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Discovery of sphere classes as actors of social harmony

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2.12. Discovery of sphere classes as actors of the social harmony

As a social world's global model, the system of SST coordinates and constants system enables us to see in a new light society's social structure, its traditional communities and groups. Pointing out four necessary and sufficient PIOT resources of society, appropriate SIOT spheres of resources reproduction, and appropriate, reproductive employment of people in these spheres enables o­ne to discover in the social world a qualitatively new social structure - sphere structure, and in it, qualitatively new classes - sphere classes, whose nature of employment is harmonious. The sphere social structure of society is a division of the entire population into four sphere classes, employed in appropriate spheres of social reproduction, which are charted in the tables above. Sphere classes represent four big groups of people comprehending the entire population of the world, region, country, city, village, the entire staff of plants and offices, which are differentiated according to spheres of their reproductive employment. The equal social necessity for their employment makes them fundamentally harmonious, cooperative, fraternal, and eliminates all antagonism. Sphere classes are equally necessary for society, sufficient together, but, according to the stratified criteria, they are not equal inside and between themselves. Such is the general definition of sphere classes. Now let us define each of them.

  1. The Humanitarian class is the class of people, engaged in the reproduction of people, i.e. employed in the sociosphere, the object and product of which is the individual/people. Sphere index P1 denotes the humanitarian class. For brevity sake, we will call it the "Socioclass". (TetraSociological neologisms are provisional, there is room for a more adequate term.)
  2. The informational class is the class of people, employed in information reproduction, i.e. employed in the infosphere, the object and product of which is information. Sphere index P2 denotes informational class. For brevity sake, we will call it "Infoclass".
  3. The organizational class is the class of people, employed in organisations reproduction, i.e. in the orgsphere, the object and product of which is organisations. Sphere index P3 denotes organizational class. For brevity sake, we will call it "Orgclass".
  4. The technical class is the class of people, employed in the reproduction of things/material benefits, i.e. employed in the technosphere, the object and product of which are things. Sphere index P4 denotes technical class. For brevity sake, we will call it "Technoclass".

We will designate three forms of theoretical and statistical representation of sphere classes: 1. Status-based - by the major employment, work position/job employment. 2. Non-status-based - by people's employment in off-hours (non-working time). 3. Real or factual - by the sum of the status-based and non-status-based employments. Accordingly, three forms of sphere classes are designated. Status-based sphere classes include people according to their major, job employment, or absence thereof, with the presence of self-production employment in case of non-able-bodied (more precisely - non-job-employed, i.e. not employed in work) population. There are groups of population who are engaged in public work and categorised according to work spheres (work positions, professions), and there are groups of population who are not employed in public work, belonging to the non-working faction of humanitarian class and employed in self-production: children, students, non-working retirees, etc. Non-status-based sphere classes include status-based, but with an addition of people who are employed in different spheres during their non-working hours. Real or factual sphere classes include non-status-based, but with an addition of people who are employed in different spheres of self-production. Therefore, non-status classes refer to clarifying the employment of job-employed groups of population, while real classes add to non-status classes clarifications regarding the groups employed in self-production (i.e. not engaged in public work). Theoretically, the most precise form of expressing sphere classes is the third o­ne. With the current state of statistics, however, we can calculate sphere classes o­nly in status form. So, henceforth we will be speaking o­nly about status sphere classes.

As an example, let us explore sphere classes in Russia in 1991 and 1996. The number of Russia's population - P - equals the sum of the employed in the sociosphere - socioclass P1, plus employed in the infosphere - infoclass P2, plus employed in the orgsphere - orgclass P3, plus in the technosphere - technoclass P4.

P1, the socioclass, is composed, first, of those employed in humanitarian work in the sociosphere's social sector and its branches: we will denote this group P1j; second, of the groups of population who do not work and are engaged in self-reproduction, i.e. engaged in the sphere's individual sector - we will denote them P1n. Thus, P1=P1j+P1n. The number of P1j is composed of the numbers of those employed in the sphere's branches, in millions of people. Let us lay out the numbers of sphere classes in tables.

TABLE 1. Number of P1j, Russian socioclass in millions people

Engaged in branches of the sociosphere1 9 9 11 9 9 6
1. Public health services, social maintenance, physical culture and sports4,34,6
2. Education (teacher)2,52,5
3. The priests--
IN TOTAL P1j6,87,1

TABLE 2. Number of P1n, Russian socioclass in millions people

Groups not working (free in social sector)1 9 9 11 9 9 6
1. Pensioners, invalids33,837,1
2. Pupil, students25,526,6
3. Pre-scholars, home-makers11,811,5
4. Unemployed3,66,8
IN TOTAL P1n74,882,0
IN TOTAL P1 (P1j + P1n), number of Russian socioclass81,689,1

TABLE 3. Number of P2, Russian infoclass in millions people

Employed in the infosphere's branches:1 9 9 11 9 9 6
1. Science and scientific service2,81,6
2. Communication0,90,9
3. Culture and art4,84,9
IN TOTAL P2, number of Russian infoclass8,57,4

TABLE 4. Number of P3, Russian orgclass in millions people

Employed in the orgsphere's branches:1 9 9 11 9 9 6
1. Number of the management staff1,71,9
2. Finance, credit, insurance0,40,9
3.Other branches (defence, policy, security, custom-house etc.)1,91,8
IN TOTAL P3, number of Russian orgclass4,04,6

TABLE 5. Number of P4, Russian technoclass in millions people

Employed in technosphere's branches:1 9 9 11 9 9 6
1. Industry22,416,3
2. Agriculture and wood industry9,89,8
3. Construction8,56,3
4. Transport4,94,4
5. Trade and public nutrition5,66,8
6. Housing and communal services3,23,3
IN TOTAL P4, number of Russian technoclass54,446,9

Statistical sources: National economy of Russian Federation. лoscow, 1992; Russian Federation in 1992. Moscow, 1993; Labour and employment in Russia. Moscow, 1996; Social sphere of Russia. Moscow, 1996; Demographic year-book of Russia. Moscow, 1996; Russian statistical year-book. Moscow, 1996; Russian statistical year-book. Moscow, 1997.

The number of Russia's population: P=P1+P2+P3+P4. In 1991 it equalled 148.5 million people, in 1996, 148 million people. Comparing the Russia's indices we can see, for instance, that Russia still has a long way to go to an information society, although the tendency to downsizing in the technosphere - an important feature of an information society - is very strong, and over 5 years 7.5 million technosphere workers have been downsized.

Similar sphere indices P, i.e. the numbers of sphere classes can be calculated for any country: U.S., Japan, France, Germany, China, etc., as well as for any branches of the economy, regions, businesses. We want to emphasise that forming sphere indices is extremely effort-consuming: for each sphere index, dozens, hundreds, sometimes thousands of operative indices have to be adjusted.

Analysis of sphere social structure and sphere classes poses a fundamental question: have sphere classes been always present, or are they just emerging; are they new for society and in history, or o­nly for social consciousness and social sciences? If society has always been in need of PIOT resources and of appropriate SIOT spheres of reproduction, sphere classes, therefore, are just as necessary and permanent. Thus, all types of social structures: caste, estate, class, primitive, slave-holding, feudal, capitalist, etc. can be regarded as different historical forms of a single sphere social structure of society, this form being the most fundamental and basic among the other kinds of social structures. Other kinds of social structures of society can be interpreted as distortions, limitations, absolutization, undevelopedness of sphere social structure. All historical castes, estates, branch classes can be similarly interpreted in their relation to sphere classes. They constitute a single immense sociological fact, traceable throughout the history, of disharmony, global imbalance, antagonism within the social world, unevenness and disequilibrium of the development of its spheres and sphere classes in the past.

Sphere classes are new not for social world and its history, but for our level of knowledge about it and for traditional social thinking. Social world is as little known about as natural world. The level of our knowledge about it depends not o­n these worlds, but o­n our exploration methods, o­n the quality and level of our theories. Einstein thus formulated this dependence: "it is theory that defines what we are to see." This is a universal rule applying to exploration of both natural and social worlds. Sphere social structure and sphere classes become discernible o­nly through TetraSociological theory, o­nly within the framework of definite-dimensional pluralism; they are not distinguishable by monism or traditional dimensionless pluralism. Exploring sphere classes, sociology is certain to discover lots of new social laws and qualities. But to do this, it must acquire the postpluralistic framework of theoretical outlook.

Even today, sphere classes exist as elemental and primordial forces, alien and unknown to the individual, hidden from him in the unknown depths of society. At the level of social world observable and perceivable to traditional theoretical outlook, sphere classes are conceived either as stratified classes (upper, middle, low), or as branch classes corresponding with major branches of industrial world's economy. Let us review their links to and differences from sphere classes.

What are the main differences between sphere classes and traditional, economic, branch o­nes? Up until the last quarter of the XX century, until the beginning of formation of information society, the economics sphere (the technosphere) prevailed, and industrial society was predominant. Its social structure was mainly branch-based. It consisted of branch classes employed in the technosphere's main branches: workers, peasants/farmers, managers, proprietors. o­ne of the most widely used, Marxist definitions differentiates the classes according to their relation to the means of material production (private property criterion). If we compare this definition with the definition and example of sphere classes, the difference of the latter consists in the following.

  1. It is reproductive employment of the object/product (employment by reproductive transformation of a object into a product) not ownership, that differentiates sphere classes from traditional o­nes. Employment is universal, it does not recognise borders in historical space and time of social world, while private property o­n means of material production is delimited by historical time and space. All people are employed everywhere from birth to death, but never and nowhere can all people be private owners - and have not been. The sphere classes are classes of equality, though they do not exclude an inequality, and all other classes are classes of an inequality. From this main distinction of sphere classes ensue their derivative distinctions.
  2. Sphere classes are universal, equally necessary, cooperative and intersupplemental classes, while branch classes are historically transient, variously necessary (both between themselves and between themselves and so-called "stratuta"), exploitative and antagonistic classes. Sphere classes, differentiated by employment, which is universal, represent harmonious classes, in contradistinction to traditional, antagonistic classes. Sphere classes' harmony is the opposite of branch classes' antagonism. Historically, to our regret, antagonism has been prevailing, but it is being replaced now by harmony.
  3. Sphere classes include all the population without exception, while branch classes, o­nly a faction, and not always the biggest o­ne.
  4. Recognising sphere classes, we recognise all the population as productive, socially useful. Socially the certain occupations of the people, but not itself people can be harmful, except for genetic deviations. Recognition of branch classes, meanwhile, leads to differentiation between productive classes and groups and non-productive o­nes, to confrontation, struggle and antagonism between them.
  5. Sphere classes eliminate class struggle and a desire for a dictatorship and domination over other classes, which are inevitable with branch classes. The prevailing kind of relation between sphere classes is not class struggle, desire for a dictatorship, assertion of o­ne's superiority, but equality, cooperation and desire for harmony and coordination of different classes' interests; a competition between sphere classes, as well as local conflicts between them, are expected, but they are resolved peacefully, non-violently.
  6. Branch classes prove to be a particular case of sphere classes.

Sphere and stratified classes share several features: they include all of the population, they are universal, they banish class struggle, recognise the priority of social "upward" mobility over "downward" mobility, etc. But there are important distinctions between the classes as well.

  1. Sphere classes are differentiated by the object/product of employment, while stratified classes, by the set of secondary attributes: profession's prestige, education, relation to power, income, property, etc.
  2. Sphere classes are equally necessary for a society, lean o­n one fundamental basis of employment, which makes them socially equal in this respect. (In this regard TetraSociology is a sociology of equality between sphere classes and groups.) Stratified classes, o­n the contrary, posit social inequality, absolutize it, ignore class equality.
  3. Sphere classes do not eliminate, but preserve stratified classes, recognising a necessity for sub-stratification inside each sphere class. So, it is recognised that each sphere class contains upper, middle, and low strata/classes, which are differentiated according to secondary attributes. These layers of sphere classes are as necessary as the classes themselves, because the same kind of employment in case of people with differing needs and abilities leads to differing results: upper, middle, low. Sphere classes express social equality of people, while stratified classes, social inequality among them. Finding the harmony and balance between equality and inequality to ensure all social groups' prosperity is the most difficult part of social problems solving.

If sphere classes are so fundamental, then why are they still elemental and unknown? Because, first, there was no social need in them – the social world could live without them; second, there was no appropriate social theory able to "see" them. Because of social world's uneven and o­ne-sided development, there have always been a predominance of o­ne or another sphere - usually economic o­ne, - and of appropriate branch classes, who have socially needed to maintain or achieve superior position in society. o­n the other hand, to discover sphere classes, to turn them from elemental forces into self-aware social actors, an appropriate theory is needed. Branch classes could produce nothing but Marxist-type theories of class struggle. o­nly when, at the end of the XXth century, branch classes domination was banished and the last and the mightiest class system - communist - collapsed, o­nly then did it become clear that new classes and a new, adequate theory need to be discovered. TetraSociological theory is the first among these, although not the last and, therefore, the single o­ne. It enables us to discover new sphere classes and to explain why, in the past, they were remaining in the shadow of history and why they are being actively formed nowadays, i.e. the present-day social need in them. The theory reveals the causes of traditional branch classes' incongruity with the new global problems and challenges: the challenges are so immense, while branch classes are so weak, small and absorbed in their "class struggle," that they in principle cannot provide theoretical or practical responses to the challenges. TetraSociological theory has it that only new, sphere classes are CAPABLE of providing theoretical as well as practical responses to the modern challenges. But these classes themselves have to turn, to use an old expression, from "classes in themselves" into "classes for themselves."

The intensive formation of sphere classes is expressed in the re-distribution of the employed population among the social production spheres, in decreasing numbers of those employed in the material sphere and growing numbers of those employed in the three other spheres. This process, begun in the second half of the XXth century and especially intensified in the century's last quarter, is connected with the formation of the information society, spread of communications, and expansion of globalisation, and leads to "death" of traditional branch classes and to formation of sphere classes as new and harmonious social actors for the XXIst century. However, the parallel process of the raise of awareness of sphere classes identity, which we will call "sphere identity", necessary for formation of this classes, - this process has just begun. Formation of sphere classes requires self-awareness: the spiritual, theoretical component, indispensable for it. (It is the modern fact of the lag of consciousness and theory from a reality.) Self existence and formation of sphere classes are noticeable o­nly through an appropriate theory. Sphere classes obtain in TetraSociology their self-awareness and concept of "sphere" identity, which turn them from elemental forces into self-aware social actors of harmony, who transform traditional actors. Constructing sphere classes theoretically and socially, TetraSociology "discovers" them in this sense. Transition from branch identification to sphere o­ne is necessary for finding adequate responses to the challenges. Disjoined and often conflicting branch groups cannot provide the responses, any more than realise them in practice. Transition to new, sphere identification can be accomplished o­nly with the help of a theory similar to TetraSociology.

Ignorance of sphere classes, the lack of their identification led in the past to total social disharmony with all its manifestations: class struggle, exploitation, wars, crime o­n a mass scale, terrorism, clash of civilisations, conflicts between religions, unfair distribution of wealth and power, predatory attitude to nature, "one-dimensional man" (H.Marcuse's term), etc. (Is not it this total disharmony that accounts for the postmodern "total deconstruction," which absolutizes total disharmony as an eternal reality, as a new "absolute truth"?) Total disharmony in the social world creates total disharmony in the traditional social actors: castes, estates, branch classes. Harmony in the social world is achievable o­nly by sphere classes: they are the opening key to it. o­nly sphere classes are interested in harmonious, proportional development of all spheres of social world, and therefore, the individual, rather than in superiority and domination. NO OTHER classes are interested in harmony in the social world and the individual. So, sphere classes are new and harmonious social actors of prosperity, who steps out o­n the historical arena in the XXIst century and starts to act in an informational civilisation. It is classes of a harmonious civil society, of a highly advanced civilisation. They use information and technologies, instead of property and economy, as the key instrument for social harmony and prosperity. In the XX1st century the sphere classes will become a social basis of culture, policy and economy. They will make their harmonious.

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