The article shows that over the past decade and a half in the subjective social structure of the Russian society. There have been fundamental changes - the majority of Russians ceased to consider themselves social outsiders, and the Russian society itself has become a society of mass lower middle class. This is fundamentally different from the situation with subjective stratification in modern Russia, on the one hand, from the picture with it in the 1990s and early 2000s, and on the other hand from the models of subjective stratification of societies in developed countries, which is dominated not by the lower middle, but actually the middle class. These features of the social structure of Russian society are now very stable and do not change under the influence of the sharp deterioration of the situation in the economy. A characteristic feature of the model of subjective stratification in Russia is also the growing overestimation in the public consciousness of the role of material well-being in determining social status, while at the same time diminishing the prestige of the profession, position and education. As a result, the main marker determining their status in society, are for Russians material well-being and lifestyle. It is shown that in general, the situation with the satisfaction of Russians with their social status is currently quite safe, and the proportion of the population belonging to the "bottom" of society is relatively small. However, due to the illegitimacy in the eyes of Russians of the increasing self-reproduction of the main social strata and the gradual disappearance of the "tunnel effect" in the public consciousness for the first time in the last quarter of a century began to dominate the belief that the optimal model for Russia stratification is a model of society of social homogeneity. Since at the same time human rights become a priority for Russians in relation to the interests of the state, such changes are fraught with the formation of a mass demand for serious changes in key public institutions.
The article examines the widespread assumption about nationalism possessing an irrational emotional appeal that invariably gains mass support. This notion is challenged by means of analyzing a “negative case” of the post-Soviet Belarus, where, unlike in the other countries of the region, nationalism was rejected by the majority of the population. The first section of the article is dedicated to the late Soviet and early post-Soviet movement for the “Belarusian national revival”, tracing key points of its program and ways of their presentation to the target audience, and revealing the inner controversies and their consequences. The second part of the article discusses the results of the early nationalist movement, explains their causes and contrasts it to the contemporary Belarusian nationalism. The research results suggest that nationalism is far from being a universal tool of securing mass support, or even of attracting mass attention. Nationalism is a valid mean of influencing public opinion only if its specific type and mode of presentation correspond to a request that had already existed in society. Moreover, despite its supposed variability, nationalist reasoning is ruled by its own inner logic, which can force an undesirable cause of action. Thus, besides representing a danger for society, especially in its xenophobic variety, nationalism may lead to harmful outcomes for nationalists themselves.
“National heritage” of “nation of tele-viewers: the transformation of Russian Television”, 2014- 2016 (by Anna Kachkaeva). The article offers an in- sight into the structure of Russian media scene and the main strategies media holdings choose to follow in the new communication media space. All major business deals in 2013-2015 were made by the three major groups of companies – NMG, GPM and VGTRK. Those deals usually involved emerging media or content providers. All groups worked to- ward the integration between each other and within the structures, building a complete management cycle of cinematographic and TV content – from pro- duction to distribution. They would either purchase production companies or channels, or launch addi- tional thematic channels and included them in the cable TV packages of major media holdings. Radio stations and TV channels of small media groups not associated with a small groups of large owners, were bought out. In some cases, the buyer would acquire a blocking stake at Satellite Service Provider Com- pany, or video-on-demand services would merge with the largest distribution network of legal content in Russian internet segment, which would then post the video on Russian online mediums, including VKontakte social network. The outdated concept of classic culture was replaced in the post modernistic media environment by a “mosaic culture” (A.Mol). People have gradually adjusted to the “information blitz” (A.Toffler) – news, videos, news-clips – a constant stream of fragmentary knowledge, facts, evaluations, both true and fiction. The purpose of such a fragmentary stream is to produce emotions, whereas the “live TV wars” maintain a state of gen- eral anxiety in the public. The metaphor of War on Terror activated the Fear Frame (and, consequent- ly, anger and anxiety). The “patriotism” triggered “enthusiasm” and mobilized the society around the leader and the government. Media confrontation became permanent (war as a TV show). Active “war in media” lasting for many months has a significant influence on the public opinion. Traditional meth- ods of media wars – ignoring the facts of casualties and number of losses among the combatants, emo- tional emphasis on the civilian deaths and sufferings are amended with massive fakes sold as true facts, reinforced with a rapid distribution of unverified information in social networks (often staged with specialized media tools by “bots and “trolls”). The three major TV channels – 1TV, Russia 1 and NTV are the main source of news for more than 85% of Russians. They not only over- simplify the world- view, but also produce and distribute the emotions, including reconstructions, stagings and media fakes.
The study was conducted in summer 2003 by VCIOM with support of Ford Foundation. Higher education now tends to become as widespread as universal schooling in Russia, just as in some other countries. The "educated people" of yesterday whose status might be affected by the inflation in education are very critical about the poor quality of teaching in these numerous new institutions. But the author suggests not to judge this new education with traditional criteria but to see how it matches the demands of new labor market. The rapidly expanding segment of services and trade needs the workers who are up to the international standards of office and service culture. The employers realized that the graduates of the higher education institutions (of whatever speciality) meet these requirements best of all. Hence the influx of young pretenders for university diplomas of any speciality and respective growth of the output of graduates. Author insists that socialization rather than education is the main function of these newly emerged higher school institutions. The new social group that is to come to the social scene very soon needs the attention from social scientists.
The article describes dynamics of subjective status and investigates factors affecting the process within last 15 years. Impact of two different phenomena could be seen: effects of personal economic situation and electoral mobilization. Factor analysis reveals four different groups of circumstances granting, from the viewpoint of respondents, success: ascriptive characteristics, achievement attitudes, level of corruption in a society and influence of family. Societies differ in the degree of prevalence obtained stereotypes. Thus, former Communist countries produce the highest level of certainty that including in corruption schemes is a necessary condition for achievement.
The influence of age on the subjective status assessments is separately examined. In Russia age acts as a monotonous reducing factor in spite of some other societies where status does not decline during aging until very eldest stages.