Nacházíte se zde: Úvod Abstrakty 2/2016 Elzbieta Halas

Elzbieta Halas

Crisis or Fluidity? Florian Znaniecki’s Theory of Civilization

Abstract: The preoccupation with the processes of globalization, which has become a key concept

in the analysis of the sociocultural condition of postmodernity, has led to a decreased interest in

the theory of civilization. The ideological burden of the concept of civilization and its stigmatization

by critics of post-Enlightenment modernity also contribute to this current state. However,

issues associated with the processes of civilization have once again come to the fore, as shown by

the reconstruction of threads associated with civilization in social theory, including sociological

works. The views on civilization presented by Weber, Durkheim and Mauss, by their successors

Sorokin, Elias and Nelson, down to the contemporary publications of Huntington and Eisenstadt

are widely known, whereas works published on this subject in Polish by Florian Znaniecki are

not. On a backdrop of the genesis of civilization-associated discourse and its antinomy as regards

religion, the article presents Znaniecki ’ s concept of civilization processes as the social integration

of culture, developed on the basis of his theory of cultural and social systems. Two types of human

participation in culture are significant here: cultural communities and social groups which create

a cultural bond. The de-civilizing processes which Znaniecki described are shown. The article

analyzes Znaniecki ’ s idea of a fluid civilization and the conditions which are necessary for its

existence, in the shape of reflexive cultural knowledge as the answer to a cultural crisis. The new

type of cultural crisis stems from cultural innovations. The article shows the differences between

Znaniecki ’ s concept of fluidity and Bauman ’ s liquid modernity. It presents the concept of “civilization

of the future” as a pan-human civilization, which requires the formation of a new type of

cultural community – the world culture society.


Keywords: civilizational discourse; cultural crisis; fluid civilization; Florian Znaniecki


DOI: 10.14712/23363525.2016.7


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