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Sociology as a Science of Culture: Linguistic Pluralism in Australia and Belarus

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image of Comparative Sociology
For content published from 1960-2001, see International Journal of Comparative Sociology.

In the first part of this paper the pioneering achievements of Thomas Kuhn in natural sciences and of Florian Znaniecki in social sciences are examined and compared. Attention is focused on the fundamental impact that the ideological positions adopted by each has exerted upon our understanding of the way their respective disciplines develop and affect the study of natural and cultural phenomena as distinct aspects of reality. The paper traces elements of the commonality of their visions, as well as the way both authors have emphasized the distinct and unique characteristics of their particular fields of knowledge. In the second part, Znaniecki's humanistic sociology is applied as a theoretical framework to the study of linguistic pluralism in two multi-ethnic societies – Australia and Belarus. Rather than making a direct comparison of the two linguistic contexts, the aim of the paper is to use that framework to gain insights into these diverse multilingual configurations from the perspective of those actively involved in them.


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