Instituty i identichnost: metodologicheskie vozmojnosti teorii institutsionalnogo raspada v sovremennyh sotsialnyh issledovaniah [Institutions and Identity: Methodological Opportunities of the Theory of Institutional Disintegration in Contemporary Social Studies]

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Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology, 2014, XVIII, #4(75), 178-188


The methodological opportunities of theory of institutional disintegration developed by the author and the implication of the theory in social studies are analyzed. The problem of institutional transformation is one of the main theoretical problems in new institutionalism. The author believes that social institutions describe acceptable and unacceptable social behaviors for social actors, and institutional disintegration is the result of the gradual evolution of norms and rules of behavior. Institutional disintegration starts as the result of the growth of default rules. Like lawyers who use situational variety, the potential for overestimation, and any ambiguity in unclear formulations, social actors use a broad set of ‘softening’ reasons of failures to observe norms, and select rules that are regarded as deviations by the majority of the population. In this article, identity is considered a product of social institutions, and the result of institutional disintegration. The theory explains how “inner” transformation of rules of behavior impacts on identity development, and how identity development impacts on institutional processes. Analyzing the methodological advantages and problems of such an approach, the author concludes that the theory of institutional disintegration has some methodological perspectives in social studies. The author believes that identity studies can help social researchers to understand not only problems of identity development, but also difficulties attached to institutional processes in the modern world.