Stereotypes as Historical Accidents: Images of Social Class in Post-communist versus Capitalist Societies
Stereotypes are ideological and justify the existing social structure. Although stereotypes persist, they can change when the context changes. Communism’s rise in Eastern Europe and Asia in the 20th century provides a natural experiment examining social-structural effects on social class stereotypes. Nine samples from post-communist countries (N = 2241), compared with 38 capitalist countries (N=4344), support the historical, socio-cultural rootedness of stereotypes. More positive stereotypes of the working class appear in post-communist countries, both compared with other social groups in the country and compared with working-class stereotypes in capitalist countries; post-communist countries also show more negative stereotypes of the upper class. We further explore whether communism’s ideological legacy reflects how societies infer groups’ stereotypic competence and warmth from structural status and competition. Post-communist societies show weaker status-competence relations and stronger (negative) competition-warmth relations; respectively, the lower meritocratic beliefs and higher priority of embeddedness as ideological legacies may shape these relationships.
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.
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 article considers different variants of division of economic history into periods in a broad interdisciplinary context. Special attention has been paid to the influence of Enlightenment philosophy, evolutionary thinking , socialist ideology, human geography, agricultural economy, theories of economic growth, post-industrialism, world-system analysis. Author explicates heuristic significance of conceptions of such Russian theorists as A.Bogdanov, V. Semyonov-Tyan-Shansky, N. Oganovsky for economic periodization of history and world-system approash.
According to interdisciplinary theory of architecture and sociology by A. Amin and N. Thrift, presented in their book Cities. Reimagining the Urban, the light sociality is the main way of individuals interaction in city space. In this context, consumption appears to be one of the basic forms of individuals self-expression on one hand, and on the other hand - one of the basic forms of urban communication. We deal with consumption in its general meaning - as a complex of all individuals consumption-related practices that are transparent in space of light sociality. Consumption practices become agents of light sociality, producing ambivalent encounters that emotionally affect individuals realizing those practices, and those who observe them. In this way consumption takes part in governmentality of the city spaces.
The article examines the commemorative events of the 100th anniversary of the German and Austrian revolution, the role of various discursive actors and those key toposs that were emphasized or left in the shadows at various levels of discourse. The official festivities, with the participation of federal presidents and chancellors, reproduced the consensus narrative of the republican period in the history of both countries as a path to liberal democracy, where radical alternatives to the right and left were mentioned in the context of Nazism, and their own communist movements were practically not mentioned. National media do not show significant differences, with the exception of the emphasized involvement of experts in their memorial products, when political historians (Austria) and constitutional lawyers (Germany) took center stage. Regional aspects were present in Weimar and Kiel, but the Bavarian Soviet Republic was virtually excluded. Thus, the spread of “knowledge-power” was characterized by the unification of a centralist narrative, in which the path to modern parliamentary democracy stood out at the expense of radical alternatives.
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.