Competing Sociological Diagnoses of Contemporary Times: Potentials of the RISU Conceptual Framework

Nikolai Genov


The global financial and economic crisis caught social scientists and decision makers by surprise. They did not possess explanatory and predictive conceptual frameworks needed for coping with the crisis. This finding provokes critical analysis of available sociological concepts and constructive argumentation in three steps. First, disparities are identified between influential diagnoses of global processes and the processes themselves. Second, the question arises: How to conceptually reduce the global over-complexity in order to reach a reliable diagnosis of our times? Third, the suggested solution focuses on the substantiation, development and application of mutually connected concepts of four global trends: upgrading the rationality of organizations, individualization, spread of instrumental activism and universalization of value-normative systems (the RISU conceptual framework). The claim is that these trends decisively shape the contemporary social reality and will continue to profoundly shape it in the future. The conclusion reads that the RISU conceptual framework offers analytical tools for making the global, regional and societal over-complexity transparent for descriptions, explanations, forecasting and potentially efficient management of social development. The claim is substantiated by applying the conceptual framework in the analysis of the housing crisis in the United States.

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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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