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Article

Competing for a citizen: " Visible" and " invisible" forms of state identity in Russia

Journal of Eurasian Studies. 2012. Vol. 3. No. 3. P. 126-146.

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.