The Decay of American Culture? Pitirim Sorokin's View on the Relevance of the Sex Revolution


  • Andrzej Sarnacki Jesuit University Ignatianum, Kraków, Poland



Pitirim Sorokin, sexual revolution, sexual anarchy, cultural decadence


The undeniable shift in American culture over last decades, regarding the values and self-identity of its citizens, has been a subject of extensive inquiries. While there have been studies of many problematic developments, such as the erosion of social capital or the rise of narcissism, not much attention has been dedicated to the meta-perspective of the ongoing transformation and self-destructive mechanisms of modern social and cultural agendas. Pitirim Sorokin has pointed out the importance of a dominant attitude towards sex, which virtually predestines the future of a given society. Conservative in its outlook, his view is worth taking into consideration, especially due to its references to the historical data of past civilizations. This perspective is especially relevant for the modern cultural and scientific paradigm, which regards contestation of sexual expansion as unjustified and even illegitimate. Sorokin’s perspective on “sexual anarchy” might prove to be a valid one in regard to Western civilization.


Bailey B., “Prescribing the pill: politics, culture, and the sexual revolution in America’s heartland”, Journal of Social History, vol. 30, no. 4 (1997), pp. 827–856.

Burnham J., Suicide of the West: an Essay on the Meaning and Destiny of Liberalism, New York 1964.

Campbell J.M., Twenge K.W., The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement, New York 2009.

Cohen N.L., Delirium: How the Sexual Counterrevolution is Polarizing America, Berkeley 2012.

Iannaccone L.R., “The Consequences of Religious Market Structure”, Rationality and Society, 3/2 (1991), pp. 156–177,

Kuby G., The Global Sexual Revolution: Destruction of Freedom in the Name of Freedom, Kettering 2015.

Lukács G., The Theory of the Novel, Cambridge, Massachusetts 1971.

Lukács G., History and Class Consciousness. Studies in Marxist Dialectics, Cambridge, Massachusetts 1971.

Nieli R., “Critic of the Sensate Culture: Rediscovering the Genius of Pitirim Sorokin”, Political Science Reviewer, vol. 35, no. 1 (2006), pp. 264–379.

Putnam R.D., Bowling Alone. The Collapse and Revival of American Community, New York 2000.

Sarnacki A., Aktualność Piotra Skargi – o niebezpiecznych aspektach społeczno-kulturowych, in: M. Chrost, I. Nowakowska-Kempna, Rzecz o dziele Piotra Skargi SJ, Kraków 2012, pp. 245–255.

Sarnacki A., „Peryferyjność monastycyzmu? Kameduli i cykliczność kultur Pitirima Sorokina”, Anthropos?, nr 25 (2016), pp. 30–43,

Senge P., The Fifth Discipline, New York 1994.

Sorokin P., The American Sex Revolution, Boston 1956.

Sorokin P., Social and Cultural Dynamics, Boston 1957.




How to Cite

Sarnacki, A. (2017). The Decay of American Culture? Pitirim Sorokin’s View on the Relevance of the Sex Revolution. Intercultural Relations, 1(2(2), 105–120.