The Cultural Turn in Contemporary Social Sciences

Přednáší: Viktor Vajda-Pasisnychenko
The revolutionary innovations in natural sciences destroyed a mechanistic Newtonian scientific paradigm and had provoked a search for the new landmarks in social sciences often dominated by positivistic and empiricist traditions. Its most obvious outcome is a focus on the complex systems of autopoietic self-organization and attempts to overcome the division between ‘natural’ and ‘social’ sciences since both are characterized by complexity. However, we will focus on another important outcome of the scientific paradigm shift, where the destruction of the classical objectivist approach and the subject-object dichotomy transforms the subject into an active participant, an actor with all its meaningful cultural baggage. The evolution and main trends of this cultural turn in the social sciences will be addressed. We explore the progression from a narrow to a broad understanding of culture, which ranges from neglecting culture in theoretical studies to recent theories of cultural performance that demonstrate culture’s determinative power and its relative autonomy from social structures.