# 4(29)2017
Issued 1.01.

# 3(28)2017
Issued 1.10.

# 2(27)2017
Issued 1.07.

# 1(26)2017
Issued 1.04.

# 4(25)2016
Issued 1.01.

# 3(24)2016
Issued 1.10.

# 2(23)2016
Issued 1.07.

# 1(22)2016
Issued 1.04.

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Call For Papers

# 1 (30) 2018: The Phenomenon of Biography in Culture

Guest Editor

pict BOZHKOV Oleg
Head of the Research Center "Biographical Archive"; Senior Researcher, Department of Sociology of the Family, Gender and Sexuality, Federal State Institution of Science "The Sociological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences", St. Petersburg, Russia

Biography as a cultural phenomenon requires a comprehensive study. Nowadays separate approaches have been developed and usually belong to two paradigms (realistic or interpretative), but there is no comparative study of the heuristic possibilities of approaches and principles with respect to biographies. Social and humanitarian disciplines currently have a range of methods and approaches to the analysis of such data: biographical methods, oral history methods, cognitive, narrative, etc. However, the methodological task of an integrated, and even more interdisciplinary, study has not yet been resolved. The main aspects of the scientific problem can be identified as follows: the search for a consistent connection and interaction of different approaches in biographical research, and the identification of methodological and methodological principles for the analysis of biographical materials relevant in the context interdisciplinary problems.
Such a statement of the problem allows: 1) to investigate the mechanisms of interaction of individual, group and societal behavior, to describe the stable trends of such interaction, and also to connect the social past and present from the point of view of individual and collective experience, which is especially important in modern historical and social conditions; 2) biographical materials make it possible to see social processes both in macro (descriptions of historical events, objective circumstances) and in micro (from the point of view of the individual) perspective; 3) to apply a wide range of research practices from the study of life paths and professional trajectories to the traditions of oral history, from the normative value approach to the use of cognitive methods and the discourse of analysis. All these create a basis for the formation of an interdisciplinary scientific team as the most relevant for the indicated scientific problem.
Biographical materials are of particular importance at critical moments in the life of society, since it is the biography of an individual that can serve as a typical manifestation of certain sociocultural processes. “Biographical diagrams” give any vital moments a special meaning, linking them to the meaning of life in general (T. Lukman, E. Rozhdestvenskaya). Models of life form the internal structure of any culture and provide an opportunity to talk about the “biography of behavior” and “life programs” of the person (V. Golofast, N. Kozlova). The concept of “macro-behavior” takes the events of individual life from the framework of individual, family, group life to the level of mega processes occurring in society (D. Berto, V. Holofast). The work of D. Berto, the professional biographies of W. Deppe, the collective historical consciousness of L. Niethammer became classic.
The biographical method in sociology is aimed at studying the social conditioning of the life path, collective historical consciousness, socialization processes and changing narrative identity (V. Fuchs-Heinrits, M. Koli, H. Bude, N. Denzin, V. Nurkova, N. Kozlova, G. Silnitsky, E. Rozhdestvenskaya, V. Semenova, I. Devyatko, A. Gottlieb, E. Yarskaya-Smirnova and others).
The pioneers in the application of the biographical method at the dawn of the 21st century were the Polish researchers (W. Thomas and F. Znaniecki, J. Schepanski, J. Halasinsky). In the late 70s of the XX century, simultaneously in Italy, Germany, France, Canada and other countries, there is a renaissance of the biographical method. Biographical studies were conducted among various social groups: unemployed, homeless, patients in psychiatric clinics, representatives of different professional communities, participants in the Second World War. This circumstance served as the basis for the development of narrative interview techniques (H. Bude, G. Riemann, H. Hermanns). Based on the analysis of biographical texts, the method of social genealogy was first applied in the 1980s in France, England and Canada, where it yielded interesting results (D. Berto, P. Thompson). The biographical approach is still leading for the study of significant social problems of society. The studies of biographies of migrants conducted by Dr. Roswitha Breckner, a longtime specialist in the field of biography analysis, are especially interesting.
Biographical method of personality research is widely used in psychology (G. Allport, A. Maslow, Sh. Buhler, V. Frankl, A. Adler, G. Tome, B.G. Ananiev, N.A. Loginova, etc.) as a method research, diagnosis, correction and design of the individual's life path. G.Tome wrote about the new branch – the psychology of the life path. In the “spatial” – meaningful – plan, the structure of the life path consists of various activities (Sh. Buhler). These measurements require a clear systematic fixation and the ability to correlate with a particular biography of an individual or a collective biography of a social group. The concept of “time perspective” (J. Nutten F. Zimbardo) creates a wide field of possibilities for researching the representations of the past, present, and future. The temporal perspective of the individual has cognitive, emotional and social components (PG Zimbardo, I. Boniwell), its formation at the level of the individual is conditioned by a multitude of socio-cultural, economic and political factors that manifest themselves at the level of society, and also depends on the specific characteristics of the individual or social group (P.G. Zimbardo, J.N. Boyd).
In recent years, there has been a tendency to build interdisciplinary approaches to the analysis of biographical data through the creation of interdisciplinary working groups. Such scientific units appeared in Bremen, at the University of Bielefeld, Göttingen, Frankfurt.
We hope that the articles of this issue will allow readers to assess the relevance and complexity of the interdisciplinary research field. The following topics are suggested:

  • Past in the first person: interpretations of interpretations
  • Documentary and literary
  • Autobiography and truth
  • Lives and fates in autobiographical stories
  • Cognitive analysis of events and the structure of an autobiographical narrative
  • The world of self-representations: from the memoirs of the XIX century to the blogosphere
  • Blog as successor to an autobiographical diary
  • Personal and social in traumatic experiences
  • Auto / biographical evidence in the social dimension
  • Dynamics of the family social status in Russia XIX – XXI centuries
  • Urban «other»: a city as a space of emerging subjectivity in Soviet diaries
  • Voices from Russia of the XVIII century
  • Studies of Russian personal testimonies of the XVIII century in the context of actual discussions of social history

Deadline is 01.02.2018



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Sunday, 22 September 2013 | Olga Kirillova
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Thursday, 05 April 2012 | Alexander Lyusiy
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Tuesday, 15 November 2011 | Anna Rileva
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Friday, 14 January 2011 | Margarita Gudova
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Tuesday, 15 November 2011 | Alexey Krivolap
There are no translations available yet
Comment: 1