Concept of the project


Timeliness of the project

Issues of archaization and neotraditionalism outpourings are relevant to modern Russia. They are being widely discussed in social and humane science; inter alia peculiarities of country’s modernization and ushering society transformation.

Issues of archaization first revealed before the Russian social science in 1990’s. Initial theoretical formulations belong to well-known Russian philosopher A.S. Akhiezer. During this decade there have been enough publications over the subject mainly within the framework of certain displays of archaization (e.g., cultural, political, social, religious, etc.). But only in the last 3 or 4 years we saw meaningful theoretical studies in revival of archaization, cultural traditions in modern social life.

Issues of archaization, neotraditionalism are relevant not only to Russia, they are also being observed in developed Western countries as well as emerging nations. Societies trend to archaics and traditions also in countries of Southeastern Asia. Their rapid development forced revisions to classical theories of modernizations which claimed that societies to modernize have to westernize, adopt Western values. But variety of modernization variants, including those without rejecting own traditions and sometimes even basing on them, allows dealing with different models. Including the Russian model. Furthermore, multicultural Russia with its regionalization substantiate inventory of past sociocultural experience by the Russian local, regional societies. That’s why we talk about Russian models meaning the presence of general Russian model (as one of models of the world) and regional local models within the greater one. This dimension of regionalization has not yet been studied by the scholars, though country’s regionalization had started right after the “Parade of sovereignties” in early 1990’s.


Project agents

The scientific project is being developed by the Institute for Fundamental and Applied Studies of the Moscow University for Humanities since 2013 under the auspices of Chimiza Lamazhaa, Doctor of Philosophy (see “Scientific stuff”) in cooperation with colleagues from different scientific centers of Russia (see “Partners”).


Theoretical basis of the project

Theoretical basis of the project lays on the main concepts of neoevolutionism – about the variability of societies’ evolutionary development (H. Claessen, A.V. Korotaev), on the theory of society modernization including the rendering of social transformations as a process of structural changes in society during modernizational changes, as well as national models of modernization (P. Sztompka, V.G. Fedotova, et al.). Work also bases on the concepts of society archaization (A.S. Akhiezer) including the period of social transformation (Ch.K. Lamazhaa), sociocultural neotraditionalism (Yu.V. Popkov) (see “Concepts”).


What issues does the project solve?

1) Project is aimed to development of sociocultural knowledge about the social problems of transforming, modernizing societies and about the peculiarities of sociocultural processes in Russian regions, forms of archaization and neotraditionalism. Main attention project pays to issues of social mechanisms that turn the society to its past amidst the difficulties of modernizational reforms: process of archaization (spontaneous, subconscious mass addressing to archaic cultural values and social practices) and process of neotraditionalism (conscious process of revival of ethnic culture traditions, including archaic ones, to solve the problems of sociocultural development of society). This aims the project to solving the fundamental scientific issues (matter of contrariety of social transformations and reciprocating motion of historical process).

2) Comparison analysis of processes of archaization and neotraditionalism. It can be performed basing on the collected empiric material. Many people perceive society’s frontage to Past as a unitary process, while the authors of the project distinguish complicated plexus of different processes, including archaization and neotraditionalism.

3) Multiculturality of Russia, peculiarities of its regionalization assume enhanced studies in regional perspective. Every region has its unique sociocultural experience with its own history of formation, development, interaction with other regions, inner social and cultural life. Issues of sociocultural fundamentals of social development are on the front burner nowadays, they are being widely examined in the studies of transforming the traditional societies to modern (innovative) way of development in context of globalization (see bibliography by the Russian Federal Districts).

4) Study of regional models of archaization and neotraditionalism can be instrument for comparison analysis of factors, terms and reasons affecting density of data of social processes, their scale. This if another issue of fundamental social science – problem of evolution of sociocultural processes.

5) Project also has an applied focus. Since the authors treat the neotraditionalism as a social engineering activity aimed to supporting and developing traditions, utilizing them in modern world, the conclusions of study can be very helpful in such an activities.

6) Creation of a unified information platform devoted to these issues can help in performing scientific research tasks in cooperation of scientists from different territories, promote their interactions and popularize the scientific knowledge and scientific activities.


Targeted audience of the project

Project is designed for specialists (philosophers, sociologists, politologists, ethnologists, anthropologists); as well as students, politicians, journalists, cultural professionals, businessmen and other specialists interested in modern ethnosocial, modernizational processes in Russia and its regions.


Project financing

Project is supported by the grant of the Russian Foundation for Humanities for the period 2013–2014 (#13-03-12005в).