Умение видеть и искусство понимать
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.
The article analyzes methodological aspects of the teaching of visual sociology at the sociological departments of Russian universities. It presents two different approaches towards teaching visual sociology. The course "Sociological imagination: a practical guide to visual sociology" offered by the Sociological Department of Higher School of Economics combines the sociology and photography. The course is given by two professionals. One is a sociologist, the other is a photographer. Students choose main research question and make series of photos, which they analyze both from sociological and photographical points of view. The main idea of the course "The Development of sociological imagination through participant observation and visualization" at the Department of Sociology of Moscow State University is to develop different views of social reality with the help of participant observation and visualization. The course is based on the constructionist ideas of Pierre Bourdieu. Students develop their imagination by using photo, video and audio material. Visual images are used not only for supporting the existing phenomena of social reality but also for constructing new understandings and approaches to the same reality. They are trying to find "the unknown features in the well known context". The authors share their opinions about the main problems they face while teaching the courses and explain their methodological attitudes.