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Towards the World Culture Society

Florian Znaniecki’s Culturalism

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Elzbieta Halas

If the new cultural sociology is to gain firm grounds, it should rediscover the classic studies on cultural dynamics and cultural systems. This book contributes to a better understanding of Florian Znaniecki as an eminent culturologist and the lasting relevance of his theory of cultural becoming. Znaniecki opted for a humanistic approach that he called culturalism. Culturalism, founded on the principle of the humanistic coefficient, is applied also to the cultural person. The concept of social values makes this cultural approach an original one. The cultural logic and cultural ethos of Znaniecki’s thought is inherent in the very principle of a creative evolution of culture, augmenting his vision of a new civilization of the future and a world culture society.
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Elzbieta Halas

The volume includes texts by sociologists from the USA, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Australia and Poland, all of whom deemed Florian Znaniecki’s ideas worth discussing in the context of the condition of contemporary sociology and society at the turning point of this era. Znaniecki (1882-1958), an eminent Polish and American sociologist and philosopher of culture, conducted research into the possibility of developing social solidarity on a global scale. Znaniecki pioneered new ideas in the field of the sociology of nation and in the theory of the global society. The main issue for Znaniecki was the possibility of creating inter-cultural communication leading to a peaceful order. All texts present creative pursuit of his ideas. They bring into focus the theoretical and practical challenges offered both to the departing and to the new generation entering life now, at the dawn of the twenty-first century.
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The Columbia Circle of Scholars

Selections from the Journal (1930–1957)

Elzbieta Halas

The volume contains selections from Theodore Abel’s Journal of Thoughts and Events which he kept since 1930 for over fifty years. The autobiographical narration brings into focus the scholars who contributed most to the social thought of the 20th century. Abel lived his everyday life among the most outstanding scholars in the realm of social sciences of his time. It allows the rediscovery of the now-forgotten chapter of the development of sociology in the 1930’s and 1940’s in the vibrant context of the scholars’ social life. Abel’s Journal primarily shows the two decades of the intellectual history of the Department of Sociology at Columbia University. Abel’s Journal is a primary source for the reconstruction of the great methodological debate and conflict of paradigms of the practice of sociology, especially with the participation of the circle of sociologists to which Robert M. MacIver, Florian Znaniecki, Pitirim Sorokin, Robert Lynd, Paul Lazarsfeld, George Lundberg and Robert K. Merton belonged. It sheds light on the impact of MacIver who played a significant role in the exchange of ideas between European and American scholars and was an advocate of interpretive sociology.
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Elzbieta Halas

The volume is the first one in the series Studies in Sociology: Symbols, Theory and Society. The authors from Australia, Finland, Germany, Poland, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, who contributed to it, are sociologists bound by a conviction that the study of the social context of making use of symbols cannot be underestimated. Conception of symbolism as a social phenomenon and not an autonomous semiotic system is of their common interest and a symbolic interactionist perspective is apparent in many texts. The readiness to trespass the boundaries of various approaches and disciplines is noticeable. The volume is divided into three parts: Symbols and Society. Theoretical Perspectives; Political Discourse and Symbolic Action; Religious Symbolism and Power. Symbolism of discourses, symbolic objects and symbolic actions are three intrinsically related domains that were studied.
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Education and Social Change

Edited and Introduced by Elzbieta Halas

Elzbieta Halas

Education and Social Change sheds a new light on Florian Znaniecki's most original program of the sociology of education. The volume contains newly discovered reports from the research under the auspices of the Columbia University in the thirties, focused on educating to participate in democratic social order and cultural innovation. Preparation for cooperative interactions with leaders lies at the core of the analysis. Included are several texts published in English which clearly expound Znaniecki's analysis of social processes in education. The key idea of transforming educational systems in the direction of self-education still proves relevant.
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Edited by Elżbieta Hałas

This volume commemorates Richard H. Grathoff’s (1934–2013) contribution to interpretative sociology. Reconsidering the legacy of social phenomenology, it demonstrates the usefulness of concepts such as life-world, milieu and symbolic transcendence in the studies of sociocultural transformations.
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Edited by Elzbieta Halas and Risto Heiskala

"The series has been created by Elzbieta Halas and Risto Heiskala in order to stimulate and develop cooperation in research on the meaning, forms and functions of symbolism in society. The series is open to various theoretical and methodological orientations in the studies of social symbolism. The aim of the series is to show the central place of the problems of symbolization and symbolism in sociology - processes of symbolization in everyday life, in collective actions, social movements, organizations, in the public sphere of institutions, as well as in the construction of collective memories and identities, in the construction of the state and the nation, and in international relations and in globalization processes.

The series presents theoretical and empirical questions of symbolic power, symbolic hegemony, symbolic control and symbolic politics; integrating as well as transforming and liberating functions of social symbolism in the processes of interactions and communication which shape knowledge, values and social sentiments."