Adakah Sosiologi tanpa Masyarakat dan Komunikasi tanpa Communicare?

Sebuah pembacaan sederhana atas tulisan sosiolog Alain Touraine bertajuk Sociologie sans société yang dimuat dalam buku Les Sciences Sociales en Mutation yang disunting oleh Michel Wieviorka, dibantu oleh Aude Marie Debarle dan Jocelyne Ohana (Auxerre, Perancis: Éditions Sciences Humaines, 2007)

Cara mengutip karya Touraine ini (versi APA):
Touraine, A. (2007). Sociologie sans société. Dalam Michel Wieviorka (dir.), Aude Debarle dan Jocelyne Ohana (coll.). Les sciences sociales en mutation (h. 25-36). Auxerre, Perancis: Editions Sciences Humaines.

RESUME (Hendar):
Menghilangnya aktor sosial di balik mentasnya sistem yang rasional. Aktor direduksi hanya pada pelaksanaan aneka peran dan fungsi dari sistem pengorganisasian. Inilah buah-buah kajian sosiologi yang ‘jatuh dari pohon’ filsafat Pencerahan. Kita tidak boleh menyerah begitu saja pada tarikan objektivikasi ilmu dan berhenti ternganga akan depersonalisasi manusia oleh kerja, industri, dan sistem kapitalisme (klasik maupun lanjut), tapi harus maju terus dan berani untuk kembali merumuskan subjek dalam studi ilmu-ilmu sosial.

Berikut paparan Touraine yang saya kutip dan menjadi landasan untuk terumuskannya RESUME di atas.

The philosophy of the Enlightenment gave a large place to the subject, but this was located above all the social and cultural affiliations of the real actors; the social sciences therefore did not have their own space in this intellectual world dominated by philosophy and the sciences.

On the contrary, industrial society and the expansion of capitalism brought to the fore social relations and especially work relations, but these relations were conceived as forms of domination or revolt which called for a study of functioning and crises of the capitalist system rather than the behavior of the actors, even if they are class actors. Sociology could not then be distinguished from economic and social history. The same observation applies to colonial relations and, even at least until a certain period, to male-female relations.

Wherever the triumphant image of the rational individual can no longer be maintained, the actors disappear behind the rules and crises of the systems. The sociology that formed during this period was therefore the study of systems rather than that of actors and often even considered that sociological knowledge was supposed to make actors invisible, reduced to roles and functions. The very idea of a social actor was foreign to most sociologists.

At the end of the 19th century, an intellectual upheaval was added to this historical situation which rejected, even more radically, any reference to a rational actor and even sought to eliminate any recourse to the idea of a subject. Those who created contemporary thought, Marx, Nietzsche and Freud, fought against analyzes based on subjectivity.

The 20th century pushed the elimination of actors to the limit; it was the century of anonymity, that of war victims and deportees, that of industrial armies and performance halls.

How can we talk about actors in mass societies? Closer to us, the second half of the 20th century was dominated in certain countries, including France, by the penetration of the structuralist approach in Marxism as in other thoughts of domination and in historical studies which gave priority to long movements of economic history.

The place of the actors

We must first put an end to the lively and omnipresent discourse which criticizes the idea of the subject by rejecting its abstract humanism, in the name of the realities of work, power and war. Because who is the sociologist who refers to such a starting point? Many do not use the notion of subject, but those who do never refer to the philosophy of the Enlightenment as such, since they define their approach in relation to a social situation.

It is more important to criticize sociology itself. Its most general approach is to seek where and how (actors) are reintroduced into the social apparatuses which seek power and the war of ideas and collective movements which appeal to actors who, in one form or another, fight for an autonomous existence, in and against the so-called modern and rationalist society. The most moderate sociologists, who are not the least active, study reforms which limit public and private powers; the most imaginative detect the formation of new actors and movements that transform rules and institutions.

Understand the meaning

Much of the work of the social sciences consists of describing and understanding the construction of what is a field of action and a network of communication. But such a construction would not be possible if there was not first a separation of the objective realities of science or technology, and the orientations of the subjects, whose interdependence must then be rediscovered. These last words clearly define the distance that separates the new groups from the old social systems. These were defined by the functionality of each behavior and the coherence of social norms. Today we live in relationships of both differentiation and interdependence between rationalization and the construction of the subject.

We are leaving classical sociology to enter a representation of social life where “philosophy” and “spirituality”, to use Foucault’s words one last time, are neither separable nor unifiable. A large part of social behavior is controlled by technical and economic organization, but many behaviors also have non-social foundations. The idea of the subject thus redefined, therefore very far from the distant universalism of the Enlightenment, is at the center of this “search for the self”, a new form of “care of the self” which acts on individuals to give them the capacity, in addition to that of to seek the truth, to recognize oneself as those who, in seeking this truth, seek themselves.

In conclusion, I will limit myself to proposing a definition of the current object of our studies. We studied civilizations, societies, modes of production and social movements. We are being led today towards a new central objective: understanding the meaning of behavior (le sens des conduites). Our main concern, in a society whose representation of itself is dominated by cultural rather than political and economic categories, is to understand the meaning for the actors of their situation and their actions, which means that we must evaluate and define these situations and actions in terms of their effects on the construction of themselves. It is no longer the situation that gives meaning to our behavior, it is no longer even our action that transforms our situation; it is the construction of ourselves as subjects which guides the judgment we make on our situation and our behavior.

[Ce n’est plus la situation qui donne sens à nos conduites, ce n’est même plus notre action qui transforme notre situation ; c’est la construction de nous-mêmes comme sujets qui guide le jugement que nous portons sur notre situation et sur nos conduites.]

Yang perlu digarisbawahi di sini berdasarkan paragraf kesimpulan yang dinyatakan Touraine di atas adalah:

Yang perlu dilakukan oleh Sosiologi (dan ilmu-ilmu sosial lainnya) adalah memahami makna yang diberikan aktor/subjek terhadap situasi yang melingkupi mereka serta gugus tindakan mereka dalam terma/kerangka kerja evaluatif ‘efek atau dampaknya terhadap pembentukan diri mereka.’ Jadi, bukan lagi situasi yang memberikan makna pada perilaku kita; juga bukan lagi tindakan yang mendorong terjadinya transformasi atas situasi, melainkan konstruksi diri kita sebagai subjeklah yang memandu penilaian yang kita buat atas situasi dan perilaku kita.

Karenanya, sebagai penutup dari artikel pendek pada blog ini, cukuplah disampaikan di sini serangkaian postulat sederhana yang masih perlu diteruskan penggaliannya:

Sociology without socius/society; Anthropology without άνθρωπος; Psychology without ψυχή; dan Communication without communicare.

By Hendar Putranto

I am a doctorate student in Communication Science, FISIP Universitas Indonesia, starting in 2019. Hope this blog fulfills my studious passion to communicate?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *