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Yulia S. Shkurko (

Institute of Economics and Entrepreneurship, Lobachevsky State University of Nizhni Novgorod, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

Citation:Shkurko Y.S. (2017) Inkorporirovaniye idey neyronauki v sotsiologiyu: kak preodolet' razryv mezhdu ‘biogicheskim’ i ‘sotsial'nym’? [Incorporation of the Ideas of Neuroscience into Sociology: How to Overcome the Gap between “Biological” and “Social”?] Zhurnal sotsiologii i sotsialnoy antropologii [The Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology], 20(2): 22-39 (in Russian).

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Abstract. The author considered biophobia, i.e. avoidance of including of biological variables in sociological theories, as a main obstacle to the development of a new research area— neurosociology. Biophobia is associated with Durkheim’s methodological principle of sociologism which requires that one social fact needs to be explained by others and legitimates exclusive role of social factors in human life. In recent years sociologists discuss causes of biophobia: poor knowledge of neurobiology, genetics, neurology, neuroscience, and cognitive science; moral and political consequences of the recognition of biological nature of social behavior, and some others. The author analyzed the main ways of the incorporation of the ideas of neuroscience into sociology, such as (i) conviction of the usefulness of the methods from neuroscience in the development of sociology; (ii) integration of sociological and neuroscientific ideas concerning the same issues (mirror neurons and mutual understanding, imitation, social role taking, and others); (iii) correction of classical sociological concepts (e.g., symbolic interactionism) in the light of relevant findings of neuroscience, and (iv) neurosociological studies (on social identity and other issues) applying both neuroscientific (e.g., EEG) and sociological (e.g., survey) methods. To overcome the gap between “biological” and “social” we need to tolerate such interdisciplinary attempts, discuss origin and the causes of biophobia, develop critical attitudes towards sociological conceptions ignoring relevant ideas from neuroscience, as well as correct the standards of sociological studies and educational curriculum.

Keywords: neurosociology, biophobia, neuroscience methods, mirror neurons, symbolic interactionism, self, social identity


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