Constructing Social And Political Interactions In A Risk Society


Current interaction of society and sociology can be characterized as a process not aimed at obtaining accurate results. This interaction limits the behavior of the individual in society, but advances the development of sociology. According to Beck Ulrich, this is due to the fundamental insufficiency of knowledge which highlights the relationship of the person and the objective world in a new way. With its diversity, modern sociology can be interpreted in different ways. It depends on goals and objectives of sociology. It reflects national priorities. Based on this, it can be divided into Western and Russian studies. There are significant differences that determine the direction and influence on a certain object. The article aims to identify the impact of new technologies of modern sociology on the individual. The study was carried out using several methods and approaches. One of the most effective research methods is the system which allows for comprehensive overview of problems arising from application of innovative technologies that perfectly reflect contemporary reality and influence formation of modern realities. The purpose of the research is to reveal the influence of technologies of modern sociology on the individual in society. One of the most effective research methods is system analysis which allows for comprehensive overview of the problems arising from application of innovative technologies that influence formation of modern realities. Modern societies existing under excessive control of governments lose their individuality. This fact control limits personal responsibility of the individual in society causing infantilism and dependency.

Keywords: Modern Western sociologyheterogeneity of Russian societytraditionalism and Eurocentricismexcessive role of sciencedifferences in Western and Russian sociological studiesadvantage of the Russian sociological school


Sociology as a science originated in the minds of representatives of the European scientific circles. Auguste Comte is often called the father of sociology: he decided to use the scientific method to study society. He believed that with the help of science one can learn hidden laws that govern all societies. Comte called this approach social physics , and then sociology , which means "science of society" (as cited in Smelser, 1994).

The article will not describe qualitative and quantitative differences between these world communities. European science was at the forefront of development of scientific achievements. The era in which individual researchers were working was characterized by individuality.

Problem Statement

What can be said about the differences between Western and Russian societies? According to the motivated estimates and forecasts of Western sociologists, we have a modern European society adjusted to our lifestyle and behavior. The aim of the study is to show the categorical difference and contradictions of the lifestyle of two different societies.

Research Questions

Modern societies existing under excessive control of governments lose their individuality. This fact control limits personal responsibility of the individual in society which causes infantilism and dependency.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the research is to reveal the influence of technologies of modern sociology on the individual in society.

Research Methods

One of the most effective research methods is system analysis which allows for comprehensive overview of the problems arising from application of innovative technologies that influence formation of modern realities.


Since its emergence, Western sociology (from the end of the 19th – 20th centuries) was aimed to study social problems, search for their solutions. O. Kont, V. Pareto, G. Simmel, E. Durkheim, M. Weber transformed sociology into an independent science. This science has its own specifics and research goals, diverse gnoseological materials and tasks. Sociologists express their views and find alternative solutions to important strategic problems. This determined the role of sociology - predicting active development of society, i.e., sociology should perform a management function. Applied sociology is closely related to management activities.

The history of sociology in Russia has several periods. Its development began in 1861. Russian sociology followed the traditions of positivism. The directions of social thought characteristic of the tsarist period are Westernism and Slavophilism reflecting Russia's location on two continents - Europe and Asia.

Russian sociology was based on the ideas of Westernism and O. Comte and G. Simmel. Over time, Russian sociology began to acquire distinctive features; by the beginning of the 20th century, it became one of the most dynamically developing sociological schools in Europe. It was in useful for history, law, political economy, psychology, ethnography precisely as a new fruitful theoretical perspective in comparison with traditional approaches.

The main stages of development of sociology in Russia are as follows:

- 1850-1917: the period of industrial development, growth of the urban population and complication of the social structure of the Russian state;

- 1917-1950: the term "sociology" is prohibited, this science was not taught in universities. (Sociology of Russia, 1998).

In 1989, the constituent conference was held in Moscow. The Russian Society of Sociologists (RSS) was created as a republican organization within the framework of the Soviet Sociological Association.

Since 1991, the Russian Society of Sociologists has gained autonomy. Since 1992, it has been a coordinator of regional departments (71 subjects), including the Chechen Republic. Since 2001, the RSS and the Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences has been implementing a research and education project aimed at reducing the backlog of Russian sociology in the use of modern information technologies for collecting and analyzing sociological information. Interaction of the RSS ROS with foreign scientists, international sociological associations is one of the tasks. The members of the RSS are elected members of the governing bodies of the International Sociological Association.

After the XV World Sociological Congress (2002, Brisbane), the RSS held presentation sessions on the problems of sociology in Russia, development of ethnosociology, education sociology, social theory, sociology of the social sphere, the role of sociological journals in the development of science. Since 2010, the RSS has been a member of the BRICS Coordination Council.

But, despite the close interaction, the last decades have been marked by open confrontation between two worlds. The continuing confrontation is reminiscent of the socialist era which was characterized by crisis and conflict-causing risk factors, instead of stability and development. Aggravation and tension found its response in the scientific community. A new sociological direction appeared - risk society. One of the supporters was Beck Ulrich who writes: “We know that personal rationality and personal responsibility of is limited. Passive behavior of human and society is forming. Human is beyond the physical and biological norms and traits inherent in him by birth, which turns society into a consumer dependent on the state” (Ulrich Beck Risk Society, 2000, p. 78).

He declares: “Human should not make rational decisions. He has to rely on the fact that society is rational, although it is difficult to identify all the pros and cons. He might behave according to the rules, trusting the banker, the politician, the engineer, just as he trusts the doctor” (Ulrich Beck Risk Society, 2000, p. 92).

But this behavior is characteristic of society and the authorities. It is naive to believe that doctors in modern times are concerned about the patient’s state, when medicine is a monopoly and a business project.

Sociology has accumulated many tools for studying human in its various manifestations. It uses systematic research methods, theoretical thinking and logical evaluation of arguments. It aims to develop knowledge about a particular subject. This subject can be human, society, etc.

There are schools (theories), but there are subjects; they are different in different theories. Western sociologists can calculate the planned result of their research. They need to make adjustments to low-cost projects. Western societies are moving to a new modernization management system, regulation in society. In this society, everything is subordinated to the same goal - a successful and comfortable lifestyle. Societies of the third-world countries are at the stage of transformation and at the first level of modernization. Those tools proposed for reforming these countries are ineffective.

For example, during the Soviet period, the working population of the country went to work early in the morning and were satisfied with the labor process, although they were not satisfied with their salaries. Being reposnible, the working class showed both professionalism and moral maturity. In the period of democratization and market development, the population was differentiated stratified into the poor, entrepreneurs, and oligarchs. The entrepreneur increases process for the products which affects the poor population of the country. Social strata are split and distanced from each other; political and economic circles are aimed at further implementation of capitalization mechanisms to the detriment of the national economy and welfare.

Gehlen and Shelski are co-authors of the anthropological theory, according to which social institutions aim to “unload a person from pressing problems, human becomes confident, and satisfaction of of permanent needs becomes self-evident. Therefore, human does not need to plan his behavior to satisfy his needs. He does not realize what need he has. Institutions ... protect him ... penetrate into the depths of his consciousness and will” (as cited in World Encyclopedia. Philosophy, 2001, p. 490). However, human does not become their puppet."

Habermas “defines modern society as impersonal systems driving the life world of the individual”. He explains that “the problem is excessive invasion of the first into the territory of the second, which causes the need to create communication centers designed to bring the relationship between the systems and the individual’s life world to balance and prevent possible crises of legitimacy of political power” (Ulrich Beck Risk Society, 2000, p. 175).

The West imposes its model as the only true path of development and does not take into account that not all of these models are suitable for development. For them, this is a product that should be sold, and its effects are not important.

In the Western world, “sociology occupies the first place in the group of disciplines including anthropology, economics and political science, i.e. social sciences” (Giddens, 1999, p. 64).

For Russia, it is more rational to study one society (and we have a lot of them) and work out our own sociological tools. It turned out that correct behavior of the Russians was not rewarded by the expectations of change, and rationality that was not in demand during the decision-making period cannot be a guarantor. Everything traditional in the life of any society can be destroyed by fear and threats. The concepts of correct behavior, rationality can be applied. The states of uncertainty and risk appear. Zubkov (2012) explains that “the risk is manifested only in behavior of the subject who responds or does not respond to a certain situation” (p. 4).

According to Ulrich, “risk is a featureof the situation that has an uncertain outcome and adverse consequences ... there is no rationality ... the crux of the matter is radical rethinking of the human world, the natural world, the universe in general … how to organize a new round of modernization of traditional societies without creating new risks ... Society ... got used to the idea that politicians and their environment ... would not give up those benefits that have due to passive behavior of working citizens, pensioners and children. The policy should follow the path of self-restraint. Economics and science change the conditions of social life ...” (Ulrich Beck Risk Society, 2000, p. 209). B. Ulrich emphasizes that risks are inevitable and politicians will not yield. There is a conflict of interests between social and political levels.

Social and political relationships are based on the recipes suggested by the academia. If "it was possible to say that science judges the objective state of affairs ... Now ... it participates in the production of risks ... due to social pressure" (Ulrich Beck Risk Society, 2000, p. 231). “When everything was at our disposal, it was a human product, the era of excuses has gone away. There is no objective coercion - we allow them to dominate ... in a risk society, life situations and knowledge generation are directly intertwined... The end of the latency phase has two sides: the risk and its (public) perception ... attempts to justify risks, risks will grow and become a global danger” (Ulrich Beck Risk Society, 2000, p. 231).

In the regions of the Russian Federation, the situation is calm. The RSS and the Russian Academy of Sciences conduct sociological surveys in order to identify public opinion on certain problems. In the Chechen Republic, a survey was conducted by international organizations (Validata which is a member of the international association of research company ESOMAR).

The Chechen State University was chosen as a basis for the study of the network of the Chechen Republic. “Teachers and students were surveyed. There were several focus groups and 12 representative surveys of adults. Each survey involved 1,000 respondents living in 85 districts of the region. About 5,000 people were surveyed. These were the first representative studies in the history of Chechnya. Based on the survey results, the following conclusions were drawn: Chechens spoke openly, because they were tired of being afraid of everything; Chechen society is politicized; the majority of respondents are adequate and friendly; public opinion is measurable”.

“In 2014, the Fund n.a. Henry Böll conducted a sociological survey on the "Life and position of women in the North Caucasus". The survey was conducted in 4 republics - Chechen, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria and Dagestan. Irina Kosterina was a supervisor. Olga Elkina was a consultant of the project. 723 women took part in the survey. Women of Chechnya and Dagestan were in solidarity, while the answers of the representatives of Ingushetia and Kabardino-Balkaria were different.

Disturbing answers were given to the questions about violence and family structure. The study showed that in Chechnya women experience more control and pressure; they are dreaming of getting education, additional qualification to be economically independent. Women in Kabardino-Balkaria: the older generation is concerned about the material situation, the younger generation is prone to Islamization, preferring religious values to secular ones. Ingushetia is the most prosperous republic: “it has the highest percentage of “happy” women ... On the other hand, these data show that many problems have not been verbalized by women” (Kosterina, 2015, par. 9). In the North Caucasus, the situation is relatively calm due to the traditional foundations of the society.”

Sociological studies were also carried out by social scientists of the Chechen State University. They make their own contribution to the study of social phenomena and processes in a particular area under the guidance of Doctor of Sociological Sciences L.U. Kurbanova. The candidate of sociological sciences S. Zhemchuraeva publishes works on construction of Chechen identity in a multi-ethnic environment.


Civilization processes have brought the social system and lives of the population to an unacceptable edge of tension and risk. New technologies generate new business. Creating new problems, it is detrimental and destructive.


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21 January 2020

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Dimaeva*, F., Zhemchuraeva, S., Vaskov, M., Demelkhanov, S., & Soltamuradov, M. (2020). Constructing Social And Political Interactions In A Risk Society. In D. Karim-Sultanovich Bataev, S. Aidievich Gapurov, A. Dogievich Osmaev, V. Khumaidovich Akaev, L. Musaevna Idigova, M. Rukmanovich Ovhadov, A. Ruslanovich Salgiriev, & M. Muslamovna Betilmerzaeva (Eds.), Social and Cultural Transformations in the Context of Modern Globalism, vol 76. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 685-690). Future Academy.