Competing for a citizen: " Visible" and " invisible" forms of state identity in Russia
This paper is dedicated to the characteristics of phenomenon of state identity in the modern Russian society which has been affected for last 20 years by the processes of virtualization, informatization and political transformation. Today, the Russian Federation, like any other state in the world, is closely connected to non-local events and ideas; the " title nation" and " strong state" ideas are routinely confronted by challenges from multiple agents including immigrants, the mass media and especially the Internet. In the present study, empirical findings from several studies developed with methods of visual sociology, expert interviews and public opinion research are used to understand how people in Russia tend to realize their desire to be the unit of the state forming so-called " invisible" state identity, which is not absolutely loyal to the government institutions and is very stable. This type of identity has been formed under alternative institutional logic which isn't preordained by acting of the state but is shaped as well by cultural, social, and cognitive processes in " real" , but especially in " virtual" spaces of communication. And despite " Russia as a state" is still a way of maintaining the symbolic power of political leaders, there are some strong but hidden tendencies forming " Russia as a community of citizens" under the influence of information technologies, global values, norms and outlooks.
The Valdai Discussion Club presents its new paper, “National Identity and Russia’s Future,” based on the discussions at the club’s 10th anniversary conference in September 2013 and subsequent work of the expert groups. The paper, written by the young scholars Anastasia Likhacheva and Igor Makarov of the National Research University – Higher School of Economics, attempts to answer the most fundamental of questions: Who are the Russians, and what does their future hold? Authors, who were overseen by Sergey Karaganov, Honorary President of the Council of Foreign and Defense Policy, lay out their views on Russia’s national identity in a way that transcends the traditional academic framework and leaves room for a free and wide-ranging discussion.
The article examines differences between two Russian regions – Moscow and Bashkortostan – through the following socio-psychological indicators: perceived social capital, trust, civil identity, life satisfaction, and economic attitudes.
This is an analysis of the social foundations of civil identity and its three principal aspects. The substantial aspect is accumulation and transmission of social memory, sociocultural experiences and social knowledge. The spatial aspect associates the territorial and virtual dimensions of space. The aspect of action relates to the interaction between science, education and business institutions that defines civic identity in contemporary society.
This work investigates various aspects of Russian-German relations today. It analyzes the bilareral dialog between the two states, addresses the portrayals and perceptions of Russia and Germany, looks at social and political practices in the two states and presents a comparative perspective of these issues.
Shaping New Russian Identity: Discourses of "Inclusion/Exclusion in Europe
The article analyzes methodological aspects of the teaching of visual sociology at the sociological departments of Russian universities. It presents two different approaches towards teaching visual sociology. The course "Sociological imagination: a practical guide to visual sociology" offered by the Sociological Department of Higher School of Economics combines the sociology and photography. The course is given by two professionals. One is a sociologist, the other is a photographer. Students choose main research question and make series of photos, which they analyze both from sociological and photographical points of view. The main idea of the course "The Development of sociological imagination through participant observation and visualization" at the Department of Sociology of Moscow State University is to develop different views of social reality with the help of participant observation and visualization. The course is based on the constructionist ideas of Pierre Bourdieu. Students develop their imagination by using photo, video and audio material. Visual images are used not only for supporting the existing phenomena of social reality but also for constructing new understandings and approaches to the same reality. They are trying to find "the unknown features in the well known context". The authors share their opinions about the main problems they face while teaching the courses and explain their methodological attitudes.
Smoking is a problem, bringing signifi cant social and economic costs to Russiansociety. However, ratifi cation of the World health organization Framework conventionon tobacco control makes it possible to improve Russian legislation accordingto the international standards. So, I describe some measures that should be taken bythe Russian authorities in the nearest future, and I examine their effi ciency. By studyingthe international evidence I analyze the impact of the smoke-free areas, advertisementand sponsorship bans, tax increases, etc. on the prevalence of smoking, cigaretteconsumption and some other indicators. I also investigate the obstacles confrontingthe Russian authorities when they introduce new policy measures and the public attitudetowards these measures. I conclude that there is a number of easy-to-implementanti-smoking activities that need no fi nancial resources but only a political will.
We address the external effects on public sector efficiency measures acquired using Data Envelopment Analysis. We use the health care system in Russian regions in 2011 to evaluate modern approaches to accounting for external effects. We propose a promising method of correcting DEA efficiency measures. Despite the multiple advantages DEA offers, the usage of this approach carries with it a number of methodological difficulties. Accounting for multiple factors of efficiency calls for more complex methods, among which the most promising are DMU clustering and calculating local production possibility frontiers. Using regression models for estimate correction requires further study due to possible systematic errors during estimation. A mixture of data correction and DMU clustering together with multi-stage DEA seems most promising at the moment. Analyzing several stages of transforming society’s resources into social welfare will allow for picking out the weak points in a state agency’s work.