The chapter is concerned with questions of civic values and civic identity as they are experienced by Russian people in the context of political-economic transformations of the last years, and especially during global economic crisis 2008-2010. Empirical findings from Russian Public Opinion Research Centre, Levada-Centre, Edelman Trust Barometer surveys are used to outline how tensions, distrust and civic irresponsibility expressed by respondents in the context of financial instability may amplify understandings of ‘citizenship’ and ‘civic identity’. There are several trends characterizing citizenship and civic identity in modern Russian society. The first is transformation of the common sense of ‘we-ness’ in case of individualism’s growth and increasing reduction of trust to economic, political and low institutions. The second is the problem of new values formation: while the ‘official’ political discourse admits more and more inclusive patriotic ideologies, ‘everyday-life’ and ‘network’ discourses develop estimative and ironical judgments of the official discourse. The third is citizens’ emigration intentions and the ‘status of citizenship’ characterizing self-perception of people as ‘citizens’ in relation to ‘non-citizens’, which is particular relevant to labour migration problem.
The subject of this article is the culture of acceleration in present-day world. The author analyzes some of grave social consequences provoked by the cult of speed and by the uncontrolled acceleration of various domains of life, such as “presentism”, i.e. the absorption of the past and future by the present time; social amnesia; superficial character of social changes; growing difficulties of selection of necessary information; danger of loss of culture acquisitions, etc. Some aspects of widespread “Slow Movement”, resisting this uncontrolled and total acceleration are analyzed. Finally, the problems of acceleration are considered in Russian context.
Current empirical sociology features a limited set of indicators for associating individuals with certain social groups (classes or strata). European sociologists rely heavily on such an informative descriptor as occupation, which has become institutionalized and thus produces certain requirements of human, social and cultural resources for individuals to perform the underlying functions. However, this indicator manifests at least two substantial restrictions: first, it is natural that certain types of economic activity are historically less stable than the social classes with which they are associated; and second, Russian history demonstrates that in a developed society the system of occupations is consistent with its institutional set-up and system of values, which are transferred from generation to generation. In Russia specific occupations are associated with a certain character of labour yet not with particular status characteristics that should result from the corporate nature of professional associations. In fact, in that society there exists a unique form of social stratification, in which a hierarchy of social estates dominates elements of true class differentiation.
The authors examine how the social status of the university professor has evolved in Russia in recent centuries in light of the historical concepts about the enslavement and emancipation of social groups proposed by Sergey Solovyov and Aleksandr Gradovsky. They use the metaphor of the “slave” [nevol’nik] to describe the dependent position of the professor in the university. The word encapsulates administrative tyranny, the spread of subordinate and submissive mentality in the university environment, and the curtailment of opportunities for professional selffulfillment. The authors present the university administration as the main agent responsible for enslaving professors. Administrators represent bureaucratic power and act to advance their own social ambitions.
Internаtional Sociological Association, Working Group on Local and Global Relations (WG 01)
Several approaches to the concept of fatherhood present in Western sociological tradition are analyzed and compared: biological determinism, social constructivism and biosocial theory. The problematics of fatherhood and men’s parental practices is marginalized in modern Russian social research devoted to family and this fact makes the traditional inequality in family relations, when the father’s role is considered secondary compared to that of mother, even stronger. However, in Western critical men’s studies several stages can be outlined: the development of “sex roles” paradigm (biological determinism), the emergence of the hegemonic masculinity concept, inter-disciplinary stage (biosocial theory). According to the approach of biological determinism, the role of a father is that of the patriarch, he continues the family line and serves as a model for his ascendants. Social constructivism looks into man’s functions in the family from the point of view of masculine pressure and establishing hegemony over a woman and children. Biosocial theory aims to unite the biological determinacy of fatherhood with social, cultural and personal context. It is shown that these approaches are directly connected with the level of the society development, marriage and family perceptions, the level of egality of gender order.