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Kireeva, N. V. Social Integration and Integrated Society: Integration as the Process and Structure

Published in journal "Philosophy and Culture", 2014-5 in rubric "The issues of holistic world", pages 651-665.

Resume: The study of social integration as a structure and history making process starts with the discovering the elementary structural unit of social being. The author of the present article view individuals as minimal units of the system that are capable of rather independent performance of certain functions and social groups of different degrees of generality as elements and subsystems that constitute up-tending horizontal levels of society. The levels of social organization are vertically penetrated with all encompassing spheres of social life such as economy, politics, culture and others. Mutually overlapping horizontal and vertical decompositions create the structure of the social system. Methodological base of the research is presented by the systems approach which does not contradict but completes and specifies the materialist dialectics. Structural features of the social system are also described as the dynamic structuring of social systems, and social evolution is described as the constant structuring of social systems from the level of elementary interactions to formation of the global integrity and movement from disconnected and indefinite similarity to definite and coherent diversity of elements. The criterion for the progress of the social system is the richness and plasticity of internal and external structural connections being formed during the dual integration and differentiation process. The universal mechanism of structural development of the social system is the organizational selection from which positions we can consider both qualitative (social aromorphoses) and quantitative (not evolutionary) changes. Transformation processes take place at all stages of the systems development including the stages of creation, formation, maturity and transformation. Under the conditions of continuous changes, maintenance of a stable society happens prognostically but not reactively due to its capacity for management, in particular, state management, and self-organization (self-management) that is ongoing mostly in the society. The change of a governing authority presenting the entire set of communications and relations the social system means that all its structure underwent essential transformation, too, and the society proceeded to a new level of the structure. Weakening or elimination of the management impact on the society as well as its excessive abundance of management connections are equally harmful. This dictates the need for search of the best balance between management and self-organization that is considerably defined by the structural type of integration rigid centralization or dynamic structure that is based on at the action of feedback connections between the managing and managed elements.

Keywords: social integration, social structure, arrangement of society, social system, social evolution, global social integrity, social aromorphoses, non-evolutionary changes, structural levels, social relations.

DOI: 10.7256/1999-2793.2014.5.10931

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