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Research Article

Rethinking the Concept of ‘Society’ in the Age of Globalisation

Society as a Whole, the Social, and Sociological Traditions

Hirofumi Utsumi    Otemon Gakuin University, Osaka, Japan    



The aim of this paper is to take issue with the opinion that, in sociology, the concept of ‘society’ was equated with the nation-state. Firstly, a diachronic analysis of the term ‘society’, as used by the general public, shall be attempted: ‘society as a whole’ and ‘the social’. Secondly, the article shall illustrate that sociology has developed its own analytical concept of society within the space between the two lay terms. Thirdly, the fact that the process of globalisation yet again problematizes the distinction between ‘society as a whole’ and ‘the social’ shall be shown. The conclusion of the paper is that, by yet again, becoming aware of the three dimensions of the concept of ‘society’, we can provide cues for a theoretical reconstruction of the sociological concept of ‘society’ that will contribute to research on ‘society’ in the age of globalisation.

Keywords: Society. The social. Society as a whole. The state. Civil society. Market economy. Nation-state. Globalisation.

Language: en

Submitted: Jan. 29, 2019
Accepted: May 28, 2019
Published: June 27, 2019

permalink: http://doi.org/10.30687/AnnOr/2385-3042/2019/01/021

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License