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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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15 Culture and Power: Possibilities and Responsibilities for the World Society / 221


chapter 15 Culture and Power: Possibilities and Responsibilities for the World Society How Should the Legacy of Florian Znaniecki Be Suitably Portrayed Today? There is no lack of supporters of the extreme standpoint that almost all theoretical projects of the twentieth century sociology, which used to strive against each other, are currently dead and that entirely new research enterprises should appear on the deserted battlefield ( Turner 2001; Fuchs 2001). This is because the contending theories have become outdated, as the social world has changed too fast for its conceptual frames to keep pace ( Bauman 2000). The state of sociology at the beginning of the 21st century seems distant from the attraction that the new discipline used to possess when it en- ticed great intellects a hundred years earlier, and its practitioners today, as compared to practitioners around the middle of the twentieth century, show a lack of determination to fulfill the modernist promises which sociology used to carry. Postmodernist doubt in the possibility of objective cognition also aVects sociology, where a politically correct answer to the question which side the researcher – she or he – is taking is supposed to restore its ultimate legitimacy – emancipation from the dominating powers permeating the orders of thought and social relations. More and more frequently, the place of sociology and social sciences is being taken by ‘research’ and ‘studies’ of various kinds, unspecified with regard to their subject-matter and methodology. Thus, the question comes to mind: what can we still learn, what...

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