Trust, Responsibility, and Freedom: FocusGroup Research on Contemporary Patterns of Union Formation in Russia
We intend to highlight gender and educational differences in perceptions of the advantages and disadvantages of cohabitation vs marriages. We conducted 8 focus groups in Moscow in January 2012 (4 with men, 4 with women, half with higher educated, the other half with lower educated). Trust between men and women was claimed by participants to underly the preferences for marriage or cohabitation. Religious beliefs of participants form a ‘three stages of union’ theory, expressed by them: cohabitation in the beginning, civil marriage later when trust becomes stronger, and finally a church wedding when trust becomes the highest. Values of responsibility, freedom, fidelity and trust form participants’ expressed ideals in union formation. The highest level of trust is stated to be highest in proponents of marriage and in ideational cohabitors. People without strong type of union preferences claim to have lowest level of interpersonal trust.
Modern capitalism favors values that undermine our face-to-face bonds with friends and family members. Focusing on the post-communist world, and comparing it to more 'developed' societies, this book reveals the mixed effects of capitalist culture on interpersonal relationships. While most observers blame the egoism and asocial behavior found in new free-market societies on their communist pasts, this work shows how relationships are also threatened by the profit orientations and personal ambition unleashed by economic development. Successful people in societies as diverse as China, Russia, and Eastern Germany adjust to the market economy at a social cost, relaxing their morals in order to obtain success and succumbing to increased material temptations to exploit relationships for their own financial and professional gain. The capitalist personality is internally troubled as a result of this "sellout," but these qualms subside as it devalues intimate qualitative bonds with others. This book also shows that post-communists are similarly individualized as people living in Western societies. Capitalism may indeed favor values of independence, creativity, and self-expressiveness, but it also rewards self-centeredness, consumerism, and the stripping down of morality. As is the case in the West, capitalist culture fosters an internally conflicted and self-centered personality in post-communist societies.
The results of the interrogative psycholinguistic experiment described in this article is part of a broader research of how soci-ocultural knowledge influences communication in the Internet discussions by readers of American press. The experiment allows obtaining a complex model of positively/negatively evaluated events in the American society, paying special attention to the value-evaluation component. This model can further be a basis for explanation of the communicative strategies of argumentation and manipulation used in verbal description of events. The type of sociocultural mental structures described in the article is viewed as a dynamic cognitive gestalt that can be potentially split into a number of parameters, but is not reducible to their sum, which is characterized by both individual existence in the mind of a native speaker and distributed existence in a sociocultural community as an abstract social invariant. The article discusses advantages of psycholinguistic approach to modeling the fragments of this background knowledge compared to using exclusively introspective text analysis, as it allows to separate methodologically the research of mental structures and particular instances of verbal communication that are based on those structures and gives an opportunity to avoid the vicious circle of studying communicative strategies used in the text exclusively modeled from the same text material.
A joint research project carried out by an interdisciplinary group of Russian and Swedish linguists, sociologists and educators-psychologists (the Swedish Institute grant), besides solving pragmatic tasks of finding out relative quantitative-qualitative specificity of national cognitive representations of values, first of all, had methodological goals. They were to check the efficiency of the linguistic methods developed in this study (and, thus, to prove the theoretical ideas that served the basis for it) of getting factual data that allow reconstructing and comparing of the corresponding areas of cognitive representations.
Along with the fast growing economy, the term «BRICs» was coined to represent the newly emerging countries — Brazil, Russia, India and China. The enhanced economy in these countries has largely improved peoples life; at the same time, it has also strongly influenced the transformation of social structure, norms and values. However, as the worlds attention centers on their economic development at the micro level, the social changes at the micro level have often been neglected, and a specific comparative study of these four countries is even more rare. This handbooks contributing authors are leading sociologists in the four countries. They fill the gap in existing literature and examine specifically the changes in each society from the perspective of social stratification, with topics covering the main social classes, the inequality of education and income, and the different styles of consumption as well as the class consciousness and values. Under every topic, it gathers articles from authors of each country. Such a comparative study could not only help us achieve a better understanding of the economic growth and social development in these countries, but also lead us to unveil the mystery of how these emerging powers with dramatic differences in history, geography, culture, language, religion and politics could share a common will and take joint action. In general, the handbook takes a unique perspective to show readers that it is the profound social structural changes in these countries that determine their future, and to a large extent, will shape the socio-economic landscape of the future world.
It is known that charity, as with any social institution that depends on both external and internal factors. In this article the author analyzes the relationship of charity and the level of development of such internal factors as trust. The analysis was conducted on a global level and at regional level in Russia. The resulting lack of relationship to regional level and its presence in the world say that in Russia at the moment there is no required number of relevant data, based on which one could draw a conclusion about the level of philanthropy.
Analysis of the topic of the disease in the literary canon and visual representations in textbooks for primary school.
Several approaches to the concept of fatherhood present in Western sociological tradition are analyzed and compared: biological determinism, social constructivism and biosocial theory. The problematics of fatherhood and men’s parental practices is marginalized in modern Russian social research devoted to family and this fact makes the traditional inequality in family relations, when the father’s role is considered secondary compared to that of mother, even stronger. However, in Western critical men’s studies several stages can be outlined: the development of “sex roles” paradigm (biological determinism), the emergence of the hegemonic masculinity concept, inter-disciplinary stage (biosocial theory). According to the approach of biological determinism, the role of a father is that of the patriarch, he continues the family line and serves as a model for his ascendants. Social constructivism looks into man’s functions in the family from the point of view of masculine pressure and establishing hegemony over a woman and children. Biosocial theory aims to unite the biological determinacy of fatherhood with social, cultural and personal context. It is shown that these approaches are directly connected with the level of the society development, marriage and family perceptions, the level of egality of gender order.