Florian Znaniecki’s Culturalism
8 Constructing Social Values: Cultural Approach / 123
chapter 8 Constructing Social Values: Cultural Approach Voices of scholars who claim the urgent need for sociology to strengthen the intimate relationship with the humanities and philosophy ( Bellah 1986: 297–307) may provide an important reason to consider Florian Znaniecki’s humanistic approach to sociology ( Ha∏as 1991a). He placed sociology in the complex of cultural sciences (Znaniecki 1952a) and grounded this concept in the philosophy of culturalism (Znaniecki 1919). The projection of sociology as a cultural science remains a fecund formulation. To be more exact, sociology in Znaniecki’s view was a science about social systems as a particular kind of cultural system. Znaniecki has markedly advanced the culturalistic analysis of the composition and structure of social systems: social actions and interactions, social relations, social persons, social groups as well as societies in the analytical sense of complexes of groups institutionalized by one dominant political, national or eccle- siastical group (Znaniecki 1934a: 105–136; 1965: 18–20). The culturalistic approach to social systems is grounded in his idea of social value as the core element of social systems. Social values are supposed to form a particular class distinct from other cul- tural values and social systems would only be one class of cultural systems in general. To properly understand this exclusive concept of the object-matter of sociology one needs to investigate the basic premises of Znaniecki’s philosophy of culture, especially relations between notions of culture, person and society. * First published as ‘Social Values as the Object-Matter of Florian Znaniecki’s Culturalistic Sociology’...
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