Conceptualization of tradition that would open the possibility to comprehend it using classical and contemporary sociological theories is an urgent necessity in contemporary social sciences. The authoresses propose to consider a tradition as a steady group stereotype of social action that exists in social systems during long period of time and has socio-cultural mechanism of transmission from one generation to another. Conceptualization of tradition as a stereotype of social action opens the possibility to study this phenomenon both as a social action and as a component of social knowledge. The authoresses use the statements of the social action theories (M. Weber, T. Parsons) in order to build an ideal type model of traditional action. The ideal types of traditional and purposive actions are the poles of the continuum of the real traditional actions which places in such continuum (on such a scale) depend on a stage of their development or destruction. They apply sociology of knowledge ideas to analysis of tradition emergence and development in a social system. Hypothesis for tradition genesis as similar to establishment of paradigm is grounded in the article. The main factors that determine evolutionary or revolutionary character of tradition development are revealed.
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