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Sociological Deconstruction and Reconstruction: Mediation of Opposites by Interpenetration

Mediations of Social Life in the 21st Century

ISBN: 978-1-78441-223-4, eISBN: 978-1-78441-222-7

ISSN: 0278-1204

Publication date: 31 October 2014

Abstract

Purpose

The paper argues for a comprehensive method of sociological deconstruction and reconstruction that includes: (i) de-subjectifying interpretation, (ii) re-subjectifying explanation, (iii) de-objectifying understanding, and (iv) re-objectifying conceptualization.

Design

Both methodological and substantive arguments are guided by the constructive principle of mediating interpenetration of polar opposites.

Findings

Status groups and class interests are conceived as major categories of sociological differentiation mediating between the abstractions of individuals and society. Three types of class formation are discovered in Weber’s legacy beyond Marx’s property one. Sorokin’s work in a two-dimensional social stratification and mobility is found to have major significance for developing the concept of social classes and for reconciling divergent ideas of social stratification. The principle of concept formation by mediation of interpenetrating polar opposites is found to be of greater complexity and effectiveness than Hegel’s logical principle of transcendental supersession.

Originality

The comprehensive method of sociological deconstruction and reconstruction seamlessly integrates qualitative and quantitative methods in sociology as well as concept formation and research.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Acknowledgments

This paper is partially based on a paper presented to the Annual Meeting of American Sociological Association, Denver 2012, and an essay written for the online newsletter of the ASA Theory Section. I would like to thank two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments on a draft version of this paper.

Citation

Smikun, E. (2014), "Sociological Deconstruction and Reconstruction: Mediation of Opposites by Interpenetration", Mediations of Social Life in the 21st Century (Current Perspectives in Social Theory, Vol. 32), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 135-157. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0278-120420140000032006

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014 Emerald Group Publishing Limited