University Deloproizvodstvo (Paper Work) as a Cultural Practice and Institution in Russia in the First Half of the 19th Century
In this issue we present a range of papers about current issues and developments in social work and welfare in Russia. In the Soviet era official state policy did not recognise the existence of social problems so social work was ‘not needed’ in the USSR, a situation which existed to varying degrees in other countries under state socialism (Iarskaia-Smirnova, 2013). The disciplines of sociology and psychology (which could form a basis for critical thinking and professional interventions) were eliminated from university curricula, except in forms which accorded with the dominant political view, and dissent was repressed. There have been major changes in political thinking, societal attitudes and welfare developments since perestroika started in 1985, and particularly since 1991 when the Soviet Union was dissolved, Russia then became open to relationships with western powers and capitalist economic thinking. However, Russia remains a considerable independent power with a distinct history and culture. In this editorial we give a brief overview of the historical and other contextual factors which are informing the particular nature and direction of current developments, some aspects of which are described in the articles.
In March 2011 scholars met in Prague at the conference Interculturalism, Meaning and Identity. This event revitalised this important theme related to Diversity and Recognition. The terms 'interculturalism' and 'integration' are experiencing a renaissance. As the extent of human movement between nations increases attempts are made to balance cultural difference and social cohesion. In some contexts immigration and settlement policies are becoming more draconian in response. Because of this, interculturalism can take on many meanings. However, pivotal to the way interculturalism is understood is identification. As the relationship between nation, ethnicity and language becomes more complex so too do the ways in which people represent them selves. The cultural resources drawn on and the processes used to form identities are examined in this truly international collection. So too are the implications of these developments for how we theorise culture, meaning and identity.
The book is devoted to problems of legislative, theoretical and judicial defining of subject of economic crimes in Russian and German criminal law in connection with legal persons. The authors analyze the current theoretical conceptions and case law and formulate proposals for improvement of present approaches. The special attention is given to liability of competitive manager for crimes committed in course of bankruptcy.
“Empire Speaks Out” is a result of the collaborative international research project whose participants aim to reconstruct the origin, development, and changing modes of self-description and representation of the heterogeneous political, social, and cultural space of the Russian Empire. The collection offers an alternative to the study of empire as an essentialized historical phenomenon, i.e. to those studies that construe empire retrospectively by projecting the categories of modern nation-centered social sciences onto the imperial past. It stresses dynamic transformations, adaptation, and reproduction of imperial patterns of sociability and governance. Chapters of the collection show how languages of rationalization derived from modern public politics, scientific discourses of applied knowledge (law, sociology, political economy, geography, ethnography, physical anthropology) and social self-organization influenced processes of transformation of the imperial space.
This article describes the results of sociological research on estimation of condition and development prospects of federalism in Russia, which was conducted by ZIRCON Research Group in January - May 2011. The opinion of population and elite groups of four regions about the foundations of Russian federalism development, administrative-territorial system of the Russian Federation and its principles, relations between subjects-regions and federative centre is presented. The results of the research indicate that at the moment a request for political and administrative autonomy of the subjects of the Federation is not obviously formulated by either citizens or regional elite groups. Regional identity is not a common phenomenon. The authors mark out necessary factors of federalism development: expansion of economic self-dependence of regions, existence of ethno-national or regional identity of citizens, democratization and decentralization.
Article devoted to analysis the role and significance of Tatar-born Russian officials in gathering information about state and law of the Central Asian khanates – Bukhara, Khiva, Khoqand in the 18th-19th cc. on the examples of M.Bekchurin, M.Aitov and I.Batyrshin. All of them served as officials of the Orenburg Frontier Commission, two of them were diplomats in Bukhara and Khiva, last one contacted with informers from abovementioned khanates. The common feature for them was that they were Turks and Moslems. Firstly that fact provided Central Asian population’s sympathies to them (including favor of representatives of the ruling elites of the khanates) and gave an opportunity to gather more useful information. Secondly, as representatives of the Turkic-Islamic culture they could better understand and estimate the level of political and legal development of the Central Asian khanates and prepare impartial reports for their chiefs. Also it’s necessary to notice that their affiliation with Turkic-Islamic world didn’t influence on quality of fulfillment of missions by such officials: they tried all ways to contribute to realization of the Russian policy in the Central Asia and advance of the Russian Empire in this region.
In Russia, the label “Generation X” became popular upon the translation of Douglas Coupland’s famous book, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture, into Russian in 1998. Thereupon the term achieved popularity following the publication of a series of articles about the modern youth phenomenon in the journal OM, which in the mid-’90s conducted open liberal, cultural politics and was orientated toward presenting the real cultural order of the day to Russian readers. It is important to note that in today’s Russian context (journalistic and academic) there exist several different versions of who is Generation X and what is the chronology that determines the generation. One of the chronologies that has been taken up by Russian researchers is the reading of “generation” according to years of birth, which looks as follows: the Silent Generation (1923–1943), Baby Boomers (1943–1963), Generation X (1963–1984), the Millennium Generation or Generation Y (1984–2000), and Generation Z (2000–?). Other homegrown researchers consider that the characteristics of Generation X are only beginning to become apparent today. This is explained by the specific historical path of post-Soviet Russia. Toward the ’90s, young people, just as the heroes of the book by Coupland, experienced the difficult period of a double breaking up of society, and therefore can be only partially compared to their Western contemporaries. The childhood and youth of these young people took place in the later Soviet period. They succeeded in being both pioneers and Komsomols (the Communist Union of Youth). They were able to go to the university at the very peak of the social collapse and to finish higher education in what was now a different country. It is likely, therefore, that young people born from the end of the ’80s to the beginning of the ’90s can be, to a large extent, included as those belonging to Generation X at the end of the 20th century. They already completely fall under the Soviet and post-Soviet experience of socialization and ideology as a result of the politics of the iron curtain and the particular political practices of establishing a new identity—“building communism.” In this case, the stress moves away from striving to define exact dates of birth of a generation to searching for similar characteristics in terms of world outlook, specific trends, key ideas and practices, similar traits and ideals, vectors of generational solidarity, and their significant difference from other contemporaries.
This chapter proposes an unfolding view of the EU as a sort of post-modern neo-medieval empire, in which narratives of othering towards Central and Eastern Europe preserve their salience.
This article examines the role of archivists in shaping the capacity and the structure of a university’s memory. Drawing on sources such as laws and ministerial instructions, the authors analyze the government’s archive policy with regard to universities and how professors and archivists were taking part in its implementation. Their participation included sorting documents and attributing them to individual ‘cases’, destroying some of the ‘unnecessary’ documents and preserving others that were designated for destruction. Based on information from service records and university reports, the article tracks changes in the corporate status of university archivists in nineteenth-century Russia.
Students' internet usage attracts the attention of many researchers in different countries. Differences in internet penetration in diverse countries lead us to ask about the interaction of medium and culture in this process. In this paper we present an analysis based on a sample of 825 students from 18 Russian universities and discuss findings on particularities of students' ICT usage. On the background of the findings of the study, based on data collected in 2008-2009 year during a project "A сross-cultural study of the new learning culture formation in Germany and Russia", we discuss the problem of plagiarism in Russia, the availability of ICT features in Russian universities and an evaluation of the attractiveness of different categories of ICT usage and gender specifics in the use of ICT.