State border as social institute and cultural construct: prospects of sociological analysis

  • O. O. Usenko V. N. Karazin Kharkiv national university
Keywords: border, social institution, cultural construct, structural functionalism, institutionalism, symbolic interaction, interdisciplinary approach


The paper examines theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of state borders. Complexity of the concept of state border is analyzed as variable and depending on the historical, political and socio­cultural context. The author considers the possibility of studying the border as a social institution and as a cultural construct. The author notes that institutionally border forms quite clearly, and most sociological theories refer to this concept is the light of the functional approach. However, we should also pay attention to  such important factors as the everyday practices of individuals, cultural and symbolic factors, without them understanding of the place and the role of the state border is almost impossible. The study of the state border only as a social institution is insufficient and it leads to the need for updating the socio­cultural approach. In particular, the applicability of functional and sociocultural approaches were analyzed as well as prospects of interdisciplinary study of the state border of Ukraine and borders in general. So, based on the principles of sociology, cultural studies, political science, history and considering the boundary in the light of various scientific disciplines can get the most complete and perfect answers to the key research questions. The geopolitical position of Europe has undergone significant changes over the last century. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the formation of new sovereign states on its territory gave impetus to a rethinking of the nature and structure of space. This creates the need for a detailed study of the global processes taking place around, in particular, the research on the construction of new identities in the post-Soviet space, the consequences and perceptions of the growing level of European integration, the need to adopt a unified model of nation building and the development of a strategy for the development of countries that have gained independence in the 1990s remain relevant. years The role of state borders varies both in European and in the post-Soviet space. External neighbors create the need for a new border policy. Another is the correlation of functions, the borders between the post-Soviet countries, which were previously conditional, were strengthened. All of this forces scientists to pay special attention to studying the boundaries.


1. Blumer, G. Obchestvo kak simvolicheskaya interakcia (Society as a symbolic Interaction).Sovremennaya zarubeznaya sicialnaya psihologia.Moskva, 1984, pp.173­179.
2. Dobrenkov, V.U. Kravchenko, A.I. Socioilia: 3 tom: Cocialnie institute i processi (Sociology: social institutes and processes). Regime to access:
3. Zaslavskajya, T.I. Sovremennoe rossijskoe obchestvo. Socialniy mechanism tranformacii (Contemporary Russian society.Social mechanism of transformation).Moskva; Delo, 2004, 400p.
4. Kolosov, V.A. Vendina, O.I. Rossiysko­ukrainskoe pogranich`e: dvadcat` let razdelennogo edinstva (Ukrainian­Russian boundary: twenty years of divided unity). Moskva, 2011, 348 p.
5. Kononov, I.F. Problema granic I ee znachenie dlya sociologii (The problem of borders and it`s meaning for sociology), Metodologia, teoria I praktika sociologichnogo analizu suchasnogo suspalstva, 2004, pp. 45­49.
6. Kravchenko, V.V., Musiezdov, A.A., Filippova, O.A. Predstavleniya o pogranich`e I praktiki ih ispolzovania (Perceptions of Borderland and practice of their use). Vilnus, 2012, 174 p.
7. Morgunova, A.G. Obrazovanie kak socialniy institute: istiriografija problem (Education as social institution: history of the problem). Vestnik Samarskogo Gosudarstvennogo Universiteta, 2002, no. 3.
8. Reznik, U.M. Sociokulturniy podhod kak metodologia issledovaniy (Sociocultural approach as methodology of research). Regime to access:
9. Sulima, E.M. Institucionalizacia globalnoi vladi (Institutionalization of global government). Naukoviy visnik Volinskogo dergavnogo universitety imeni Lesi Ukrainki, no. 4, 254 p. Regime to access: http://vestnik­
10. Filippova, O.A., Soroka Ju. G. Politika identichnosti: antropologicheskie metodi I socioculturnie interpretacii (Politics of identity: anthropological methods and sociocultural interpretations). Metodologia, teoria I praktika sociologichnogo analizu suchasnogo suspalstva, 2009, no. 15, pp. 129­135.
11. Hobta, S.V. Kordon Ukraini yak sociologochna problema: subjecti, interesi, institucionalizacia (Ukrainian border as sociological issue: subjects, interests, institutionalization). Visnik LNU imeni Tarasa Shevchenka, 2012, no. 23 (258), pp. 41­58.
12. Chernish, M.F. Socialnie institute I mobilnost v transformiruyuchemsia obchestve (Social institutions in the society, which transforming. Moskva, 2005, 254 p.
13. Chepanskiy, Ja.Elementarie poniatia sociologii (Elementary terms of sociology). Moskva: Progress, 1969, 240 p.
How to Cite
Usenko, O. (2015). State border as social institute and cultural construct: prospects of sociological analysis. Grani, 18(2), 79-83.