The result is the dominant rational model of behavior of the subject, based on the promotion of personal gain as the basis of a new axiological system. The general trend of transformation of the rationality of the social subject is the reduction of the critical component of reflection (Zhilina, 2018).

Blurring of the social boundaries of the stratification with the processuality of the subject coordinates in the society

After the attempt of the Marxist school to introduce the principle of scientific character with an unambiguous necessary regularity into the study of the historical process, the principle of class reductionism becomes the universal basis of social stratification. At the same time mixing the levels of social and epistemological subjects, this position turns the society subject into a transcendent force in relation to being. In the recent past, the theory allowed itself to replace the real living person with a faceless, but vividly class-specific subject of society, which was thought of as the arena of endless class battles. In fact, the strict division of the social world into the sphere of the ruling class and the rest is very similar to the traditional division of the world into the world of God and the world of Man. However, the practice of social development strongly corrects the initial theoretical background. First of all, the class approach is strongly coloured by gender (Bocharov & Gavrilyuk, 2018). Postmodern criticism of the previous understanding of the social subject evidently reveals discrimination of many social groups due to the choice of class approach in stratification. In response sociology, for example, states the conceptual insufficiency of any constructivist approach and proposes to replace them with an intersectional consideration of the intersection of social positions and roles of the subject (Bocharov & Gavrilyuk, 2018). Philosophy tries to solve the problem through the introduction of the category of a "group", which is positioned in social stratification as a determining force and at the same time as a result of the society development. The difficulty is that the group depersonalizes the subject, becomes something transcendent in social existence and cannot reflect the dynamics of the social (for example, classify alternative social movements). The complexity is compounded by the extreme mobility and layering of the modern subject. However, the desire to virtually remove social boundaries does not solve the problem, but, on the contrary, multiplies the field of social development risks. One of the most significant consequences of the blurring of class boundaries is the transformation of the essence of social integrity. Communicative subject in its characteristics actualizes the role of game practices as a means of embodiment of existence. As a result, the theory activates the problems of social creativity, where an integral part is the analysis of the game nature of art in general. However, communicative subject is simultaneously informatively multi-layered. Therefore, the aspects of the subject’s activities and the realisation of their social role determination affect each other. For example, artistic play influences the degree of religious expression and vice versa, which makes it possible to assert the acceptability of considering theurgy as a way of revived harmony and integrity of culture (Marchenkov, 2019). Another theoretical risk is the destruction of the demarcation of essential social characteristics. Thus, in the study of such negative phenomenon as slavery in its modern forms, the binary difference between slavery and non-slavery is denied. In practice, this effectively means abandoning the concept of modern slavery when considering human rights (Mende, 2018).

Communicative revival of the subject after "death": reality or simulacrum

The 1960s’ philosophy sharply declared the "death" of the subject, and in extreme cases allowed the possibility of the disappearance of the person. In fact, this is a fundamental change in the status of a person in the coordinate system "man-nature-society". Now man is not the centre around which everything accumulates, but only the function of the whole, of which he is a part. Postmodernism clearly defines a person as a set of texts, which, in turn, unfolds in the texts of culture. The language now speaks for the "dead" subject. From the point of view of linguistic analysis, there are many difficulties, one of which is the problem of correlation between the author and the interpreter (Vdovichenko, 2018). In social aspects, this position provokes illusions about the possibility of using the potential of language games in manipulative techniques (Keiser, 2016). The dominance of communication flows over the semantics of communication itself provokes a crisis situation for the subject, when it becomes the sum of fragments of identities that specularly depend on specific conditions. A positive point for theoretical analysis in this situation is the recognition of the presence of constant transformations of the subject. In this understanding of the subject there is no place for biological innateness, cultural invariants, some invariant structures of activity. However, there is some real loss of subjectivity in the reverse causality. In particular, the consideration of the dialectics of collective and individual in the existence of the subject is transformed. The falsity of opposing these characteristics is proved convincely through a logical analysis. The collective manifests itself when the collective acts as a subject, and the individual when its members act as individual subjects, and they do not intersect (Tamminga & Hindriks, 2019). If the "death" of the subject occurs in theory, now there is a threat of destruction of the bearer of the social. The consequence will be the instability of society itself as a phenomenon of the cultural field. This is demonstrated, for example, in the introduction to political theory of the category of "feasibility" as a criterion of survivability of superstructure elements (Erman & Möller, 2019). Such positions lead to the area of metaphysical, logical and nomological limitations of the subject. A scope of the potential is formed for the society: even though the possibility is accepted, its probability is expected to be considered. In general, this trend can be interpreted as the desire to dissolve the subject in a state of uncertainty. The search for certainty in this state is possible in case of the change of the view on the ideological component of the social subject. Ideology in the characteristics of the subject of industrial society is understood as a collective episteme distortion, and irrationality, designed to support the adverse social conditions of existence. Modern analytical social philosophy argues that ideology is a convention, representing the equilibrium of a social coordination problem (Sankaran, 2019). But then the subject either coexists along with the problems arising in society (which is impossible, since society is a super-subject formation existing only through these subjects), or the subject is only a means of some dominant strategy of social development. In any case, its resurrection is doubtful. The modern national idea, structures the ideological field more details, stating "shadow", "latent" ideology (Rubtsov, 2018). The significance of the subject factor can be traced in the observed analogies: in the first position, the parallel with the "shadow" economy, in the second – with the processes of the unconscious subject. But the method of analogy cannot be sufficient enough to prove the reality of the social subject itself.


The analysis of theoretical studies of the problem of changes in the dialogue of the modern subject with society evidently allows to state the increasing role of the subjective factor in the system of social development. Thus, the change of mechanisms, forms and content of the subject's interaction with the social environment is one of the factors determining the state of society. In turn, the evolution of the subject characteristics acts as the determinants of the dialogue transformations. Significant changes in the characteristics of the subject include transformation of rationality and mixing of boundaries in social stratification. The change of rationality significantly alters the model of behaviour of the subject with the simultaneous qualitative change of the world perception. The latter radically changes the way of self-identification in social spheres. The blurring of class boundaries can have negative impact in practice, particularly in the legal and political fields. These processes allow stating the actualization of the subject's problem and its dialogue with society in theory. "Resurrection" of the subject in theory is often accompanied by placing it in a state of uncertainty, as evidenced by the theoretical revisions of the concepts of the ideological component of the subject.


  1. Bird, R. (2018). Revolutionology: an introduction. Stud. East Eur. Thought, 70, 83–84. DOI:
  2. Bocharov, V. Yu., & Gavrilyuk, T. V. (2018). Intersectionality as a way of conceptualizing gender and class inequalities. The Journal of Social Policy Studies, 16(3), 537–545.
  3. Erman, E., & Möller, N. (2019). A World of Possibilities: The Place of Feasibility in Political Theory. Res Publica, 1–23. DOI:
  4. Kara-Murza, S. G. (2016). ISPIRAS provides a response to the challenges of time. Sociological research, 11, 26–34.
  5. Karnaukh, M. P. (2005). Existential crisis as the basis of self-knowledge. Vestnik of Nosov Magnitogorsk State Technical University, 2, 55–57.
  6. Keiser, J. (2016). Bald-faced lies: how to make a move in a language game without making a move in a conversation. Philosophical Studies, 173(2), 461–477. DOI: 10.1007/s11098-015-0502-5
  7. Majeed, M. H. (2018). Pragmatist Inquiry in to Consumer Behaviour Research. Philosophy of Management, 1–13. DOI:
  8. Marchenkov, V. L. (2019). Theurgy revisited, or the harmony of cultural spheres. Stud. East Eur. Thought, 1–16.
  9. Mende, J. (2018). The Concept of Modern Slavery: Definition, Critique, and the Human Rights Frame. Hum Rights Rev, 1–20. DOI:
  10. Pruzhinin, B. I. (2004). Ratio Serviens? Questions of philosophy, 12, 41–55.
  11. Rubtsov, A. V. (2018). Transformations of ideology. The concept of ideological in the "marginal" expansion. Questions of philosophy, 7, 18–27. DOI:
  12. Sankaran, K. (2019). What’s new in the new ideology critique? Philosophical Studies, 1–22. DOI:
  13. Slobozhankina, L. R., Teplykh, M. S., Akhmetzyanova, M. P., Zhilina, V. A., & Nazaricheva, A. I. (2018). Self-knowledge as a criterion for classifying philosophical doctrines. XLinguae, 11(2), 437–444.
  14. Sushentsova, M. S. (2017). Rationality, morality and economic coordination: the contours of interaction. Journal of Institutional Studies, 9(2), 46–62. DOI:
  15. Tamminga, A., & Hindriks, F. (2019). The irreducibility of collective obligations. Philosophical Studies, 1–25. DOI:
  16. Tikhonova, N. E. (2014). The social structure of Russia: theories and reality. Moscow: New chronograph, Institute of Sociology, Russian Academy of Sciences.
  17. Vdovichenko, A. V. (2018). Welcome back, author, but where is your “text” and “language”? About verbal data in statics and dynamics, part II. Questions of philosophy, 7, 57–69. DOI:
  18. Zhilina, V. A. (2018). Critical reflection as a key component of modern education. Questions of philosophy, 6, 59–65.

Copyright information

About this article

Cite this paper as:

Click here to view the available options for cite this article.


Future Academy

First Online




Online ISSN