The paper reviews the modern theoretical models of stereotipization and representation of the Otherness. The author follows the ideas of S. Gilman and uses literature and media examples to make a comparison between pathological and non-pathological perceptions and representations: the former tend to have hegemonic attitude towards Otherness; the latter highlight its value. The author describes such pathological forms as depersonification, fragmentation, fetishization, exoticization, pathologization, and homogenization. The following three counter-strategies of representation of the ‘Others’ in the media are singled out: 1) creation of new positive stereotypes of Others, 2) transfer of positive images of Otherness on those manifestations of Otherness that perceived negatively in the media, and finally, 3) clash of ambivalent stereotypes of ‘Others’ through critical discourse analysis and allowing them speaking out.
The paper presents the results of a study based on the Big Data paradigm analysis. The study aims at defining the features of the ethnic discourse in the Russian-speaking social media and the place of the North Caucasus ethnicities in this discourse. The informational basis for the study is 2,659,849 social media publications containing ethnonyms. The author concludes that the ethnic discourse is full of problematic topics mainly discussed by male participants. The study shows that the ethnonyms related to the North Caucasus peoples are often used in the context of crime and terrorism.
Based on the analysis of theoretical developments and empirical data, the article describes the current fertility rate in Russia and foreign counties. The authors explore the dependence of the fertility on the public assessments of the economic environment, on the gender equality settings and on the public attitudes towards national healthcare system. The authors give a description of the most important factors that influence the number of childless families in Russia. Basic statistical data used in the article involve the number of individual households, divorces, fertility and the assessment of Russians` conservatism. The authors consider modern demographic trends being an object of today`s gender studies as well as the impact of regional and religious factors on the nonmarital fertility. Contemporary demographic theories that take into account the changing status of women in society are also described. Major hypotheses are proved by the data of public opinion polls conducted in Russia over the recent years. The gender equality in public sphere leads to the increase in economic independence of women which may boost fertility at the expense of the reduced social risks. However, cultural changes may have different effects depending on institutional macro context they belong to. The authors conclude that the combination of sociological studies and experimental psychological approaches is vital. The authors strengthen the gender equality in private and public spheres and make an unexpected conclusion: if the quality between men and women is preserved, the fertility will not decrease (as we have seen in recent decades) but will rather increase.
The article explores social selfidentification of volunteers in the context of the broadly understood social activities (activism). The focus of the study is to describe how active Russian volunteers understand the differences between volunteer and protest participation and how the incompatibility between two forms of social activity can be explained. Based on sixty semi-formalized interviews involving active volunteers from different volunteer associations of the Perm region, the author reconstructs a space depicting volunteer and protest activities. The space has four axes each with two poles: good / absence of good; words / deeds; privacy / publicity; loyalty / disloyalty. The first three axes refer to the simplified view life; the person does not want to socialize in the world of mature civil actions living in an unexceptionable private space and avoiding actions where the opinion of others must be taken into account and compromises are to be found. Such a naivety and avoidance of civic socialization allow volunteers achieving positive freedom not engaging in distracting protest actions against structural problems. Only the fourth axe reflects mature civil position of a volunteer who is ready to search for compromises and common interest in the world of confronting desires to stay loyal toward the existing order and to choose the positive action rather than the negative one. The analysis helped to determine forms of argumentation and different points of view as well as identities of volunteers and political activists.
The article explores the social identity conceptual framework of volunteers in the context of broadly understood social activism. The research question is how active volunteers in Russia to understand the differences between the volunteer and protest participation, as argued incompatibility of the two forms of social activity. Upon thematically selected fragments from 60 semi-formalized interviews with active volunteers from various voluntary organizations of Perm kray, collected in the spring and summer of 2011, a conceptual framework of contrasting protest participation against volunteer participation is reconstructed as a four-dimensional semantic space. Each dimension is shaped by two poles: (1) the good and the absence of good, (2) deed and words, (3) privacy and publicity, (4) loyalty and disloyalty.
In the first three dimensions there is guessed a simplified worldview of an actor who does not want to socialize in the complex world of mature civil action, living in an ethically irreproachable private space and avoiding public scenes, where one has to take into account the wills of the others and to seek compromises and common grounds for interactions. Intentional escape from socialization (or keeping oneself naive) allows realizing via volunteer participation a desire for positive freedom, ignoring all the routs that could lead to militant struggle against structural problems of society. Only the fourth dimension reflects a mature citizenship of volunteers ready to look at the world of colliding wills common ground and compromise, to remain loyal to the established order, preferring positive actions to negative ones.
The analysis revealed the lines of reasoning, and corresponding representations of the world the volunteers live in, and how they position themselves in it against political activists.
Russia has been characterized by an early and universal marriage for a long time. After the Soviet Union collapse, the average ages for marriage have been rising, marital unions have becoming rarer while cohabitations have becoming common because of changes in norms and values that citizens of many other countries witnessed several decades before. Many scholars have observed this trend and tried to explain its reasons through the perspective of the Second Demographic Transition and Globalization theories. Current research is another attempt to understand these changes. The aim of this research was to define the nature of cohabitations in Russia, and find out the factors of entrance to non-marital unions. For these purposes, we used Event History Analysis and Sequence Analysis. The key requirement in using these methods is applying longitudinal or retrospective collections of data that have become the gold standard of current quantitative social science. Accordingly, the three-wave panel data of the Russian part of “Generations and Gender Survey” and the retrospective data of “Person, Family, Society” were chosen for this study. The opposite trends of matrimonial behavior were revealed: the younger Russian people are, the higher their probabilities to start the first cohabitation and the lower their risks to have the first marriage. Cohabitation is not a complete alternative to marriage in our country yet, but the proportion of Russians, for whom cohabitation does not grow into a marriage, rises, and young people start to consider a non-marital union appropriate for childbearing. It is a sign that cohabitation is close to become an independent social institution for young non-religious people who get secondary vocational education in big cities.
The paper is based on the results of an empirical study of media communities (public pages and online groups) of Moscow districts. The study aims at describing the community moderators’ practices as well as formal and substantive features of the online publications. Nonstandardized (indepth) interviews and content analysis method are used in the study. One of specific features of Moscow districts’ public pages and communities is that they were created due to the increased demand of a group of city inhabitants for the implementation of social projects and the principle of their «right to the city» and also in the absence of official online activities of the local administration resulted from a low level of adaptability of municipalities to innovative communication practices. In this situation, the representatives of authorities prefer to stay incognito in the established communities; they use intermediaries specializing in modern communication technologies and pretending to be media activists and consider this communicative strategy to be more effective so far. The authors describe the main tasks the online communities’ moderators have to tackle as well as topics and other features of the published content.
The present paper opera tionalizes one of the oldest concepts in the sociological literature about social stratification. Although the concept of life chances is well studied, its opera tionalization for purposes of stratification studies is not a trivial task, which needs a broader and deeper discussion. To fill this gap in the literature, the author con siders life chances in terms of Weber’s idea of positive and negative privileges. The author proposes a bipolar ‘map’ of life chances in key areas of life such as economic conditions, work situation, human capital accumulation, and consumption and leisure activities.
During the last decades, people from the developed countries have been postponing the occurring of the important events marking a transition to adulthood. The age of completion of education and the age of entry into the labor market are important social and economic indicators of such transition. There are some evidences of appearance of the same process in Russia (Dmitriev, Maleva, and Sinyavska, 2009). Under the influence of economic, demographic, political and social changes of the 1990th, life courses of the Russians became more opened and flexible. The integrated studying of this phenomenon is impossible without application of the modern concepts and methods of analysis. The present article aims to introduce the life course concept and its main terms. There are also some empirical examples of the usage of the cutting-edge methods of the life course analysis made on the data of quantitative sociological studies.