Conceptualization of «social death» through Internet users’ search queries

Kazakova A.Yu.


The article examines the place of the «social death» concept in the system of sociological knowledge through the prism of the information needs of Internet users. The lack of empirical studies of social death is due to the lack of a holistic theoretical and methodological basis for its study. Attempts at its theoretical understanding suffer from psychologism and dependence on the clinical and medical tradition, which is explained by the discontinuity and fragmentation of the existing sociological concepts. The sociological analysis of social death requires a transition from its procedural consideration as a state to structural consideration, as a status derived from the existing social in-stitutions. Since this status is attributed forcibly, the sphere of its pro-duction is power relations, and its mechanism is ritualized, sacralized and legitimate social murder, including desocialization and symbolic dehumanization. Within the institutional approach, social death becomes part of the subject matter of the sociology of law, the sociology of power and the sociology of religion, and the genesis of the concept in question is outlined by the line: E. Durkheim – Z. Bauman – O. Patterson.


social death – concept, genesis; search query; Google Trends; Yandex WordStat; macrotheory; microtheory.

DOI: 10.31249/rsoc/2021.03.06

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