УДК 316


Галкина Мария Михайловна
Российский государственный гуманитарный университет
Ассистент кафедры теории и истории социологии

Данная статья посвящена анализу возможностей применения междисциплинарного подхода в исследованиях, посвященных изучению российской интеллигенции. Изучение теоретических материалов и эмпирических данных, накопленных в различных науках по проблемам интеллигенции, открывает новые возможности для анализа ее сущности и определения роли интеллигенции в современном обществе.

Ключевые слова: интеллигенция, Междисциплинарный подход, моральный и эстетический потенциал интеллигенции, особая миссия интеллигенции, подходы к изучению интеллигенции, расширение границ проблемного поля, специфическая роль, сущностные характеристики интеллигенции


Galkina Maria Michailovna
Russian state university for the humanities
Assistant of the Department of Theory and History of Sociology

This article analyzes the possibilities of a multidisciplinary approach in research devoted to the study of the Russian intellectuals. The study of the theoretical and empirical material accumulated in various sciences on the problem of intellectuals, opens us new possibilities for the analysis of essence of this social group and definition of the role of intellectuals in modern society.

Keywords: a multidisciplinary approach, a special mission of intellectuals, approaches to the study of the intellectuals, expanding the boundaries of the problem field, intellectuals, moral and aesthetic potential of the intellectuals, the essential characteristics of the intellectuals, the specific role


Библиографическая ссылка на статью:
Галкина М.М. An interdisciplinary approach to the study of the intellectuals // Современные научные исследования и инновации. 2015. № 7. Ч. 5 [Электронный ресурс]. URL: https://web.snauka.ru/issues/2015/07/56385 (дата обращения: 25.01.2023).

Today, the concept of intellectuals clearly established itself in science. The problem of the specific nature of the intellectuals and its role in the history of Russia is a subject of a comprehensive analysis. The process of formation of the intellectuals, the development and transformation of its essential characteristics, and the role and place of the intellectuals in the history of our country is complex and controversial. The lack of a consensus among of researchers on the “intellectuals” definition and the lack of knowledge when this social group appeared on the one hand complicates the choice of approaches to the study of the intellectuals. On the other hand, these factors create a rich scientific field for the research discussion. The most controversial and problematic issues here are, the definition of what exactly this particular social group is, by what characteristics we define the intellectuals the meaning that holds this concept, the role and the mission of the Russian intellectuals in the life of our country. [1, p.17-18]

The approaches to the study of the intellectuals has undergone some changes over time. EV Slominsky suggested the following steps in the development of the national methodology for studying the intellectuals. For the second half of the 19th century, when the interest in the study of intellectuals has appeared, the analysis of the essence of the intellectuals from the standpoint of socio-professional and ethical approaches was current. The research on the intellectuals during the Soviet period, was focused on the sociological approach, taking into account the ideological pressure. At the same time, as the main criterion for determining the position of the intellectuals with the sociological approach was the availability of higher education and employment, intellectual work. For the post-Soviet period it was peculiar to search for new theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of the specifics of the intellectuals. [2, p.220]

Currently, we face with the attempt to comprehend the essence of the intellectuals through the analysis of synthesis of socio – professional and moral qualities of the representatives of the community.  The main characteristics when referring to the intellectuals is the availability of higher education and professional occupation and employment-related mental labor. But, at the same time, an important aspect of the study is to assess the nature of the moral potential of the intellectuals. Intellectuals do not act merely as an educated part of society, professionally engaged in intellectual work, but also as a keeper of certain moral qualities that define their moral consciousness. This interpretation makes it possible to carefully analyze the specificity of the nature of the intellectuals, its interests, requirements and its outlook, especially the moral consciousness, which have a direct impact on the role and the place occupied by the intellectuals in society.

The theoretical and empirical knowledge base that was accumulated in the study of the intellectuals currently, allows us to expand and complicate the problem field of research in this field. Presently understanding of the intellectuals is not only based on the perspective of the analysis of its essential characteristics, forms of reproduction, attempts to define its role in a variety of social processes. The researchers attract focus on a wide variety of aspects and features of intellectuals functioning and positioning in society as a specific social group.

The analysis of existing approaches on the study of the intellectuals suggests that the comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to the study of the nature of intellectuals, its role and place in society is popular these days.

The advantages of multidisciplinary approach are obvious. The study of the intellectuals from the standpoint of various sciences such as sociology, political science, history, etc., provides new opportunities for in-depth analysis of its essential nature, allows to reveal the laws of historical development of this particular social group, particularly its composition and activities in different historical stages of existence the studying also evaluate how to change the role and place of the intellectuals in the social structure and to expand the problem field of study of the intellectuals by opening the new interesting aspects of its functioning. Understanding intellectuals occurs not only through the study of its formation and functioning as a specific social group, but also through the analysis and evaluation of its interaction with other social groups and the various subsystems of society.

Today, the search for the new approaches to the study of the intellectuals and the interesting aspects of its functioning in the present society is being quite fruitful.

According to EV Ishimskaya in terms of philosophy the understanding the essence of the intellectuals involves a holistic analysis on the following levels: a “global phenomenon” at the level of general, the “historical and cultural phenomena” at the level of the particular, and at the level of the individual, through “the qualities of intelligence in a particular person”. [3, p.74]

Studies on the intellectuals in the research of national history can not only identify the historical background of the formation of this social group and trace the stages of formation of the Russian intellectuals, but also to analyze the transformation of the role of intellectuals in public and political life of the country at different historical stages. We have a unique opportunity with concrete examples of prominent representatives of different groups of intellectuals to analyze its contribution to the development of various sectors of society in the formation of political movements and also to evaluate the impact of the intellectuals on the mass consciousness, promotion of different ideas, values ​​and ideals. [4, p.20]

A significant amount of research on the intellectuals is conducted in sociology. Revealing assumptions and social conditions that contributed to the formation of this group in society, the study of existing groups of intellectuals and the selection criteria to identify the members of the intellectuals, the analysis of the existing forms and methods of reproduction of the intellectuals, the role of higher education in the formation of future professionals who will join the ranks of the intellectuals, the definition the essential features of intellectuals, attempts to define the role and mission of the intellectuals in society. Assessment of the existing forms of participation of the intellectuals in various social processes defines prospects of development of moral and ethical, scientific potential, civic and political activity of the intellectuals. These are just a few of the research challenges that the scientists – sociologists involved in research on intellectuals.

The Political Science provides opportunities to explore the political activity of the Russian intellectuals, and various aspects of its operation in the field of political sphere. The problem field of this research includes the analysis of the forms and dynamics of the participation of intellectuals in the political life of the country. It also attempts to comprehend the nature of the interactions of the intellectuals and government institutions and research its attitude to the power in general and public policies at the various stages of history. The study of the history of our country’s government provides opportunities to analyze and evaluate the role of the Russian intellectuals in the development of state and local government reforms and various social reforms. The modern political science allows us to analyze the composition of the present Russian elite as a part of the intellectuals, its reform potential in terms of promoting transformation of our society and its responsibility to the various social groups that make up the modern Russian society. [4, p.52-53]

As noted earlier, the assessment of moral and aesthetic potential of the intellectuals is an important area of the research.. In spite of the diversity of approaches to the definition of intellectuals, most authors agree on the existence of some specific mission of this group. Some scientists see this mission in providing a sample of a morality, the formation and reproduction of cultural values ​​and norms. The synthesis of the philosophical, sociological and, above all, cultural approaches to the study of the intellectuals, allows the researchers to focus on the moral, ethical and aesthetic characteristics of this group. It also helps the researches to focus on issues that defin the role of the intellectual and moral development segment of the population, which we identify as the intellectuals in the development of philosophy, moral and aesthetic culture of the society, scientific and technological progress.

The analysis of the cultural heritage of our country’s achievements in the study of scholars and cultural figures to evaluate the influence that exerts on the development and formation of the unique appearance of the spiritual culture of Russia representatives of the national intellectuals, and it also opens up new possibilities for understanding the phenomenon of the Russian intellectuals, inherent traditions and customs, to determine the main stages of its formation and reproduction, its distinctive features in comparison with the intellectuals of the West. [4, p.57-58]

The specifics of the oral practices of intellectuals  also cause some research interest. The speech features of the intellectuals as a specific social group are the object of study of the sociolinguistics, who focus on the features of the functioning of different variations of language in society.

By expanding the boundaries of the problem field in studies of intellectuals, researchers’ attention is attracted to the most specific aspects of the functioning of the group. For example, all the more urgent is the problem of studying the specifics of intellectual property as a result of intellectual activity and, in particular, the protection of copyright and intellectual property. Here come into force legal and economic approaches to the issues of creative and intellectual production. There is a growing interest of scientists to analyze the nature of intellectual labor, increase its importance in the life of society. [4, p.76-77]

The variety of these approaches to the study of the intellectuals suggests the presence of a serious comprehensive research interest in this complex and multifaceted concept. The study of the essential characteristics of the intellectuals as a social group and its specific role, the challenges facing intellectuals in modern society, do not lose their relevance has for one and a half centuries since the formation of this particular group. A comprehensive study of the intellectuals plays an important role in the analysis and overall assessment of the state of Russian reality and the life-world of the Russians. It is obvious that the representatives of various groups of intellectuals are most civil and political activity. They play a major role in the formation of the values ​​in society, the development and the raising of the level of culture. They constitute a significant part of the cultural, scientific, moral potential of our country. The assessment of this potential plays a key role in the analysis of trends in the development and nature of possible changes in Russian society. It also increases the value of research in various areas of the study of the phenomenon of the Russian intellectuals.

The studying of the phenomenon of the Russian intellectuals for many years attracts the attention of scientists – representatives of a wide variety of scientific fields. The analysis of existing approaches to the study of the intellectuals from the standpoint of the various sciences suggests that it is an integrated multi-disciplinary approach to the study of this complex and multifaceted object is most effective. In fact, the transition to a multi-disciplinary approach is a natural reaction to the expansion of scientific research issues, initially to focus on such a complex and controversial phenomenon of the Russian intellectuals.

The answers for key questions in the study of the intellectuals and of the definition of essential characteristics of this social group, specific role and special mission of the intellectuals in society might get only in a comprehensive analysis of this social group. Theoretical and empirical material accumulated in sociology, history, political science, cultural studies provide opportunities for this kind of analysis and allow to solve a wide variety of research tasks related to the definition of originality of the Russian intellectuals and especially of positioning and activities of this social group in society. Currently, due to the spread of a multidisciplinary approach in studies of the intellectuals, we have a great chance to work with an impressive base of data, knowledge, materials, that has been accumulated in various sciences in the study of the phenomenon of intellectuals. We have the opportunity to analyze this data from the standpoint of subjective research interest and  generalize different scientific approaches, which opens for us a new perspectives and opportunities in understanding the phenomenon of intelligentsia in resolving the most contentious and controversial issues related to the study of this object.

  1. Intellectuals: Theory and Methodology: monograph / Ed. VS Memetova. – Ivanovo Ivan.gos. University Press, 2010. – p.17-18.
  2. Slominsky EV Theoretical – methodological problems of studying Russian technical intelligentsia. [electronic access]: Proceedings of the Tula State University. Humanities.-2011.-№1.-p.211-224. Access:http://cyberleninka.ru/article/n/metodologiya-issledovaniya-intelligentsii-problemy-i-perspektivy#ixzz3ZCcvG300
  3. Ishimskaya EV Survey Methodology intelligentsia: Problems and Prospects [electronic resource]: Proceedings of higher educational institutions. Volga region. Humanities. – 2010. – № 1 (13). – p.70-75.
  4. Access:http://cyberleninka.ru/article/n/metodologiya-issledovaniya-intelligentsii-problemy-i-perspektivy#ixzz3ZCcvG300
  5. Intelligentovedenie: problems of formation of a new high school course. Materials of Interstate correspondence Scientific Conference. – Ivanovo: Inter-University Centre of the Russian Federation “The political culture of the intelligentsia, its place and role in the history of the Fatherland. – 2000 – p. 89.

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