The article focuses on the academic discourse of social cohesion, from general theories of social integration through to the definitions, measurement methods, and basic analytical concepts. The authors identify two degrees of universality with respect to the use of the concept of social cohesion: 1) the creation and preservation of social order in general, and 2) the study of particular mechanisms of social cohesion (civic participation, the effectiveness of cooperation, etc.). The first part differentiates between different general social theories according to how they approach the question of integration (norms/procedures and structures/relations), and the second part reviews the most important empirical approaches to the study of cohesion at the micro- and society-wide levels and the indicators used in these approaches. The authors distinguish between approaches 'integration from the bottom up' (e.g. factors of in-group cohesion) and the enlarged multidimensional, normative/relational 'good society approach' to macro-social cohesion. In conclusion, the authors propose a conceptual framework for studying the social cohesion of Czech society broadly based on the 'good society' approach, which they further elaborate in terms of reciprocity and universally applicable rules. This multidimensional conceptual framework encompasses the vertical dimension of social inequalities and civic rights and the horizontal dimension of collective social capital, especially its bridging form.
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