Institute of Sociology
of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Bulletin of the Institute of Sociology (Vestnik instituta sotziologii)

2016, No 16

СONTENTS

 

Khaliy I. A. Presenting This Issue (9-11)

 

The Theme of the Issue: Social Processes in Russian Regions

Kostina E.Y., Orlova N. A. Economic Prosperity as Evaluated by Inhabitants of the Far Eastern Region of Russia (Based on Materials from the Primorsky Kray Region) (12-26)

Abstract. This article examines basic social and economic indicators which allow us to evaluate the economic prosperity of the Far Eastern Federal District (FEFD) in general and the Primorsky Krai in particular. The authors have conducted analysis of data that characterizes change in vital statistics, gross regional product, average income per capita, average monthly nominal salary, unemployment levels etc., which helps define the social-economic situation in the FEFD and the Primorsky Krai. General analysis of these indicators accentuates the peculiarities of this region, which is the least populated, despite having the largest territory. Its economy is mostly based on producing rawmaterials, and is oriented towards neighboring Asian-Pacific countries. All of the examined indicators bring us to the conclusion that objective economic prosperity for inhabitants of this region is out of the question. Despite dynamics being generally positive, this region falls behind average in almost every index compared to the rest of Russia. Such a situation shows the need to develop a specialized regional policy aimed towards compensating detachment from the center, as well as increasing life quality and living standards in the FEFD. While evaluating the populace’s economic prosperity, the authors emphasize the need to utilize and compare two approaches, specifically – of objective and subjective variety, assuming information would be received from two complementary sources, namely – statistical data and the results of social surveys conducted among the population. This article cites data collected by the authors while they studied the subjective economic prosperity of the Primosky Krai’s populace: this helps determine the level of economic prosperity for the population of Eastern Russia with maximum precision. In general the study’s results can be summarized by stating that most of the region’s population emphasizes the need to increase economic guarantees, while most people do not make any secret of their desire for increased income, so that all their money would not be spent just to cover basic vital needs. The Primorsky Krai’s inhabitants want to develop and satisfy their need for cultural and spiritual progress, and they would also like to make savings to boost their confidence in the future.

Keywords: economic prosperity of the population, subjective economic prosperity, living standards, safety, social problems

Filipova A. G. Social Spaces and Children: Vladivostok vs. Khabarovsk (27-42)

Abstract. Sociological analysis of children and their urban environment is associated with its segmentation, marking out public (community) and private territories, comparing physical and social space, and determining the mechanisms that get children involved in urban community life. In this article1 social space is examined as a space for children’s everyday urban life. Social spaces are divided into formal and informal, territories supported by civil administration or by the local community, as well as adults’, children’s or mixed areas. The goal of this study is to analyze organizational characteristics of social spaces using two Far Eastern cities (Khabarovsk and Vladivostok) as an example: the main consideration is how well-suited they are for children. Urban environment analysis is based on six criteria – accessibility, convenience, orientation towards development, presence of green plantations, appeal and safety. Study methods include observation (with photography), non-standardized interviews with parents (N = 7), and examination of Internetforums, namely – Vladmama, Khabmama. Analyzing social spaces in the capital cities of Khabarovsk Territory and Primorsky Krai helped determine their tendencies for development, as well as reveal their main problems. Similar development characteristics lie in the improvement of “foreground” territories (formal social spaces), the construction of modern children’s and sports grounds, as well as more intense community involvement in improving territories near houses/buildings along with informal social spaces. Urban problems mainly come down to the quality of road-surfaces and street lighting, lack of green plantations and informal social spaces, and violation of material and physical accessibility principles for social spaces. While studying urban environments, another important organizational principle for social spaces was established – the zoning principle.

Keywords: children, urban, social spaces, comfort, accessibility, tendencies.

Vinokurova A. V., Ardalyanova A. Y. Migrants in Primorye: Opinions, Judgment, Evaluation (43-55)

Abstract. This article examines the key tendencies characterizing the direction in which migration processes are developing in the Primorsky Krai. The Primorsky Krai is a unique region of the Russian Federation, both in terms of its geographic location and cultural/everyday aspects of its populace’s life. Certain negative demographic tendencies are evident here as well, which mainly lie in positive migration balance. Given such context this article analyzes objective and subjective factors that determine migration dynamics in light of regional development and under conditions of social transformation. Also presented are basic results of an expert survey and non-formal interviews, which expose ordinary natives’ attitude towards migrants, as well as the matter of their integration into the Primorsky Krai; also cited is evaluation (by people who represent several different branches of authority) of the current state of regional migration problems and their development trends. The study shows that, on one hand, both experts and natives realize that attracting migrant workers is a necessity. On the other hand, certain people express their uneasiness concerning the current migrant worker influx from former Soviet republics and countries of the Asia-Pacific region. Informants also seemed to be very alarmed on account of the uncertainty of their own life prospects. The authors conclude that a series of peculiar qualities currently characterizes the Primorsky Krai’s migration situation: first of all, the direction for Chinese migration is changing, and second – an increase in migration from former Soviet republics is taking place. At the same time survey results show that respondents tend to characterize the relationship between locals and migrants as “peaceful”: this is in tune with the usual atmosphere of maritime towns, which are known to be quite tolerant towards newcomers.

Keywords: migration, migration strategies, social transformation, regional development, relationship towards migrants, migration threat

Posukhova O. Y., Serikov A. V. Life Orientation for Inhabitants of the Southern Federal District in the Context of Modern-Day Life (56-73) 

Abstract. This article cites data collected while carrying out a social research survey entitled “On vital issues of our lives”, implemented within the framework of the following planned subject: “Studying the dynamics of the changing socio-economic and socio-political situation in regions of the Southern Federal District”. Despite the fact that this study was based on instruments and methodology developed by scientists from the Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, our regional project can be called a search study, since we did not develop its theoretical model from the ground up, along with the main issues for investigation – in fact, they were implicitly borrowed from our Moscow-based colleagues. This article examines the characteristics of adaptation processes for the regional community under conditions of sanctions and economic crisis: this allows us to define two basic strategies for solving life problems – active and passive. It should be noted that a stable portion of respondents who prefer individualized and purposeful adaptation strategies (such as maintaining their level of income and quality of life) was registered. We were able to establish that orientation towards stability is dominant when it comes to the more important life guidelines, while partaking in politics, being a part of social and political organizations, is clearly at the bottom of the list, which can be explained by the evident distrust in such social institutions. A continuing current tendency is mass protest potential being only partly politicized, despite the ongoing attempts to give social protest in Russia a political demeanor and direct it towards undermining the legitimacy of fundamental state institutions. One notable observation is a certain level of radicalization among part of the population – namely, those who are ready to rise in arms in the name of their rights.

Keywords: social health, daily routine, life interests, conflictogenic potential, national security, protest sentiments, anxiety.

 

Reflections on the Basis of New Foreign Publications

Lyublinskiy V. V. Social Images in Modern Israel. Problems and Politics (74-100)

Abstract. This article examines the peculiarities inherent to the development of modern Israeli society, while looking into Israel’s experience in solving problems associated with increasing prosperity, social policy and interethnic relations. It shows that Israel’s social-economic strategy puts emphasis on supporting hi-tech fields, the development of which is mainly defined by tasks aimed at ensuring national security and defensive capability. Such projects are also utilized in civil industries: this leads to an increase in labor productivity, as well as the population’s prosperity and life quality, while also strengthening the country’s international status in several areas. The level of relative R&D expenses also says quite a lot: in this respect Israel is ahead of the entire world. Israeli society has developed a strong ability to adapt to constantly changing conditions. But its social stability cannot be long lived, stable and secure when there is such a severe gap in the population’s income; said stability is constantly being threatened, a testament to that being a huge wave of public protests which took place during the summer of 2011, with hundreds of thousands of Israeli participating. Deeply rooted ethnical differences are also evident within Israeli society. However, despite there being some serious problems, said society is quite consolidated, for if that was not the case – it would be impossible to endure in such conditions of constant terrorist threats and with the country’s very existence constantly being challenged. In the last few years a sustained trend has been shaping in Israel – of citizens gaining trust in their own government: this gives Israel quite an advantage compared to many other countries, where restoring trust has become a problem for the authorities. Serious shifts in mass consciousness have also been taking place. New value preferences have been shaping when it comes to national political and socio-economic development. The amount of workers joining trade unions is growing, and they are becoming increasingly more active: their activities now apply to large companies, where they had never been present in the past. It is a significant fact that trade unions are growing despite serious resistance from employers. Workers are successfully standing up for their rights, in the courts too. Considering current conditions, when Russian society and Russian authorities are facing survival and development troubles at point blank (being constantly subject to external pressure and confinement), in this respect Israel demonstrates some noteworthy internal development experience.

Keywords: economic development, social policy, income, poverty, education, salary, interethnic relations.

Rybakova L. N. Conflict as an Object and as an Instrument for Social Work (101-109)

Abstract. This review on a collective monograph compiled by German authors (and written in German) contains an overview of materials presented in it, which were prepared using practical experience as a basis. The publication is built around a certain category of conflict – between the system and disintegrated individuals who happen to be in a difficult life situation. Social workers’ activities are subject to analysis in this context, with them being intermediaries between the system of government management and separate population groups: said activities aim to bring social institutions’ and individuals’ interests into accord, as well as to support marginalized groups of the population, such as migrants, the homeless, the unemployed, drug-addicts, deviant youths etc. Conflict is also examined as a characterization of relations between social workers and clients: examples are portrayed of clients overcoming intrapersonal conflict in order for them to conform to society’s requirements. Such an unusual point of view (observing conflicts in social work) stimulates the reader to critically evaluate common stereotypes, those having to do with perceiving social workers as people who defend the government’s interests, and also those having to do with reconciliation and conflict suppressing techniques. The review accentuates the fact that the material basis for social initiatives is formed not only by tax revenue and government financial backing, but also thanks to the activities of various non-commercial organizations and charitable foundations. The author comes to the conclusion that this new collective monograph compiled by German specialists will be of interest to the Russian professional community, considering that it analyzes a rich practical background of social work in the context of social interaction. The true value of the monograph presented is supported by a broad view and deep analysis of many years worth of professionals’ everyday activity, aimed at helping individuals adapt to difficult conditions, as well as bringing individual aspirations into accord with social requirements.

Keywords: social work, conflict, German experience, adaptation.

 

Science Self-reflection

Tikhonov A. V., Merzliakov A. A., Bogdanov V. S. Experience in Modernizing Educational Technologies Based on the Innovative Practices of Scientific Research Activities (110-122)