"Linguistic catastrophe" of the sociologist focused on textual analysis

The article was originally intended as a review of A. I. Reytblat's book Writing Across: Articles on Biographics, Sociology and History of Literature. However, the text turned into a brief overview and even an attempt to "classify" the works which every sociologist focused on textual analysis should read. Such a change of the author's intention was determined by three factors. The first is the "methodological trauma" of sociologists who constantly clarify the grounds of their empirical work and conceptualizations under the nowadays-exalted interdisciplinarity of sociology. The second factor is the aggravation of this problem in the field of textual analysis which lacks conventional nominations of analytical approaches, not to mention rules and procedures of the "classical" scientific methodology. The third factor responsible for the change in the author's intention is the need for some minimum competence in the disciplines that influence textual analysis in sociology and, thus, their impact has to be evaluated in terms of their causes, consequences, and limits. The author identifies four types of non-sociological works on different linguistic aspects of social life that can form such a competence: (1) practical guidelines for the linguistic analysis essential for correct content analytical studies; (2) publicist estimates of the role of language in social life and of the transformations of the current Russian language/discourse; (3) philosophical works devoted not as much to the discursive construction of social reality as to the fundamental role of language in its constitution and destruction, and; (4) works on the social life of texts that can conditionally fit into the notion of the "sociology of literature".

Trotsuk I. 1, 2
National Research University Higher School of Economics
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  • 1 Centre for Fundamental Sociology, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Myasnitskaya str., 20, Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation
  • 2 Peoples' Friendship University of Russia, Myasnitskaya str., 20, Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation
Ключевые слова
Discursive construction of reality; Interdisciplinarity; Linguistic analysis; Non-sociological types of works on "the problem of text"; Social life of texts; Textual analysis in sociology; The social role of language
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