Epistemology

Download The Social Frameworks of Knowledge (Explorations in by Georges. Gurvitch PDF

By Georges. Gurvitch

Sociology

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Extra info for The Social Frameworks of Knowledge (Explorations in Interpretative Sociology)

Sample text

The 'social correlate' corresponding to each type and system of knowledge, which is placed in the foreground by the sociology of knowledge, should not be considered as an obstacle to knowledge. Certainly awareness of this correlate, or the 'placing of knowledge in a sociological perspective' can reveal the inefficiency of systems of knowledge ill-suited to the social frameworks in which they are maintained, just as they can help to a certain extent in 'bracketing' this correlate by reducing its importance.

The difference between Gurvitch's theory and that of 'abstract culturalism' can be illustrated by two analogies (or, more technically, the typical referents of their 'as if' statements): the 'abstract culturalist' is likely to compare his structuralism to structural linguistics, and to speak of the 'grammar' of culture; Gurvitch, in contrast, constantly evokes the picture of structure as a 'balancing act' or precarious equilibrium. For Gurvitch there is a constant dialectic not only between structure and all those social phenomena extraneous to it (the subjacent total social phenomena), but also between the forces of destructuration and restructuration inherent in the components of structure.

Gurvitch says that the characteristics of time must be understood dialectically with regard to continuity and discontinuity; past, present and future; quantitative and qualitative; homogeneity and heterogeneity; stability and change. He discusses eight types of social time 2 and relates these to the different depth levels and social frameworks. On the basis of this analysis he is then able to posit certain likely functional correlations between, for example, forms of sociality, depth levels and particular social times.

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