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01/2023 – P. A. Sorokin (1889-1968): crisi della cultura e critica della società

ISSN: 2037-495X
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dossier: pitirim a. sorokin tra critica della società e cultura della crisi

Sorokin Lives! Leonardo Allodi

«Post fata resurgo»: P. A. Sorokin e le filosofie storiche e sociali in un’epoca di crisi Leonardo Allodi

La figura di P. A. Sorokin nel dibattito sociologico contemporaneo Folco Cimagalli

Sorokin e Parsons a Harvard: la sociologia americana a un bivio Lorenza Gattamorta

Russia e Stati Uniti in Pitirim Sorokin: un confronto assiologico Giuseppe Ghini

Gli studi pionieristici di Pitirim A. Sorokin sulla pace Emiliana Mangone

Il contributo di Sorokin ad una sociologia della devianza virtuosa Valerio Merlo

Sorokin e le risposte sociali di fronte alla calamità Paolo Terenzi


archivio del realismo politico: un inedito di roger scruton

Roger Scruton lettore di Spengler Tommaso Allodi

Il Tramonto dell’Occidente di Spengler Roger Scruton


politica e storia delle idee

Identità e memoria della destra italiana Roberto Chiarini

La guerra nel pensiero di Rühle von Lilienstern Andrea Beccaro


Notizie sugli Autori






Leonardo Allodi, «Post fata resurgo»: P.A. Sorokin and the Historical and Social Philosophies of an Age of Crisis 

Sorokin’s lesson is still an alternative to the “eclipse” of culture which is found above all in the American “social science” and its anti-historical and anti-philosophical character, starting from the second post-war period. The “integral” theory of knowledge by P.A. Sorokin rejects a “reductive anthropology”, recognizing the “indivisible sociocultural trinity” of society, culture, and personality. A theory that is also the key to fully understand the extensive comparative analysis that he dedicates to eight grand “cyclical theories of decadence” (Danilevsky, Spengler, Toynbee, Schubart, Berdjaev, Northrop, Kroeber, Schweitzer) coming to the conclusion of the convergence between the rejection of a linear theory of human progress and the acceptance of what M. Scheler called the theory of the three forms of knowledge.

Keywords: P. A. Sorokin; Decadence; Human Progress; Anthropology


Folco Cimagalli, The Figure of P. A. Sorokin in the Contemporary Sociological Debate

Few sociologists have gone through a biographical and intellectual story as singular as Pitirim Sorokin’s. One of the most translated authors, counted by Coser among the “masters of sociological thought”, the Russian sociologist experienced both the highest honours of the scientific community and a decisive process of stigmatization and intellectual isolation. Thus, his original and profound sociological theory was almost completely removed from the sociology horizon for a long time.

Nevertheless, in the last years, we are witnessing a growing process of “rediscovery” of the Russian author. In fact, Sorokin’s works are re-read to underline his contribution to the history of sociological thought and to resume and update his theoretical presuppositions. In this phase, three different perspectives of Sorokin’s readings can be highlighted: a) the focus on the proposal of an “integral sociology”, being able to look at social reality from a macro standpoint; b) the rediscovery of the demanding and fascinating theme of altruistic love with its multiple implications; c) finally, the critique of Western society, sharing its anxieties and proposals for regeneration.

Keywords: P. A. Sorokin; Sociological Thought; Integral Sociology; Western Society


Lorenza Gattamorta, Sorokin and Parsons at Harvard: American Sociology at a Crossroads

Sorokin and Parsons were both present in the context of the formation and development of an American school of social theory. This article intends to examine the intersecting career paths that Sorokin and Parsons had at Harvard since the 1930s, with a focus on the differences between their sociological approaches. In particular, the comparison investigates the processes that led to Sorokin’s decline and to Parsons’ rise and sheds light on the conditions that contributed to the emergence of what has for many years been the mainstream of American sociology.

Keywords: P. A. Sorokin; T. Parsons; American School of Social Theory; Harvard


Giuseppe Ghini, Russia and the United States in Pitirim Sorokin: An Axiological Comparison

The article examines the comparison between Russia and the United States in the work of Pitirim Sorokin, starting with the two editions of Russia and the United States, published in 1944 and 1950. In the 1944 edition, Sorokin argues that the two countries, despite being Great Powers, have experienced the miracle of lasting and unbroken peace for centuries as a consequence of the absence of conflicting vital interests and of their mental, cultural and social similarity. This countercultural thesis first requires the author to precisely demonstrate the similarity between Russia and the United States, dismantling a whole series of established prejudices about his motherland. The 1950 edition updated the book by taking into account the “outbreak” of the Cold War and its consequences: Russia is now the enemy and the long peace and cooperation has undergone a process of psychological “undoing”. Sorokin, however, does not give up: if as a sociologist he can only certify the estrangement between the two atomic Superpowers, as an advocate of altruistic love and a scholar of its vital energy, he invites the Russian and American ruling classes to ally one with the other in the fight against the common enemies, hunger, war, famine and poverty, and in Reconstructing Humanity, as the title of one of his last books recites.

Keywords: P. A. Sorokin; Russian Culture; Humanity; Cold War


Emiliana Mangone, Pitirim A. Sorokin’s Pioneering Studies on Peace

The theories of Pitirim A. Sorokin – one of the masters of sociological thought – are now relegated to the study of a few scholars, and even less is known about his pacifism that shines through in many of his works. Known more as the sociologist of revolution than of altruistic creative love, he can also be recognised as one of the pioneers of peace studies. In order to understand why Sorokin can be considered a pioneer of peace studies, however, one must go back to the last years he spent in Russia as well as recall some of his major works. In this contribution, the attempt will be to try to trace a path from the studies on revolution and war (as the main causes for the loss of peace), through crisis studies to the pioneering ideas for the search for stability (peace) that serves as a necessary transition to finally arrive at the positive forces of humanity such as altruism.

Keywords: P. A. Sorokin; Peace Studies; Revolution; Altruism


Valerio Merlo, Sorokin’s Contribution to the Virtuous Deviance

The majority of sociologists have so far ignored the concept of positive deviance. Deviance is employed as a synonym for asocial behavior. Critizing this negativistic orientation of contemporary sociology, Sorokin stressed the need for a positive emphasis in the approach to social phenomena. In sorokinian sociological integralism one can find the bases for a sociology of virtuous deviance.

Keywords: P. A. Sorokin; Deviance; Sociological Integralism; Asocial Behavior


Paolo Terenzi, Sorokin and the Social Responses to Calamities

This article investigates Sorokin’s theses on the moral and social responses that are given during and immediately after calamities. The topic is placed within the more general sociology of the crisis developed by Sorokin in the Thirties and Forties. According to Sorokin, calamities bring psychological and social devastation but unexpectedly can also activate moral and cultural resources.

Keywords: P. A. Sorokin; Calamities; Social Devastation; Crisis


Tommaso Allodi, Roger Scruton Reader of Spengler

In these enlightening pages Roger Scruton narrates how, as a mere 16-year-old, he came across reading Spengler’s Decline of the West. A work that marked his life and enabled him to take a critical look at scientific progress and its method. In doing so, the British philosopher distanced from Spengler himself, in search of a third way capable of admitting forms of knowledge to be placed side by side with scientific knowledge with a view to a better understanding of a reality that presents an internal and ordered structure.

Keywords: P. A. Sorokin; R. Scruton; Decline of the West; O. Spengler


Roberto Chiarini, Identity and Memories of the Italian Right

Our right wing, unique in Europe, was born neo-fascist, condemning itself to a fate of delegitimization. Only the will to insert itself fully into the democratic agon stimulated it to free itself from the burden that forced it to remain relegated to the ghetto of the nostalgic. She could do this in two ways: replace the neo-fascist identity with a liberal one or let it die out. He chose the second way. To change the neo-fascist identity outright meant breaking with its history. It was less traumatic not to force but to second its natural death.

Keywords: Italian Right; Neo-fascism; Italy; Political Identity


Andrea Beccaro, War in the Thought of Rühle von Lilienstern

Otto August Rühle von Lilienstern was a Prussian official contemporary of Carl von Clausewitz. Despite the fact that today his works on war is almost unknown, his political and strategic ideas are interesting and useful to understand the complexity of war, to elucidate it from different perspectives in order to show its link with politics, the strategic relationship between the two actors involved in the conflict and different kinds of war, i.e. regular and irregular one. The paper presents the political and strategic ideas of Rühle von Lilienstern, in order to offer a better and more in-depth analysis of the phenomenon of war.

Keywords: Rühle von Lilienstern; War; Carl von Clausewitz; Conflict