Culture in psychology: Perennial problems and the contemporary methodological crisis
This article begins by discussing the origins of the methodological crisis in psychology. In
the literature the idea of a permanent methodological crisis in psychology, lasting since
the 1890s, dominates. We contest this view and argue that the contemporary methodological
problems in psychology should be considered within the context of the novel
and larger crisis challenging all socio-humanitarian knowledge in the face of the transformations
in social reality in recent decades. The nature of these transformations and
their implications for the theory and methodology of the socio-humanitarian sciences
are analyzed by drawing on the sociological literature, which is more sensitive to changes
in social life than is psychology.
Prominent sociologists argue that the “old” theories and interpretations of the “social”
are no longer relevant in the new, highly complex, and globally unstable reality; this
new reality has largely transformed the dimensions of human beings’ existence. Meanwhile
psychology still tends to comprehend the universal nature of the human. This position
undermines the relevance of both psychology’s theoretical models and the practical
implications derived from these methodological assumptions.
We argue for revision of the perennial psychological problem of the biology-culture
interaction in human nature. To resolve the contemporary methodological crisis in psychology,
a shift is needed from theories of universal and immutable human nature to the
idea of the human as an infinitely changing creature. Because culture is, primarily, the
ability to change, wherein the speed and extent of changes are unique for humans, distinguishing
them from other living beings.
The results of cross-cultural research of implicit theories of innovativeness among students and teachers, representatives of three ethnocultural groups: Russians, the people of the North Caucasus (Chechens and Ingushs) and Tuvinians (N=804) are presented. Intergroup differences in implicit theories of innovativeness are revealed: the ‘individual’ theories of innovativeness prevail among Russians and among the students, the ‘social’ theories of innovativeness are more expressed among respondents from the North Caucasus, Tuva and among the teachers. Using the structural equations modeling the universal model of values impact on implicit theories of innovativeness and attitudes towards innovations is constructed. Values of the Openness to changes and individual theories of innovativeness promote the positive relation to innovations. Results of research have shown that implicit theories of innovativeness differ in different cultures, and values make different impact on the attitudes towards innovations and innovative experience in different cultures.
The article focuses on Russia's current societal and political system, which is being analyzed from the standpoint of various modes of property relations existing in other countries.
The article aims to identify the nature of social transformations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) under illegal minerals mining and smuggling carried out by foreign mining companies, armed groups, criminal groups of neighboring countries, "war barons" and associated "agents". New forms of government and economic activities resulted from government's failure to provide citizens of the eastern parts of the country with required services. In the conditions of complete disregard of national laws and interests regulating social relations, new rules of interaction between individual groups and between individual groups and local and central government authorities were developed. These new forms of social development have nothing to do with chaos: numerous rival centers of power on the fringes of the country exercise effective control, provide services and exploit local population. Poor people of the richest eastern provinces of the DRC who do not benefit from extraction and export of valuable minerals are forced to develop their own "survival strategies", including illegal minerals mining and smuggling. Illegal economic activities form new “legalized” authorities, change values of the Congolese and transform the society. As a result, the anti-government system of public relations reached a high point of development in the eastern regions of the DRC.
Abstract. There is widespread opinion that, notwithstanding deviations, the political life of humanity on a large scale is on the path of progress, and humans are becoming freer and more enlightened with time. I am going to contend with this opinion, namely, with a part of it telling that the prevailing mass of the people strives to achieve more freedom and enlightenment. On the opposite, freedom, individual independence, and political rights (not to be confused with social rights, such as state care and protection) are of minor importance to the mass. The ideology of liberalism in its classical form, as created by John Locke, Immanuel Kant, John Stuart Mill and others, yields to the pressure of the ideology of state paternalism. The pressure comes not only from above (that is, from authorities); the people also welcome more paternalism. They appear not to value their individual freedom and independence, and they are inclined to give them up voluntarily to some mighty organization such as the state in exchange for care, protection and leadership. Liberalism has played an important role in the development of human civilization and the formation of the Western world, but new ideologies and political practices are pushing it out of people’s minds. For the author, as adherent of classical liberalism, this is unfortunate. However, I wish to treat this issue realistically, even if the facts conflict with my own convictions and desires.
The author focuses her attention on the analysis of the general and the particular in the adaptation of specialists on the basis of the data collected in Russia by the NRI HSE in the course of monitoring the population’s economic situation and health (RLMS-HSE), comprising a vast body of classified information on the changes in the conditions and quality of life of the Russian people.
The chapter is concerned with questions of civic values and civic identity as they are experienced by Russian people in the context of political-economic transformations of the last years, and especially during global economic crisis 2008-2010. Empirical findings from Russian Public Opinion Research Centre, Levada-Centre, Edelman Trust Barometer surveys are used to outline how tensions, distrust and civic irresponsibility expressed by respondents in the context of financial instability may amplify understandings of ‘citizenship’ and ‘civic identity’. There are several trends characterizing citizenship and civic identity in modern Russian society. The first is transformation of the common sense of ‘we-ness’ in case of individualism’s growth and increasing reduction of trust to economic, political and low institutions. The second is the problem of new values formation: while the ‘official’ political discourse admits more and more inclusive patriotic ideologies, ‘everyday-life’ and ‘network’ discourses develop estimative and ironical judgments of the official discourse. The third is citizens’ emigration intentions and the ‘status of citizenship’ characterizing self-perception of people as ‘citizens’ in relation to ‘non-citizens’, which is particular relevant to labour migration problem.
The book analyzes the results of many years of national sociological research characterizing the attitude of Russians in General and their various social groups to the results of twenty-five years of post-Soviet transformations. At the same time, the author highlights the gains and losses of the country's population over the years of reforms, considers the objective and subjective well-being and disadvantage of Russian citizens, the dynamics of their ideological and political preferences. Special attention is paid to the socio-cultural changes that have occurred during the years of reforms, the formation of Russian identity and the role of religion and religious organizations in society. The analysis of everyday life of Russians living in megacities and provinces, the life world of rural residents is given. The influence of the historical past of the country on the mass assessment of Russian transformations is considered. For sociologists, political scientists, philosophers, economists, historians, psychologists, lawyers, as well as students and postgraduates of the relevant specialties, employees of legislative and Executive authorities.
The collective monograph, «Langage, pensée et esprit» ("Language, mind and spirit") published in French, presents the outcome of an international research project conducted during the years 2012-2015 by an international group of experts in contemporary philosophy of language and Wittgenstein scholars. The co-authors represent the following universities: University of Bergen, Norway; Université Paris-8 Vincennes Saint-Denis, France; National Research University Higher School of Economics, Russia; and Université de Tunis. The monograph examines diverse aspects of L. Wittgenstein's philosophy of language that are of considerable importance for today's philosophy of mind and for contemporary social sciences.
The chapter examines the concept of "social reality", viewed through Wittgenstein’s perspective of "possible worlds", and its importance for the epistemology of contemporary social sciences.
The author tried to avoid the usual perception of informality and informal practices in migration sphere in Russia. This article, by analyzing the migration sphere in Russia using the approach of T. Zaslavskaya about three levels of the social actions of social actors (micro-, meso -, and macro-levels), showed that migrants in Russia can operate only at the micro level. Therefore, “informality” is a result of actions taken by the actors who operate at the macro - and meso-level
Students' internet usage attracts the attention of many researchers in different countries. Differences in internet penetration in diverse countries lead us to ask about the interaction of medium and culture in this process. In this paper we present an analysis based on a sample of 825 students from 18 Russian universities and discuss findings on particularities of students' ICT usage. On the background of the findings of the study, based on data collected in 2008-2009 year during a project "A сross-cultural study of the new learning culture formation in Germany and Russia", we discuss the problem of plagiarism in Russia, the availability of ICT features in Russian universities and an evaluation of the attractiveness of different categories of ICT usage and gender specifics in the use of ICT.