Activity Theory for the De-Structuralized Modernity
The present paper discusses perspectives of Activity Theory (AT) in the context of contemporary globalizing world, describing which we refer to the notion “De-structuralized modernity” (Sorokin & Froumin, 2020). Radical changes in everyday life challenge social sciences and humanities. Approaches are in demand, which have the potential to comprehend the changing human étant and éntre. We argue that Activity Theory has the potential to face these challenges. Leontiev’s AT grounds on the idea of qualitatively new mental features arising to deal with novel environmental challenges, which is much in line with J.M. Baldwin reasoning on evolution. AT also offers a method to prognosis the upcoming neoplasms. In the same time, applying classics of AT to the current reality, “De-structuralized modernity”, entails the need for new theoretical elaborations of the latter, stemming from the radical transformation of the relations between individual and socio-cultural environments. A unique societal context emerges on the global level, which, on the one hand, requires individual to adapt constantly to changing socio-cultural reality, and, on the other hand, dramatically expands his/her potential for proactive actorhood transforming surrounding structures. We argue that the major and novel challenge for the individual is the task of maintaining the integrity and coherence of the a) Self-identity and b) system of links in and with the socio-cultural environment - in their dynamics and unity. The notion of “culture” has particular relevance and importance in this context because it allows grasping simultaneously two dimensions in their dynamic dialectical interrelations. First, the “internal” (“subjective”, “in the minds”) and “external” (“objective”, material and institutional environment) realities. Second, individual (“micro”) and societal (“macro”) scales of human activities. Discussing the ways to understand these dynamics, we dispute the popular “constitutive view” on personality and refer to the concept of the “ontological shift” (Mironenko & Sorokin, 2018). We also highlight how technological advancements change and “expand” human nature making it capable to deal with the outlined new tasks.
In the article the main sociological problem of social solidarity is discussed in terms of sociology of emotions. Emotions as integral part of human behavior operate on micro- and macrolevel of social structure and promote social consensus and make adjustments to normative behavior. On the basis of analysis of the body of works on sociology of emotions the author concludes that sociologists tend to study social solidarity through «moral emotions». Namely these emotions have strong effects on individual and social behavior and hold up moral order and social solidarity. In the author’s opinion moral emotions are the part of emotional regimes, which are developed in social order and support social solidarity.
The interrelations between culture and economic development cause noticeable interest in the academic community in recent years, however a set of questions still remain open. In particular, there isn’t a lot of works about the interdependence of visual culture and economic practices. The paper shows the interdependence of accounting practices that ensure transparency in society, with the evolution of visual culture for the last one thousand years. Accounting history for this period is presented as a consequence of the stages which provide the increasing of transparency in economic units (or availability of information) to the actorsinterested in their activity – from owners to society in general. Visual culture is considered as set of objects suggesting their visual perception, and the technologies supporting them. Synchronism is shown between accounting revolutions and significant changes in visual culture and technologies: these are cultural innovations of the beginning of the 2nd millennium, period of the Renaissance, second half of XIX and end of the XX centuries. Joint periodization is offered for the accounting practices and visual culture, on the basis of changes in the mechanisms of transparency in society, i.e. technologies and instruments of information perception and cultural practices’ reproduction. It is shown that visual aspects and innovative technologies supporting them had the greatest impact on development of accounting from all aspects of culture, and this impact can be traced only in the context of the European culture.
This collection includes materials presented for discussion during three theoretical and practical conferences held at the Institute for Far Eastern Studies, the Russian Academy of Sciences, in 2013 through 2015 and published in Russian under common title of the Vietnam Studies in Russia. The papers in this title were selected among those submitted by Russian scholars only and published in issues 4 through 6 of the Vietnam Studies. It aims at acquainting foreign readers and researchers with current state of and case studies on Vietnam in Russia. The authors of presented topics are fulltime employees in major research centers of Russia, such as academic institutions, first of all the Centre for Vietnam and ASEAN studies, IFES RAS, and university centers in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Vladivostok. The collection consists of six subject sections covering the main areas of research and touching upon various realms of Vietnam's internal and foreign policies, social and cultural processes in that country. Part one includes papers discussing the current trends in relations between Russia / USSR and Vietnam. Part two analyzes political situation in Vietnam and its challenges in the region. Part three looks at Vietnam's socio-economic development under the impact of renovation reforms and market economy building. Part four highlights different episodes of Vietnam's history, and Part five represents studies in cultural area. Part six consists of topics on Vietnamese linguistics and literature. The original papers in this collection rely on a wide range of sources and documents, and reflect their authors' own findings. The authors' views do not necessarily represent those of the collection compilers. This collection is the second of its kind in the Russian Federation and is intended for distribution abroad. Volume One was edited by IFES RAS and published by Forum Publishing House in 2014.
Analyzing the knowledge appropriation concept put forward by J. P. Gee, the author draws parallels between it and activity structure studies, the play concept and self-appraisal studies pursued in the national psychology.
The author analyses a number of conceptions that determine self-identification as dependent from self-reference and self-ascription and shows that the conceptions allows to explain the possibility of a formal but not a real basis of self-identity.
The article has been examining the ways of transformation of mortgage borrowers' everyday life as well as peculiarities of decision making under uncertainty and high risks closely related to house building and purchase dwelling. Our research is carrying out in Irkutsk since 2007. It shows that mortgage is not only "a school of financial competence". Mortgage is a mechanism of new responsibility's rising (through the person's internal motivation) and new social competence (through the recourse mobilization - personal and person's social network, self-organization and using new social practices). Thus mortgage is "a school of middle class".
The political process is a constant interaction between the power and opposition. The political process is a constant clash between the formal and informal, between direct speech and metaphors. Power always makes sense only if there is resistance. The power resistance is balanced in favor of its dialectical opposition. Practice protests are taking place at all political regimes, but not always the possibility of resistance are similar. In some political systems interlocutor on government and realization of the right to revolt are an essential political and moral principle. In other cases, in dictatorships, the right to revolt conquered by a hard struggle, not always being efficient and not always getting massive. The author shows how, depending on the cultural traditions of the images may vary resistance. Indeed, the figure of the rebellious person differently perceived in the political landscape. The discourse of resistance can be filled by individual practitioners of dissent, as well as robust tradition of protest. Relations between the power and rebellious man shows and interpreted by the author in a variety of subjects belonging to different cultures. From the point of view of the author, in the practices of rebellious man in his quest for freedom and demonstrate their own position, you can find both special and general, is equally emphasizes the integrity of the political process.
In this exploratory study, we examined several interethnic ideologies held by individuals (assimilation, colorblindness, multiculturalism, and polyculturalism) from a social ecological perspective. We examined moderation effects of neighborhood ethnic density (ED) on relationships between interethnic ideologies and intergroup bias towards various minority ethnic groups in the Russian context. Intergroup bias was assessed as a composite score of bias toward four ethnic groups who have different cultural distances from the Russian mainstream population: Chechens, Belarusians, Uzbeks, and Chinese. We obtained a gender balanced sample of ethnic Russians from the Central Federal District of Russia (N = 359) comprising of 47% women and 53% men. The measures were used in a Russian translation by an adaptation using the back-translation and cognitive interviews. Multiple regression analysis was used to test the relationships. The results showed that high perceived neighborhood non-Russian ED weakened negative relations between intergroup bias and ideologies that purportedly accept cultural diversity (multiculturalism and polyculturalism). On the other hand, for interethnic ideologies those purportedly reject cultural diversity, high perceived neighborhood non-Russian ED weakened the positive relations between intergroup bias and assimilation and strengthened the negative relations between intergroup bias and colorblindness. The pattern of results suggests that the relationship between attitudes and intergroup bias may change based on the perceived ethnic composition of the local area and frequency of contacts. Although our findings are relatively novel they support the emerging view that attitudes and intergroup relations need to be studied from a social ecological context.
The article deals with the ways Russian authorities have constructed the social problem of HIV/AIDS (human immunodeficiency virus/ acquired immune deficiency syndrome) in Russia. The statistical construction of HIV/AIDS includes data indicating the significant rise of HIV prevalence in Russia since 2000. The study focuses on what and how Russian authorities speak about HIV/AIDS, while there are official data on the rapid spread of the virus in the country. The work is based on a discourse analysis of the authorities’ rhetoric about HIV/AIDS. During his first presidential terms, Vladimir Putin constructed HIV/AIDS not as an epidemic in the country, but as a “global problem,” representing Russia as a participant in international efforts to combat AIDS. The president problematized the HIV spread through the rhetoric of endangerment but without its crucial term “epidemic,” while at the same time de-problematized HIV in Russia by the strategy of naturalizing (“this is a problem that all countries face”). The Russian authorities appealed to traditional moral values and spoke about marginal or risk groups, rather than risk practices. After the deterioration of relations with Western countries since 2007, the Russian president excluded HIV/AIDS problem from his public agenda, despite the existence of the data on steep HIV growth in Russia. The Russian president’s traditionalism, de-problematization, and silence concerning HIV/AIDS lead to the absence of the HIV/AIDS issues in media agenda, the agenda of local authorities, and consequently the personal agendas of Russian citizens. The consequences are ignorance, fears, stigmatization of people living with HIV, semi-legal status of needle, and syringe exchange programs for intravenous drug users, low antiretroviral therapy coverage, and the continuing HIV epidemic.