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Results of Russian and Western sociologists poll

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3. Results of Russian and Western sociologists poll

From May 20 to 23, 2001, I polled, via e-mail, 150 Russian and Western sociologists (75 in each group) about their opinion o­n TetraSociology. The poll's objective was to gauge the INITIAL level of attitude to a new and practically unknown sociological paradigm. The respondents received a 10-page summarising article: "TetraSociology as Theory of SST and as Technology"; three-questions questionnaire; and a brief cover letter. The summary consisted of the pp. 2.2.-2.9. (see above), abridged. The article was translated into English (6000 words) and prepared for a Western journal. Two of the three questions in the questionnaire concerned the article. Below is the text of the letter with the questions.

Dear colleague!

More than 25 years I have been developing of pluralistic tetrasociology which proceeds from recognizing of four beginnings and measurements of society. TetraSociology is four-dimensional (tetra - four) sociological theory. For this time any central Russian journal, through the known ideological predilections saved until now, has not published o­n it any my article. o­nly in September 2001 in a magazine "Sociological studies" my article "TetraSociology - sociology of four measurements " was published. In total for 25 years - about 400 UNpublished works. Attempt to be published in 2000 year in 'International Sociology' also has failed. It has confronted with the negative opinion of Russian experts o­n which occasion there was an Editor of the journal. In connection with the given situation of restriction of publications freedom I want to clarify the opinion of sociologists, for what I conduct selective inquiry o­n e-mail 75 Western and 75 Russian experts. Each of them I send the small survey article "Tetrasociology as the Theory of Social Space-Time and as the Technology" (about 6000 words). I have asked each to read it and to answer three questions:

  1. Whether are you pluralist in the own theoretical sociological position? Yes. Not. I am loss to answer. I do not answer.
  2. Whether you consider the possible publication in western journals of the represented article? Yes. Not. I am loss to answer. I do not answer.
  3. What is your common estimation of advantages and lacks of TetraSociology? Write briefly.

Thank for answers.

I ask you convincingly to read the enclosed article to answer questions and to send me the answers o­n e-mail. The outcomes of inquiry will be published o­n my site " Tetra _ Sociology ", which will be soon placed in the Internet. Comparison of inquiries outcomes is remarkable fact of " sociology of sociology ", which will be represented to XV World Sociological Congress. You can be the categorical opponent of TetraSociology but main in another: whether you recognize the right o­n life of other sociological theories except for yours? Whether you recognize pluralism of the sociological theories? Whether are you pluralist? Here in what sense of inquiry.

Believe any your answer for me is extremely important has vital significance. I'll be very grateful to you for reading of the article and answers to questions.

With deep respect, with hope for the response,
Leo Semashko

Pool results

The letter, the questionnaire and the article were e-mailed to 75 Russian and 75 Western sociologists o­n May 20-23, 2001. As for Russian researchers, St.Petersburg sociologists' emails were culled from the "St.Petersburg Sociologists: Who Is Who" (SPb, 1999) directory; emails for other cities were obtained from other sources. As for Western researchers, I, as an ISA member, culled their emails from the "International Sociological Association. Directory of Members 1998. Madrid". 11 Russian and 10 Western emails, amounting to 14% of the sample, proved invalid.

Responses were received from two Russian sociologists, who answered "yes" to the second question, and from five Western sociologists, two of whom answered "yes," two, "no," and o­ne, "no answer." Such is the initial level of attitude to TetraSociology. Considering its novelty and uncertainty, and, importantly for non-Russian readers, imperfection of the translation, such a response is probably unsurprising. We should also take into consideration that the survey was conducted at the school year's end, o­n the threshold of summer, and many considered it a "spam" (unsolicited ad), which determined the low feedback rate: 5.4% overall (Russians, 3%; Westerners, 8%). So, these numbers cannot be regarded as an adequate expression of the attitude to TetraSociology. Not o­nly TetraSociology is unknown; many are not prepared, able and willing to appreciate a global theory. Thus, the low feedback rate speaks not o­nly for the theory's uncertainty, but also of the researchers' unreadiness to accept such theories too. Those who have a knowledge and are open-minded, react differently. For instance, the students who attended my course mostly accept TetraSociology (88% - see the poll results above), while among the social scientists of older generations in Russia, 80% of whom, according to my polls, preserve traditional, narrowly-empirical and/or monistic orientation, 95% reject TetraSociology. Thus, not o­nly the aspect of theory fame (knew/not knew) is important in forming an opinion o­n TetraSociology, but also such aspects as "young/not young," "able/unable to understand". As is well-known, not a single new theory was ever accepted by everyone and immediately. Some theories won recognition o­nly after decades. Such is probably TetraSociology's destiny.

In June-December 2001 I sent the same article as mentioned above, in English, to Western journals and ISA Research Committees, whence came 7 more characteristic responses, which, along with the first five, I present below unaltered.

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