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Regular version of the site
Of all publications in the section: 161
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Article
Butovskaya M., Rostovtseva V., Mkrtchjan R. Social Evolution & History. 2019. Vol. 18. No. 1. P. 110-126.

According to modern views on human bio-sociality, Big Five person- ality traits have been shaped in the process of human evolution and their expression is an outcome of the complex interaction of prenatal predispositions and cultural environment. Present study investigates the impact of prenatal androgenization and cultural norms on the per- sonality traits in adult men from four ethnic groups living on the terri- tory of Russian Federation. The study was conducted on 263 young men (age range 17–30 years), including Russians, Armenians, Ob- Ugric and Buryats. The results revealed significant population diffe- rences in 2D:4D ratios on both hands, with lowest ratios for Asian sample, increasing in populations to the West. Significant ethnic dif- ferences were found for Openness to New Experience, Conscientious- ness, and Neuroticism. Positive association between 2D:4D ratios on the right hand and Agreeableness in men with no respect to population origin was detected. This relationship becomes stronger, when controlling for aggressiveness.

Added: Oct 28, 2019
Article
Apalkova J., Butovskaya M., Bronnikova N. et al. Evolutionary Psychological Science. 2018. Vol. 4. No. 3. P. 314-321.

Research has documented sex differences in risk-taking behavior, and young men in particular are more prone than women to engage in activities associated with physical risks. Evolutionary scientists have proposed that this sex difference is a consequence of male competition over mating opportunities. Thus, mating motives promote risk-taking in men more than in women. Here, we report analyses of assessments of male physical risk-taking in a Russian sample (n = 546). Men and women judged vignettes describing men who differed in risk-taking propensity for short- and long-term attractiveness, provisioning quality, and aggres- sion. Risk-taking propensity had an effect on all attributes. Occasional (but not high) risk-takers received the highest ratings on short-term attractiveness. Low risk-takers were judged highest on long-term attractiveness and provisioning quality. High risk- takers were judged as more aggressive than occasional and low risk-takers. Thus, male risk-taking behavior affects assessments of male quality, but high risk-taking is not regarded as positive. We discuss the results with reference to evolutionary investiga- tions of risk-taking behavior and cultural characteristics of masculinity ideology.

Added: Dec 16, 2019
Article
Fink B., Butovskaya M., Shackelford T. Biology Letters. 2019. Vol. 15. No. 3. P. 20180803-1-20180803-4.

In industrialized societies, male gait provides information about physical strength. Male physical strength may be used by men and women to assess the fighting ability of rivals and the quality of potential mates, respectively. Women more than men discriminate between strong and weak walkers when assessing gait attractiveness. We presented videos of British men’s gait—pre-categorized into strong and weak walkers—to male and female members (n 1⁄4 100) of the traditional Maasai in northern Tanzania in Africa. Maasai men and women judged the gaits of physically strong men less attractive than those of weak men and judged strong walkers to be weaker than weak walkers. These findings counter results from industrialized societies where participants accurately assessed strength from gait, thus arguing against a universal perception of physical strength from gait information.

Added: Oct 31, 2019
Article
Burkova V., Butovskaya M., Karelin D. et al. Early Human Development. 2019. No. 137. P. 104823.

Background: Two recent meta-analyses have suggested the association between digit ratio (2D:4D) and ag-

gression is weak. This conclusion has been criticised because the meta-analyses conflate forms of aggression that show strong sex differences with those that do not, and most studies have considered post-pubertal participants. Aims: We test the influence of 2D:4D and ethnicity in the expression of aggression in children and adolescents in four ethnic groups of European and African origin.

Study design: Buss and Perry aggression questionnaire. Direct measurement of the 2nd and 4th digits. Subjects: 1296 children and adolescents from Tanzania and Russia from 4 ethnic groups – Datoga, Meru, Russians, Tatars. Results: There were ethnic and gender differences in ratings on aggression with boys consistently reporting more physical aggression. In all four samples right 2D:4D was significantly lower in boys, compared to girls. With regard to our total sample of boys, the right 2D:4D was significantly and negatively associated with self-ratings on physical aggression, but no association was found for left 2D:4D. No associations between 2D:4D and physical aggression were found for girls. Hostility was negatively correlated with 2D:4D for boys, and anger was posi- tively correlated with 2D:4D in girls. Conclusion: Sex differences were strongest for right 2D:4D (boys < girls), and for physical aggression (boys > girls). Right 2D:4D was negatively related to physical aggression in boys only, suggesting possible relationship to prenatal androgenization.

Added: Nov 13, 2019
Article
Butovskaya M., Conroy-Beam D., Roney J. et al. Evolution and Human Behavior. 2019. Vol. 40. No. 5. P. 479-491.

Mate choice lies close to differential reproduction, the engine of evolution. Patterns of mate choice consequently have power to direct the course of evolution. Here we provide evidence suggesting one pattern of human mate choice—the tendency for mates to be similar in overall desirability—caused the evolution of a structure of correlations that we call the d factor. We use agent-based models to demonstrate that assortative mating causes the evolution of a positive manifold of desirability, d, such that an individual who is desirable as a mate along any one dimension tends to be desirable across all other dimensions. Further, we use a large cross-cultural sample with n = 14,478 from 45 countries around the world to show that this d-factor emerges in human samples, is a cross-cultural universal, and is patterned in a way consistent with an evolutionary history of assortative mating. Our results suggest that assortative mating can explain the evolution of a broad structure of human trait covariation.

Added: Oct 31, 2019
Article
Chunikhin K. Journal of Cold War Studies. 2019. Vol. 21. No. 4. P. 175-207.

During the Cold War, official Soviet institutions organized tens of exhibitions of an American figurative artist Rockwell Kent. These exhibitions, undertaken bypassing the official United States, demonstrate that promotion of Kent in the USSR was an exclusively Soviet enterprise. Examining the role of Soviet institutions in Kent’s success, the article sheds new light on the Soviet approach to the representation of American visual art during the Cold War.

Basing on unique findings from American and Russian archives, the article provides a comprehensive analysis of political and aesthetical factors, which predetermined Kent’s incredible popularity in the Soviet Union. Contextualizing the Soviet representation of Kent within relevant Cold War contexts, the article argues that Kent occupied a specific symbolic position in Soviet culture, as Soviet propaganda re-conceptualized the artist’s biography and established the Myth of Rockwell Kent. This myth served for legitimization of Soviet ideology and for anti-American propaganda.

Added: Oct 23, 2018
Article
Kompatsiaris P. Journal of Aesthetics and Culture. 2019. Vol. 11. No. 1. P. 1-9.

The visual art of the last decades privileges, explicitly or implicitly, social rather than art historical or aesthetic issues. In sites ranging from university classrooms and journals to museums and biennials, the emphasis is usually put on how effectively art handles the social issues of the day while questions of aesthetic value are often treated as suspicious and ideological. Given this anti-art character in these contexts of mediation, the insistence to perceive the objects as artistic objects constitutes a paradox that has been rarely discussed in sociological terms. This article draws on ethnographic research in order to explore “biennial art” that is to say the art that displayed in contemporary art and international platforms of showcasing. These platforms struggle to maintain a concept of art as social practice while at the same time nurture an exclusive and highbrow environment in which “artfulness” is key. I call this quality artfulness so as to both underline its artificiality as well as the inventiveness and skills required for its production. Artfulness in these sites is enabled through various formal or informal rituals of valorization, including guided tours, curatorial statements, media promoting activities and artist talks. These rituals, positioning certain objects within the sphere of art and producing them as objects meriting aesthetic interpretation, resemble the politics of publicity found in aesthetic capitalism at large.

Added: Jul 10, 2019
Article
Aglaia Starostina. Fabula. 2012. Vol. 52. No. 3-4. P. 189-206.

This article attempts to show that two Chinese tales composed in the ninth century belong to tale type ATU 410. They do not only share main plot elements of ATU 410, but some very specific motifs, too. The authors spent many years in Sichuan which is historically a border region of China. This provided them with the opportunity to come into contact with foreigners and to read texts influenced by Western culture. Later the story was more and more adapted to conform to local traditional texts about the revival of ghostly brides and therefore lost the characteristic features of the tale type.

Added: Oct 4, 2018
Article
Medushevsky A. N. Forensic Research and Criminology International Journal USA. 2019. Vol. 7. No. 6. P. 186-194.

A quarter of a century has passed since the Constitution of the Russian Federation was adopted in 1993, yet the issue of the results and the prospects for constitutional transformation has not disappeared from the political agenda. For some, the Constitution signifies an ultimate break up with the communist past and a legal foundation for the advancement of the Russian society toward democracy and the rule of law; for the others, it is exactly the Constitution that is the culprit for the authoritarian trend that has prevailed, and for the sustained stagnation in Russia’s economic, social and political development.

The author of this paper is in the middle of these extreme viewpoints. He believes that the Constitution has truly played a pivotal role in Russia’s move toward democracy by establishing the basic principles of civil society and the rule of law, and in this respect, it remains of everlasting and paramount importance. Nevertheless, that does not mean that it should be utterly inaccessible for changes, especially given the elapsed time and the negative experience of the authoritarian transformation of the political regime, the amendments that were introduced between 2008 and 2014, and the current objectives of the democratic movement. The rationale for changes is to return to the constitutional principles, reaffirm their initial democratic meaning by rejecting the excessive concentration of the Presidential power, the results of counter-reforms and the adulteration through legislative and regulatory compliance practices.

Added: Jan 11, 2020
Article
Pavlov A., Khanova P. Transnational Cinemas. 2017. Vol. 8. No. 1. P. 49-64.

This is a study of the development of video culture in Russia in the late Soviet and early post-Soviet eras through in-depth interviewing. There has been a cult audience in Russia, although without the discursive framework which has shaped Western cult cinema (i.e. participants didn’t self-identify as cultists): a phenomenon this article terms ‘analytical cult’. Not all movies that achieved cult status outside Russia have become cult in this national context, and vice versa: there are movies treated as cult in Russia that have never been positioned as such outside the country. Some forms of cultism in Russia also have no direct analogues in their Western cult counterparts due to nationally specific means of access to cinematic distribution and production, namely video parlours and authored voiceovers. These have developed into cult forms in their own right. Therefore, although cult cinema can possess a transnational currency, it can also be reshaped in cross-cultural transitions. This kind of transnational cult demonstrates that its participatory practices may not be self-reflexively positioned as ‘cult’ by audiences/marketers/film-makers.

Added: Mar 3, 2017
Article
Kukulin I. Russian Literature. 2018. Vol. 96-98. P. 221-254.

The two most important processes influencing new cultural trends in today’s Russia are the state’s annexation of transgression and the transformation of social norms. In Russia’s public space, speakers representing different official or semi- official institutions make aggressive statements and defy accepted norms of public communication. They behave as if they perform the roles of “official holy fools”. Thus, the state “annexes” the right of mediatized public transgression characteristic of contemporary art. State actors are described in the article as “active conform- ists” embodying the expectations and desires of TV-watching “passive conformists”. Accordingly, strategies of heroic resistance in art and literature cease to be relevant for shaping the new wave of Russia’s aesthetic nonconformism. The article discusses alternative scenarios and discourses emerging in contemporary art and literature as formative for the new type of nonconformity.

Added: Oct 30, 2018
Article
Golovlev A. Austrian History Yearbook. 2019. Vol. 50. P. 166-183.

These excerpts from critical reviews covering French dance tours in Vienna, Salzburg, and Innsbruck reflect the scale and variety of French cultural engagement and its growing public visibility in Austria. Out of the four Allied powers, it was France, and not the Soviet Union with its “ballet capital,” that made most use of dance and ballet for nation-brandingpurposes, both in sabots and on pointe. France's dance diplomacy exported all genres of dance to Austria in order to portray the politically and militarily weakened nation as a rayonnant cultural leader of Europe, whose diversity, supremacy, and grandeur were not undone by 1871 and 1940.

Added: Apr 25, 2019
Article
Maria Aleksandrova. Journal of Economic Sociology. 2018. Vol. 19. No. 4. P. 186-192.

This article presents a review of a conference Debt: 5000 Years and Counting that took place at the University of Birmingham (Birmingham Research Institute for History and Cultures) on June 8–9, 2018. The conference was based on the recent influential book Debt: The First Five Thousand Years by David Graeber. The conference gathered representatives from all social sciences to discuss the understudied topic of history and ideology of debt. The review contains references to several papers discussed at the conference to give an idea of the approaches used in one way or another in many of the papers. The papers discussed in the review were devoted to the boost of micro-credit in Latvia after the 2008 global financial crisis, the ideology of trapped equity that led to this crisis, the attempt to resolve confusion between the view that debts are to be repaid and the view that profiting from lending is evil, credit in the Islamic Caliphate in the 7th to 10th centuries, the long durée of public debt since the Middle Ages to Early Modern times, and the royal debts in England in the middle of the 16th century. The conference was interesting not only because of the importance of the subject but also because of the originality of the format which helped make the event less hierarchical and less dominated by the academic elite. In addition, one of the aims of the conference was to combine academic and activist approaches. Among the participants there were a few activists. This experience is also described in the review.

Added: Oct 15, 2018
Article
Karp S. Y. Recherches sur Diderot et sur L'Encyclopedie. 2018. No. 53. P. 37-53.

Dans les "Mélanges philosophiques" pour Catherine II, Diderot, reprenant un projet de l’impératrice, insiste sur la nécessité de confectionner un petit catéchisme moral. Il avance quelques propositions dans ce sens et revient sur ce sujet dans les lettres écrites à Ivan Betskoï et à Catherine II en 1774, pendant son second séjour à La Haye. Des découvertes récentes dans les archives de Moscou permettent de préciser certaines circonstances de son intervention, mais soulèvent de nouvelles questions sur ce que fut son rôle dans cet épisode, qui comporte plusieurs points obscurs.

Added: Oct 2, 2018
Article
Sergueï Karp. Diderot Studies. 2019. Vol. XXXVI. P. 349-386.

Diderot came to Russia in 1773 with A.V. Naryshkin, chambellan of Catherine II, and in St. Petersburg took advantage of his hospitality, as well as the hospitality of his brother S.V. Naryshkin. Conversations with them have become one of the most important sources of Diderot's information about Russia. Over time, their paths as their ideas about the prospects for the development of Russia, diverged, but their ideas about civilization turned out to be closely connected with their reflections on the “special path” of our country.

Added: Aug 14, 2018
Article
Kalinin I. Osteuropa. 2019. Vol. 69. No. 1-2. P. 33-45.

Russlands Protestbewegung ist an sich selbst gescheitert. Die führenden Repräsentanten der Demonstrationen gegen das Regime präsentierten den Protest als Frage des Stils und der Selbstverwirklichung und stellten ganz in der Tradition der russischen Intelligencija die „Kultur“ dem „Staat“ gegenüber. Sie sahen die Forderung nach Pluralismus, Transparenz und ehrlichen Wahlen als Frage des guten Geschmacks, den jeder, der „euro-päisch“, „zivilisiert“, „kreativ“, „modern“, „urban“, kurzum: „normal“ sein wolle, einfach haben müsse. Zwar beanspruchten sie, für das ganze Volk zu sprechen, implizit grenzten sie sich aber von genau jenem Volk ab. Für sie ist das Volk eine dumpfe Masse und Pöbel, seine sozialen Nöte ignorier-ten sie. Hatte die russische Intelligencija sich einst zum „Gang ins Volk“ aufgemacht, ist sie heute von diesem angewidert. Damit war der Propa-ganda des Regimes Tür und Tor geöffnet: Es diskreditierte die gesamte Bewegung als kleines Grüppchen von „Satten und Erfolgreichen“, sich selbst aber stellte es als wahren Vertreter der Interessen des Volks dar

Added: Oct 30, 2019
Article
Butovskaya M., Burkova V., Karelin D. et al. American Journal of Human Biology. 2015. Vol. 27. No. 5. P. 620-627.

Objectives: Digit ratio (2D:4D)—a putative marker of prenatal androgen activity—has been shown to correlate with self-reported physical aggression and dominance behavior, especially in male children and adolescents. This evidence is derived primarily from the study of Western samples.

Methods: Digit ratios, self-reported aggression, and dominance behavior were collected from men and women in two traditional, small-scale societies, i.e., the Hadza and the Datoga of Tanzania.

Results: We found significant differences in physical and verbal aggression, anger, and hostility between the two societies with the Datoga reporting higher scores on all four measures. Moreover, self-reported dominance in the Datoga was higher than in the Hadza. The Datoga showed lower left and right hand 2D:4D ratios than the Hadza. Men reported higher physical and verbal aggression and dominance, and had lower 2D:4D ratios than women. A significant negative association between 2D:4D and dominance was found in Hadza women.

Conclusions: We discuss our findings with reference to differences in mating systems between the two small-scale societies and previous findings of Western and other small-scale societies. 

Added: Dec 16, 2019
Article
Butovskaya M., Misiak M., Oleszkiewicz A. et al. American Journal of Human Biology. 2019. P. e23321-e23321.

Objectives: Indirect measures of physiological features, such as digit ratio and hand grip strength (HGS), are associated with the outcome of male competition activities. However, most of the studies were conducted in developed and industri- alized societies. We tested the hypothesis that both digit ratio and HGS are associ- ated with performance in male-specific activities in two traditional preindustrial societies: Yali and Hadza. Methods: To measure masculine behavioral traits, we determined warriorship sta- tus (Yali; n = 49) and assessed hunting skills (Yali n = 47 and Hadza n = 49). We also assessed the digit ratio and HGS of each male. We conducted our analyses using the Bayesian approach. Results: Bayesian regression models indicated that greater hand grip strength is associated with better hunting outcomes among Hadza males. We did not find a similar link for the Yali. We found anecdotal evidence for the link between left hand digit ratio and the number of birds hunted by Hadza. We found no evidence for the link between digit ratio and performance in male-male competition. Conclusions: Our results suggest that male-male competition outcomes are deter- mined by upper body strength, but only in the Hadza population. We also found limited support for the hypothesis that digit ratio is associated with hunting success among the Hadza. We found no support for the hypothesis concerning the digit ratio or HGS among the Yali. Our research provides partial support for the evolu- tionary hypotheses based on studies conducted in industrialized populations.

Added: Oct 28, 2019
Article
Korotayev A., Khaltourina D., Meshcherina K. et al. Alcohol and Alcoholism. 2018. Vol. 53. No. 6. P. 742-752.

Aims: To explain comprehensively variations in adult male mortality rate in Europe, and in particular, high mortality in some East European countries with particular focus on specific patterns of alcohol consumption. Short summary: Per capita distilled spirits consumption is found to be the strongest determinant of the adult male mortality rate in Europe as soon as the unrecorded alcohol consumption is taken into account. It turns out to be much stronger than the other tested significant determinants such as per capita health expenditures, smoking prevalence, consumption of hard drugs and per capita consumption of vegetables and fruit.

Methods: Ordinary least squares (OLS) multiple regression with adult male mortality rate as a dependent variable, and various indicators of alcohol and drug consumption as well as logarithm of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, logarithm of total per capita health expenditures, latitude (climatic factors), per capita fruit and vegetable consumption, smoking prevalence as independent factors.

Results: Per capita distilled spirits consumption turns out to be the strongest determinant of the adult male mortality rate in Europe as soon as the unrecorded alcohol consumption is taken into account. It turns out to be much stronger than the other tested significant determinants of the adult male mortality rate such as per capita health expenditures, smoking prevalence, consumption of hard drugs and per capita consumption of vegetables and fruit. Still, higher per capita wine consumption has turned out to be a marginally significant determinant of the higher adult male mortality rate in some tests. Latitude, beer and soft drug consumption have turned out insignificant in this study.

Conclusions: Spirits consumption is a major risk factor of adult male mortality, with significantly greater impact compared to beer and wine. Therefore, reduction in distilled spirits consumption in hard liquor drinking areas should be a major target in health policy.

Added: Aug 3, 2018
Article
Dubrovsky D. Interdisciplinary Political Studies. 2017. No. 3 (1). P. 171-199.

To what extent does science in authoritarian societies initiate practices of democracy and freedom? This article provides an overview of the issue of academic rights and freedoms as an integral part of the academic ethos in the USSR and the Russian Federation and concludes that there has been a paradoxical shift in the relative extent of rights and freedoms in wider society vs. the academic world. In this author’s opinion, academic proto-freedom existed in the USSR as a component of the privileged position held by a segment of the academic community and that, therefore, the latter experienced a degree of freedom that was greater than that afforded by Soviet society in general. The situation evened out in the late 80's and early 90's and finally, with the attack of authoritarianism against the remaining academic autonomy of Russian universities in the 2000s, resulted in fewer freedoms within academia compared to society as a whole.

Added: Oct 12, 2018
Article
Kharitonova N. Las Puertas del Drama, Spain. 2019. No. 52. P. XX-XXX.

The paper examines the category of space as an essential aspect of the exile theater writings by César Arconada. In his plays written in the Soviet Union, the action normally takes place in Spain, inaccessible for the writer. It is a space for the fantasy, albeit recreated in a realistic manner. For the playwriter it was a way to get closer to his motherland, make it tangible in his exile.

Added: Jun 27, 2019