Four Quarters: Social Glue


In the early 20th century the sociologist Emile Durkheim coined the term “social glue” to describe the forces that hold people together. Commentators and experts have been auditioning various phenomena for this mysterious but crucial social role ever since. But as a society changes, so too do the reasons for its unity. A Sociologist, a political scientist, a theologian and a demographer joined us for a debate about solidarity in contemporary Russia.


Alexander Fillipov is a philosopher and sociologist. He heads the Department for Practical Philosophy at the Higher School of Economics. His research interests include the sociology of space, political sociology, and the sociology of action. In 2012 he published a series of articles about contemporary forms of solidarity: Mobility and Solidarity. Essay One, and Mobility and Solidarity. Essay Two.

Alexey Titkov is a geographer and sociologist. He is an associate professor at the Department for Political Theory and Political Analysis of the Faculty of Applied Sociology at the Higher School of Economics. His research interests include regional politics, elections, and party systems.

Ivar Maksutov is a theologian and chairman of the Moscow Theological Society. He teaches at the Centre for Religious Studies at the Russian State University for the Humanities and is en editor-in-chief of PostNauk, an internet project devoted to letting research scientists from all disciplines “speak for themselves.” His research interests include contemporary religiosity and the phenomenology of religion.

Olga Isupova is a demographer and sociologist. She is an associate professor of demography and senior researcher at the Institute of Demography’s Centre for Demographic Research. Her research interests include sociology of reproduction, social policy in the field of fertility, reproductive technology, gender research, and sociology of the family.