The article analyzes the monograph of A.B. Rakhmanov Social Philosophy of Max Weber, in which criticism of Weber's sociology is used as an excuse for the revivification of Marxist social utopia. Since the author's argument depends entirely on its ideological beliefs, it has zero value in scientific terms, but may serve as a useful starting point for diagnosing the current state of Russian sociology, especially in the context of its social utility.
The article outlines the key propositions and further prospects of the media event theory founded by Daniel Dayan and Elihu Katz in their 1992 book Media Events: The Live Broadcasting of History. The ritual approach they suggested, according to which media events are understood as large-scale televised performances meant to integrate the society, has received a variety of alternative readings. The critique of media events’ ceremonial model mainly follows three directions: (1) the restrictions of neo-Durkheimian paradigm, which emphasizes the consensual nature of media events; (2) the narrowness of the initial definition of media events’ genre and its three scenarios («conquests», «contests», «coronations»); (3) consideration of media events as televised phenomena only, without taking into account other types of media and their interaction. The article shows that one of the possible extensions of Dayan and Katz’s theory can be to develop the concept of transformative media events, which are understood as mediatized social dramas framing the renewal of the social order or its basic institutions. Special attention is paid to methodological difficulties involved in identifying the criteria of transformative media events. For instance, the questions whether events which have not lead to significant social changes (such as failed protest actions) can count as transformative; whether the event’s “vector” (progressive or regressive) should be taken into account; which levels and segments of social life allow for the emergence of phenomena which can qualify as transformative media events — remain open. The article emphasizes that these conceptual difficulties are connected to the more fundamental problem of distinguishing between media events and non-media-events in the digital era. The conclusion contains some thoughts as to why the discussion about “the end of media events” is yet far from closing.
The article is centered around most topical issue of cultural meaning and social consequences of the global phenomenon provocatively labeled as “ The minorities’ uprising” by prominent Russian sociologist and political scholar Leonid Ionin. What appears to represent a counter-movement to “The masses’ uprising” so skillfully portrayed by Jose Ortega y Gasset almost century ago turns out to be as a-moral and prone to virus of “massovization” as it was typical to its historical predecessor. The author tries to explain this paradox by critical analysis of what he calls “theory of minoritization” elaborated by Leonid Ionin. Partial answer to the paradox may be found due to more explicit Ionin’s concept – namely, “identity staging”. In post-modern condition a classical order of construction of cultural forms based on representation of given social interest suffers complete reversal. Thus societal structure of late Modernity is being formed by multitude of minorities, each of which becomes a sort of exclusive “micro-mass”. Conception of “identity staging” explains as well why theory of “democratic transit” does not work within post-Soviet (relevant to post-Modern) social context.
Recent years have been characterized by a further drop in real incomes of Russians and the spread of pessimism among them regarding their material situation (after a short-term growth of optimistic expectations during the presidential campaign). The current situation in Russia in this area can be described as “negative stabilization”, because, although the decrease in the population’s incomes has stopped, they have stabilized at a lower level than prior to the crisis of 2014–2016. Groups which differ in the dynamics of their material situation starting from 2014 also differ in the specifics of their composition and positions in the system of monetary and especially non-monetary inequalities. The higher an individual’s place in the social hierarchy of life chances, the higher the likelihood of him being in an upward mobility group and the lower the chances of winding up in a group with downward mobility, and vice versa. For the evolution prospects of Russian society’s stratification model this means an increasing polarization of the mass strata of the population. However, so far these processes proceed at a moderate pace and affect the “top” rather than the “bottom” of these strata. The most significant factors determining Russians’ assessments of the dynamics of their material situation are their health, type of locus-control and planning horizon — personal characteristics that affect the ability of developing and implementing effective adaptation strategies. The high importance of personal factors for the dynamics of one’s material situation indicates the crisis nature of modern Russian society, since for crisis societies personal qualities of an individual are more important for the vector of his mobility than structural factors or human and social capital.
This study investigates whether antipathy in the middle-school classroom has anything to do with ethnic status, migration history or academic achievements. The objective of this study is to examine whether or not these criteria lead adolescents to exclude certain peers from their social circle. The data for analysis was collected during a survey of 3703 students (with an average age of 15) from 50 schools in the Moscow region. The results show that students do not avoid relationships with ethnic minority peers, and they usually tend not to be concerned by when their classmates moved into their city. Meanwhile low academic performance of students is a significant factor in the emergence of negative relations.
The aging of the population during the twentieth century sparked a discussion on end-of-life issues and particularly voluntary life termination due to unbearable suffering (euthanasia and related practices). Most of the euthanasia attitude studies have been focused on groups directly involved in end-of-life issues, such as physicians and patients. This article investigates the typical views of common Russians in regard to euthanasia and related practices, and looks for their determinants. A survey of 1201 respondents in 2014 was conducted using a probabilistic sample representing the population of Russia. Measurement of euthanasia justifiability included descriptions of patients’ conditions and types of life termination procedures. Analysis of the results showed that basic values were important predictors of euthanasia justifiability. However, a model derived from international and western research failed to confirm this. Our hypothesis regarding the relations between values of autonomy and justification of euthanasia found only weak support, while benevolence values demonstrated a strong negative effect. Proximity to death showed a negative effect: the fact of caring for sick close ones, as well as one’s own ill-health, were related to a lower justification of euthanasia. Religiosity demonstrated only marginally significant coefficients. Contrary to our hypothesis, interactions between death proximity indicators and trust in physicians and people in general were insignificant. Another unexpected result was a negative link between confidence in the healthcare system and euthanasia justifiability. We attribute these findings to a “priestly” model of care prevalent among Russians; the characteristic structuring of values among Russians, in which care for others contradicts personal autonomy; as well as endorsement of avoidance over approach motivations. In conclusion we list the limitations of the study and point out the weak explanatory power of the models presented.