Issue 1 2019

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The purpose of this article is to analyze the evolution of the concept of gender in social knowledge and the humanities. The term «gender» encompasses biological (sexual), psychological, social, cultural, symbolic aspects of human life. Even before the introduction of this term into scientific publications in the 1960s, the phenomenon itself was discovered in three types of knowledge: in psychology and psychiatry when studying various forms of sexuality and sexual identity, in anthropological and ethnographic studies, and in the feminist philosophy of culture. This largely determined the main directions in the study and understanding of gender for several decades. The theory of socio-cultural construction of gender played the main role. It developed in parallel with other critical and constructivist scientific concepts, which in no small part led to its adoption by «academics» and the inclusion of the gender perspective in the body of scientific research. However, along with the development of postmodern feminist philosophy, the concept of gender undergoes redefinition. The constructivist model of gender is displaced by the performative concept of Judith Butler. She argues that not only gender but the biological sex does not exist outside the cultural framework and power discourse. The binary matrix of gender, gender identity and heterosexuality is approved within the framework of the dominant discourse with the help of various regulatory actions (performatives). Butler rejects this model because she claims that bodies, sex and gender identity have different configurations. The performative concept of sex was actively used in the queer project, as it provided justification for rejecting the normative binary concept of femininity and masculinity and the corresponding heterosexuality. Today, queer includes political movement, research, art, and discursive deconstruction of normative heterosexuality. The variant of mosaic nature, hybridity and relativism of identity proposed in the queer project destroys the possibility of social and political transformations in the sphere of gender equality. Instead, queer activists advocate an elusive equality of opportunity to try on different identities at one’s own discretion. At the present stage, the theoretical radicalism of queer makes the development of new social programs unlikely, while they appear to be necessary. In contrast, gender theory (in its feminist, constructivist, and cultural-symbolic modes) has had a significant scientific and social impact. The use of the gender perspective in social knowledge and the humanities has provided better understanding of the individual and society. The principle of achieving gender equality has been accepted by the world community and has become part of many programs at the international and national levels. However, the problems in the understanding of the relation between sex and gender, discovered in performative and queer theory, become significant against a background of spreading biotechnologies (from sex reassignment surgeries to assisted reproduction). This requires wider research and further discussion among different schools.

The study aims to identify the socially necessary content in human existence and to contrast it with the content that has little or even negative significance for society development. Socially necessary means necessary in its higher, precisely human content, in relation to the human nature, society and individual. Since the necessary and random content in society are dialectically related, the study is reduced to revealing this interrelationship of the social forms of necessity and randomness. The study is based on the concrete-universal theory of development proposed by the group of authors under the leadership of V.V. Orlov. The concept of person developed by V.V. Orlov within the framework of this theory makes it possible to identify objective grounds for defining criteria for the degree of necessity of content in society. One of these grounds is linked with the universal, potentially infinite essence of a person, its deepest laws and needs, while the other ground, dialectically associated with that, is linked with a person’s work activity, its goals and objectives. These grounds allow one to trace the way the necessary content is distributed in the social and individual being of a person, revealing the most socially necessary content. The dialectical interrelationship of these grounds makes it possible to preserve the traditional approach to the understanding of necessity and randomness as correlative concepts turning into their own opposite under certain conditions. The study provides an important tool for critical analysis of the order existing in society and trends of its development in terms of the underlying needs of the universal human essence. In this light, it appears that the most necessary content in human existence is everything that contributes to unlocking of the fruitful potential of the human essence and corresponds to human values and humanistic ideals proven throughout the centuries.

In the second half of the 20th century, the Soviet humanities faced crisis of their philosophical foundations — the materialist understanding of history. In epistemological terms, it was caused by the discovered heuristic limits of the abstract-universal materialist theory, which describes the general in the development of reality but eliminates all the diversity of the particular in it. Over time, there emerged two interrelated trends within this crisis — the gradual formulation of the concrete-universal theory, which describes both the general and (in a generalized form) the whole diversity of the particular in development, and the degradation of the abstract-universal theory. The disintegration of the abstract-universal theory has become the dominant trend. It manifested itself in the fact that, recognizing that the general provisions of materialism were true in principle, most Soviet authors began to depart from them when analyzing specific historical phenomena. It was concluded that in a particular situation, social being does not always determine social consciousness, the basis does not always determine the superstructure, material production does not always determine political life and culture. At the same time, there was a rejection of dialectics, an integral part of Marxism. The opinion was often expressed about the equivalence of opposites in their unity and relativity of those parties that were recognized as absolute in traditional Marxism. Such theoretical conclusions resulted in the rejection of historical materialism and transition of the overwhelming majority of the national humanities representatives to the positions of pre-marxist and non-classical philosophy.

Russian and foreign scientists are increasingly turning to the concept of the social state, its problems and prospects of existence. There are grounds for believing that in addressing issues related to the future of the welfare state and problems of its development, philosophical thought should contribute among others. Scientists set the task of describing and explaining significant changes in the role of the modern state in the management of public affairs (especially in the social sphere). This problem is solved by researchers from different, sometimes opposite, theoretical and methodological positions. Based on the modern scientific theory of the historical process, the paper studies the problem of the implementation of social functions by modern states. It attempts to identify the anthropological foundations of the state and its social function in terms of the philosophical concept of human nature. The author gives his own definition of the social function of the state, which is presented in a wide and narrow sense. The paper proves the idea that the problem of social functions of modern states is a consequence of the crisis of the anthropological foundations of the modern human civilization. The crisis of the homo economicus determines the revision and subsequent optimization of the social obligations of the modern state, the reduction of its social functions. The poverty of the working population, its aging and debt load, job cuts due to the introduction of automated production, deep class differentiation, and other manifestations of this crisis require new approaches to managing the affairs of society. «Departure» of the state from the social sphere inevitably leads to the increased religiosity in society, enhanced role of major international corporations that have a significant potential for the replacement of the state’s social functions. The paper provides basic recommendations and suggests the main ways to overcome the anthropological crisis in modern Russia.

The concept of class (saṃgraha) was introduced in the philosophy of Yogācāra as an element of logical structure of Buddhist discourse for the classification of sets of dharmas (skandha, dhātu, āyatana) rather dharmas themselves. This classification, added to the traditional classification of dharmas by groups (skandha), elements (dhātu) and bases of consciousness (āyatana), provided more detailed classification of states of consciousness according to Buddhist dogmatic principles aimed at the attainment of nirvāṇa. Asanga in the «Compendium of Abhidharma» (Abhidharma-samuccaya) formulates eleven classes defining them by their mutual relations, their relations to time and space and by their emotional aspect relevant to the final enlightenment. Nevertheless they are nothing more than mental constructions formed for more exact description of mind in the perspective of enlightenment. Dharmas are the only reality in Buddhist philosophy, and enlightenment comes when appearance and disappearance of the conditioned dharmas stops and only the unconditional dharma remains. It is the treasure trove, and it is free from affects and determined dispositions. So, classes do not describe the true reality (tathatā) as it is understood in Mahāyāna Buddhism and are but instruments for the transformation of adept’s mind.

The reason for writing the article was the discussion in the regional and federal media about the «Immortal Regiment» movement. The article deals with the socio-cultural and philosophical foundations of the event. Scientifically, it is a ritual, and its content can be considered in terms of the theory of collective memory. According to the authors, as an action based on the synthesis of individual and collective memory of the participants, the movement appears to be a practical embodiment of N. Fedorov’s «philosophy of the common cause». If we extrapolate the trends considered in the article to several decades ahead, we can predict the transformation of the event into an unofficially celebrated day of all those killed in wars and disasters not only in Russia and the former Soviet Union but also in other foreign countries. We can expect an increase in the variety of interpretations of the «Immortal Regiment» movement and, as a result, emergence of various conflicts on this ground. In this regard, philosophy, cultural studies and other humanities are facing a practical task of developing a concept of the holiday that would be politically correct and resistant to multicultural influence.

Entering the process of consumption, not only does the person construct their individual being and social reality but also completes their individuality, relying on symbols popular in the environment. Attempts to show one’s own personality are confronted with the ways of self-presentation accepted in the society, as well as with assessments from other people, so a person is faced with the necessity to choose what and how to present. The openness of self-presentation methods results in the spread of interest in individual aspects and characteristics of the personality and also causes its transition to the category of the object of consumption. At the same time, the desire to get a positive external evaluation from others entails «folding» of the individuality due to the demonstration of only certain aspects that are most in demand (that is, the most «consumed» ones). Such a process is associated with the desire to satisfy the needs for recognition and respect, to supplement the qualities, features, characteristics of the image of the «Self» or to hide the lack of the basic reality and understanding of oneself as an integral personality. On the other hand, identification of oneself in the sociocultural space, in the reference group, leads to the search for and selection of individuals that are of the greatest interest. Personality, while becoming a subject of consumption, objectifies the other, endowed with the desired qualities and characteristics, consuming the information communicated by it. However, such a process of consumption causes a feeling of incompleteness and inferiority of oneself, resulting from the impossibility of possessing the desired qualities, thus provoking ongoing search for objects of consumption, distancing from one’s own individuality and the loss of one’s own Self.

Pregnancy is a special period of a woman’s development, characterized by the acceptance of the new social role and changes in behavioral patterns based on parental attitudes, representations of motherhood, and social expectations. This study aims to analyze age differences in the types of psychological component of the gestational dominant (PСGD) and parental attitudes of women in different states (pregnant and non-pregnant). The principal assumption is that the age and the current state have a profound effect and determine different types of PСGD. Additionally, the associations between types of PCGD and parental attitudes are analyzed. The research sample consists of 436 women aged from 18 to 40, divided into two sub-groups: pregnant women (203) and non-pregnant women with a child not older than five (233). Methods: «Parental Attitude Research Instrument» (РARI) and questionnaire «Types of psychological component of the gestational dominant»; ANOVA, t-test, correlation and cluster analysis were used as statistical methods. The main conclusion is that differences in parental attitudes and types of PCGD mainly depend on the women’s age. Younger women (not older than 21) have more negative emotions linked with the intra-family relations (relationship with their husband) and the child’s upbringing. In addition, younger women perceive depression as the central psychological component of the gestational dominant. Regardless of the age, emotional characteristics of the family relations correlate with more adaptive types of PCGD, while non-adaptive types of PСGD are mainly associated with the emotions concerning interaction with the child.

The aim of the present study was to examine the role of the focus on self-development for the psycho-emotional wellbeing of older adolescents (N = 146) and adults (N = 160). Two integrative indicators of the harmonicity / inharmonicity of the focus on self-development are suggested: the ratio of the importance of personal growth to its achievement (realization) and the ratio of the importance (external motivation) of self-development in life spheres to interest (internal motivation) in it. The research revealed that the psycho-emotional wellbeing of adolescents is of hedonistic nature, whereas that of adults is of eudemonic one. With regard to the focus on self-development, the level of the importance of personal growth and the level of its realization in adolescents and adults do not significantly differ. In addition, in both groups the level of the importance is significantly higher than the level of achievement, which indicates an aspiration for further self-improvement. The level of the importance of self-development in different life spheres and the level of interest in it are significantly higher in adults than in adolescents. The harmonious ratio of the importance of self-development to the interest in it and the harmonious ratio of the importance of personal growth to its achievement are most favorable for the psycho-emotional wellbeing of adolescents, while the realization in the sphere of personal growth and their own interest in self-development are of greater importance for the psycho-emotional wellbeing of adults. In adulthood indicators of the focus on self-development appear to be predictors of components of psycho-emotional wellbeing more often and with greater explanatory power than in the adolescent period. Evaluation of achievements in personal growth and internal motivation for self-development (interest in it) are the strongest predictors of psycho-emotional wellbeing for adults, whereas for adolescents the most important predictor of psycho-emotional wellbeing is the recognition of the importance of personal growth, which can be considered a reference point for the future life.

The article presents a brief biography of the outstanding scientist L.M. Vekker, the characteristics of his theoretical heritage. Vekker hold materialist views. He sought to encompass all mental processes in a single conceptual system and explain them as a special case of general laws of nature. There is a hierarchy of carriers of the psychic, so the link to the original carrier — physical, neural substrate — is unrecognized. As at the highest levels of that hierarchy this connection is far from its material foundation, it gives the subject an illusion of their absolute autonomy. Therefore, the psyche has often been treated as the soul — an autonomous substance. Vekker never agreed with this theoretical position. He acknowledged the existence of the soul but interpreted it as the highest integration of mental phenomena in the material system «human».
In his theory, he proves that mental phenomena are of the information nature, similar to technical and physiological signals. However, they are very specific and have properties of the projection, inaccessibility to direct sensory perception, inexpressibility in the language of nervous processes, immanent activity. The article discusses not only the theory but also the personality of L.M. Vekker, his place in the Soviet and Russian psychological science. In the article, his anniversary speech is published for the first time.

The article considers the place of social justice in modern law. Various aspects are noted: its relationship with the social state, legal state, civilizational particularities, historical features. The question of the significance of choice between the legality and legitimacy of power as a factor in the establishment of social justice is considered. The article raises the issue of the subject-object essence of social justice. It provides a comparison of two approaches to social justice in modern Russia — liberal and conservative, and notes the contradictory nature of both. Attention is drawn to the role of elites, the intelligentsia and the people in the embodiment of the liberal project. The author reveals the historical and civilizational prerequisites for the conservative project domination, its being in demand on the part of both the authorities and significant segments of the population, and its correspondence to the historical moment. The similarity of the conservative response to the challenges facing the society in the United States, Japan, Britain and Russia is substantiated. A sociological comparison of positions on the issues of law as social justice in the West and in Russia is given. There is an increasing divergence in understanding social justice both in the countries of the West (destruction of the social contract, welfare state) and between the West and the rest of the world. The theme of justice is increasingly playing a role in causing mutual claims rather than in stabilizing and maintaining international and civil peace. The paper considers attempts to create domestic models of a just society. Social justice is regarded as a projective concept and presupposes the existence of models of the expected and ideal future of society. The world trend towards change in the ideas of the subject of law and of the paradigm shift from liberalism to transhumanism is noted. It is argued that it is impossible to identify law with social justice.

Nowadays, in the conditions of global modernization, structural changes in society, lack of sustainable social development, family takes new forms and, therefore, needs studying from a new perspective. Quite a large number of works are devoted to the family as a special sphere of social life, its problems, family relationships, roles within the family. In recent decades, more and more attention has been paid to the young family as a special category. However, both in the context of the young family and in studying the problems of women and children, underaged mothers are rarely identified as a separate subject of study. It is the modern young family that is unstable to the greatest extent, precisely this type of family is affected by social cataclysms more than others. A juvenile mother with a child is certainly one of the forms of a young family. It is of great importance to define the social status of such a family. For this purpose, several important indicators have been identified: the level of education, the type of employment, income, housing conditions, prospects and leisure. Unfortunately, a young mother with a child is rarely independent of the immediate environment and the parent family because of her age, so her social status directly depends on the older generation or her husband. At the moment, centers are being created to help women who find themselves in a difficult life situation, which help young mothers to find their place in modern society and raise their child to be a worthy member.