Civil Society Discourse in Russian Modernism and French Post-Modernism (Vasiliy Rozanov and Michael Foucault)
Svetlana Klimova (Belgorod, Russia) [BIO]
Various approaches to civil society research are considered. Two key problems caused by impact of post-modernism are discussed, that are: crises of identification with the society and problems of personal identity.
A particular personality crisis that is specific for contemporary Russia is noticed. The crisis is caused by the combination of two factors. They are:
- social abandonment, atomization and loneliness and
- total relativism produced by expansion of postmodernism.
The second factor influences the Western citizenship as well. That’s why “re-emergence” of civil society is discussed in the Western world, though civil society institute has never died in the Western countries.
Personality-oriented civil society is considered to be a prologue for re-emergence of the wholeness that seems to fall apart because of the loss of all universalistic values. The alliance between the heritage of the Russian thinker V. Rozanov and philosophical discourse by M. Foucault is tracked, the latter being a champion of personality-oriented civil society as opposed to “gregarious” politically structured one. Both authors removed “interdict” from a number of so called "private themes" that had had ambiguous marginalized/sacral status in public discourse. The two thinkers transformed the problem of the “private discourse” into meta-language fit to conceive and describe the essence of the societal life and epoch as a whole. They drew attention to personality-oriented social communications and emergence of new types of societal communities.
Both figures are of a great importance for now-a-days discussions on civil society development in the epoch of a postmodernism. The fact that comparison of their views will contribute to better understanding of the controversies which are inherent in civil society is demonstrated.