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Tkachenko A. V. A system approach in sociological works of P. A. Sorokin and A. Toynbee

Журнал » Journal_eng » Journal 39 : Tkachenko A. V. A system approach in sociological works of P. A. Sorokin and A. Toynbee
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UDC 316.2

DOI: 10.25688/2223-6872.2021.39.3.9





A. V. Tkachenko,

MCU, Moscow,



The article considers sociological concepts of two great scientists of the XX century P. A. Sorokin and A. Toynbee. Both sociologists left hundreds of works devoted to the analysis of various social processes. They were interested in both the past and the present, and even the future of mankind. When describing the trends of social development, they used a system approach more widely than most modern thinkers.

In human society P. A. Sorokin and A. Toynbee saw the social system that has been functioning for thousands of years according to its own system laws. All the processes occurring within this system have been studied by two scientists on the example of particular subsystems, or civilizations. Independently of each other, P. A. Sorokin and A. Toynbee applied a system approach to the analysis of the evolutionary path passed by the Western and other subsystems, and came to similar conclusions about the development of all major communities to the culmination point, after which the disintegration of internal connections and the degradation of any subsystem begin. Both P. A. Sorokin and A. Toynbee equally linked the formation and decline of subsystems with the approval of certain ideas and both assumed the cyclical nature of this process, when a new community comes to replace a dying one.

The article provides a comparative analysis of the positions of great sociologists, on the basis of which both general and original provisions of their concepts are distinguished. The interest of P. A. Sorokin and A. Toynbee in global and local social processes, their knowledge of the history, culture and religion of different peoples, the systematization of information from various humanities characteristic of their concepts allow them to analyze these scientists theories from the standpoint of a systematic approach.


Keywords: social system; social subsystem; system approach; P. A. Sorokin; A. Toynbee; civilization; social development; society.


For citation: Tkachenko A. V. A system approach in sociological works of P. A. Sorokin and A. Toynbee // Systems Psychology and Sociology. 2021. № 3 (39). P. 105–115. DOI: 10.25688/2223-6872.2021.39.3.9


Tkachenko Alexander Vladimirovich, PhD in Historical Sciences, Associate Professor of the University Department of Philosophy and Social Sciences of the Institute of Humanities of the Moscow City University, Moscow, Russia.

E-mail: TkachenkoAV@mgpu.ru

ORCID: 0000-0002-5271-3665




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