Conceptual (categorical) apparatus of socio-cultural...

Conceptual (categorical) apparatus of socio-cultural anthropology

Analysis of the formation and development of socio-cultural anthropology in connection with specific socio-historical and scientific-theoretical conditions makes it possible to identify those most common ideas, principles, approaches that are formed in the process of the formation of socio-anthropological knowledge. A particular manifestation of this function has already been shown in connection with the formation of the concept of "primitive cultures".

Moreover, the study of the process of the emergence, development and change of the content of specific scientific concepts and categories of socio-cultural anthropology acts as an independent, and most importantly - methodologically fruitful direction in the analysis of this scientific discipline. In any developed science, its conceptual apparatus is designed to differentiate its domain or individual components of this domain, in other words, the concepts perform the function of designating the components of the subject of science.

The concepts also serve to consolidate the results of cognition, in a concentrated form expressing the essence of a particular scientific theory or a part of it. So, the concept of the cultural circle fixes the results of theoretical searches of representatives of diffusionism in an attempt to find the relationship between cultural and geographical phenomena.

Concepts also perform a methodological function, directing and organizing the research efforts of an anthropologist. Thus, the concept of "evolution of culture" orientates the study of cultural dynamics, and the concept of "culture structure" emphasizes the research focus on cultural statics. The conceptual apparatus can only be discussed when, in the process of the development of science, certain of its concepts and categories turn out to be logically interrelated, and their application in scientific research makes it possible to construct judgments available for verification (verification of truth) and falsification (verification of falsehood).

The content of the conceptual apparatus essentially depends on a specific understanding of the subject of socio-cultural anthropology. Often, it is identified with ethnology, and this is reflected in the specifics of the concepts used.

In the authoritative tutorial we read: "On ethnology (ethnography) one can hear the opinion that it is purely descriptive (descriptive), an empirical discipline that is alien to generalizations and theories, and which therefore needs ostensibly only in household vocabulary for fixation and primary description of collected information. & lt; ... & gt; In fact, in every ethnological study and in ethnological science as a whole, both sides are invariably expressed - empirical and theoretical-methodological, and during this development this science partly created, partly borrowed a rich conceptual and terminological arsenal. & lt; ... & gt; Ethnos is an extremely complex social system. Therefore, the conceptual-terminological apparatus describing it has the same features: complexity, systemic, co-ordination .

The authors of the cited work give an example of the spectrum of scientific concepts , used for the study of ethnos :

• ethnic territory and ethnic boundaries;

• compactness or dispersity of settlement;

• cultural adaptation;

• ethnic composition;

• social strata;

• ethnic layers;

• dialect, jargon;

• bilingualism, poly-linguism;

• Culture: material, spiritual, folk-folklore, professional;

• custom, rite, ritual, etiquette;

• ethnic self-awareness;

• ethnic pictures of the world;

• interethnic contacts;

• Acculturation;

• Assimilation;

• inter-ethnic tension;

• Conflicts;

• ethno-integrative processes;

• ethnic differentiation and division, etc.

It is not difficult to see that a different understanding of anthropological knowledge (namely, its consideration as a socio-cultural anthropology) puts forward the category of "culture" around the center of the conceptual apparatus, around which other concepts are grouped. A fruitful approach for the systematization of concepts related to the description and study of culture is proposed

E. L. Orlova. She singles out the following grounds for classifying concepts that correspond to the research problem being solved:

- origin : "natural - artificial", or "nature - culture"; in this case, such problems as the search for the causes that give rise to the need to build an artificial world are being addressed; factors and mechanisms for maintaining the boundaries between it and nature; forms and ways of converting natural material in cultural phenomena (artifacts);

- properties of the objects under study, real (material) - social - symbolic & quot ;; In these boundaries, the specificity of each class of objects is studied (individually or in different combinations); mechanisms of their generation and ways of discrimination;

Scope of domain coverage : "pankultura (culture viewed in relation to humanity as a whole) - culture (culture considered in its local manifestations)"; attention is focused either on the characteristics of culture common to all societies, peoples and regions, and the causes of their origin are determined, or on the cultural specifics of individual units of this kind, as well as on the factors that cause differences and the mechanisms for maintaining them;

forms of existence : "societal-institutional - ordinary (everyday)"; the differences in generation, forms of representation and ways of functioning of normative formations of general social and local-group levels and in the nature of interactions and communications carried out within their framework are investigated;

- prevalence of cultural objects : "mass - subcultural (local group)"; the specificity of the content of cultural information and the ways of its use in each of the areas is revealed; the boundaries and connections between them are established;

the degree of complexity of cultural information : "elitist - popular"; the causes of the emergence of refined and vulgar cultural forms, their cultural functions, ways of transformation;

- locus of existence : "urban - rural" (often considered in terms of "written - oral"): the influence of the forms of social organization on the ways of comprehension and symbolization of the life environment corresponding to them is examined.

Obviously, this kind of conceptual groups are formed around other subjects of research of sociocultural anthropology: religion, customs, rituals, kinship systems, social communication systems, etc.

The formation of almost every new theoretical concept in sociocultural anthropology is associated with the formation of new concepts and categories of this science. So, within the framework of diffusionism, the notion of cultural circles appeared, within the framework of the structural-functional approach - the notion of the social institution , etc. At the same time, some categories are common to most areas of socio-cultural anthropology and play a systemic role for this science. This is the role played by the concept of "culture", which characterizes that system of social relations, specific patterns of activity, the totality of material artifacts and spiritual values, through which human society is fundamentally different from animal communities, even the most highly developed.

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