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Towards the World Culture Society

Florian Znaniecki’s Culturalism


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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12 Dialogical Versus Hegemonic Models of Interaction Between National Culture Societies / 181


chapter 12 Dialogical Versus Hegemonic Models of Interaction Between National Culture Societies The leading theme of sociology at the beginning of the twentieth century was, as Roland Robertson reminded us, the question of national identity and the analysis of social changes in terms of the Gemeinschaft – Gesellschaft opposition ( Robertson 1991: 46–47). However, the sociology of the turn of the century concentrates on the question of the world-system, or in other words, on the process of globalization. At the same time the categories ‘community’ and ‘nation’ are spurned as ‘strange’ or ‘nostalgic’ ( Turner 1991: 7), or even ‘total’ ( Haber 1994: 126), since they threaten diVerentiation through their requirement of identification with a greater social unit. This analysis seeks to question the total understanding of the nation-state, cur- rently being propagated by many representatives of the social sciences by returning to the nation as a purely cultural connotation, and not a political one. This is, at the same time, a supplement to the new history of sociological thought postulated by Robertson. The latter rightly stated that ‘there is much yet to be done in sifting the work of the pioneers of modern sociology with respect to their sense of the global changes of their time’ ( Robertson 1991: 52). The study refutes the thesis that apart from Marx the clas- sics of sociology practically did not commit themselves to globalization. The process of globalization in the writings of three creators of the humanistic theory of social relations – George H. Mead, Robert...

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