Subject and Keywords:
The paper presents the social imaginary from the perspective of contemporary hermeneutics, with the focus on Paul Ricoeur’s and Clifford Geertz’s theories, as the basis for the self-understanding of individuals and social groups. The point of departure is the problem of social imaginary Charles Taylor discusses in his “Modern Social Imaginaries”. The background to understanding in both Ricoeur’s and Greetz’s hermeneutical accounts is a symbolical space comprising symbols and senses, an interpretation which allows to identify active and creative processes within that space through distinguishing its two primary functions, i.e. ideology and utopia. The way in which the imaginary is being shaped according to ideology and utopia as two complementary functions of the social imagination offers the possibility of construing social processes as cultural processes taking form of symbolical space transformations. Thinking of ideology and utopia as functioning as social imagination activity makes it possible to show the rules that govern social imagination (social integration and disintegration processes), as well as to discuss social change in which the dialectic of ideology and utopia occupies the central place.