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Социальная сплоченность: направления теоретической дискуссии и перспективы социальной политики

The article considers social cohesion as a theoretical concept. Drawing on the works of the classics of sociology and modern scholars, the authors reveal different semantic facets of this concept, including a commitment to the common good, or the mechanism of intergroup conflict, a mutual benefit or a resource of understanding, a strategic priority of social policy or a construct of nationalistic discourse. Each of these codes refers to certain theories that vary in their explanation of social order, conditions and mechanisms of cohesion, and to trace their connection with ideologies, doctrines and strategies of social policy. The article presents  systematization of analytical approaches and suggests a number of ideas concerning the study of a variety of bases and forms of social cohesion in contemporary Russian society. Сohesion can be conceptualized in the following interrelated dimensions: firstly, as systematic efforts of the main actors, ensuring the well-being of the population and social integration by means of an institutional framework, including institutions and agencies implementing this policy in practice. Social cohesion is both the goal and the means of such policy. Secondly, it can be understood as the prevalence of values of cohesion, its symbolic production, particularly in mass media and popular culture. Third, social cohesion can be identified in the mechanisms of national and in-group mobilization, as well as the formation of the public sphere on the themes of cohesion, trust and inclusion.