Institute of Sociology
of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology
of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Bulletin of the Institute of Sociology (Vestnik instituta sotziologii)

2015, No 12



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


Dominants of public consciousness in the political sphere

Galkin A. A.  Public Consciousness, Mood, and Political Behavior: Russian Version (12-33)

Abstract. This article is devoted to the analysis of complex and contradictory processes that occur in the mind, mood and political behavior of citizens of the relatively developed countries of the European area, including Russia. The authors’ observations do not so much focus on public consciousness that de facto represents a theoretical construct based on the understanding of patterns of formation and historical development of group interpersonal relations, but rather on the public mood that constitutes the thinnest upper layer of such consciousness. The paper shows that it is public mood, which only indirectly reflects the structure of social consciousness and is highly susceptible to opportunistic influences, that determines mass political behavior. Exploring the reasons for the observed shifts today in public mood and political behavior, the author draws attention to such factors as the increasingly complex structure of the modern society, imperfection of the established mechanisms of power, economic turmoil and the growing gap between public consciousness and rapid changes in the conditions of existence.

Keywords. Public consciousness, mood, political behavior, political system, stability, instability, dynamics of development

Krasin Y. A. Ideological Pluralism and Meta-ideology of New Humanism (34-59)

Abstract. There is every indication that human civilization is entering into an epoch of the deepest transformation or the “great reformatting” of social reality. Humankind meets challenges and risks, which demand of it unity of understanding of coming changes, and above all, the consolidation of efforts for the solution of global problems. Meanwhile, the imperative nature of these activities is not in line with ideological pluralism on a world or national level, which is intrinsic to social consciousness. This leads to a wide range of ideological differences and is contrary to consolidation. This contradiction is manifesting itself especially acutely in Russia, because the country is undergoing fundamental reformation and experiencing the effect of traditions of confrontational political culture. The article attempts to ascertain possibilities and trace the contour of solutions to this contradiction. Previously, the formation of industrial society called on the need for free human beings and the birth of the need for humanism. Now the start of the transition to an innovative type of development is initiating a new demand for creativity of humans and for the meta-ideology of new humanism which can become the ideal and moral basis for a national and universal policy of “historical compromises”. This may maintain and form the integral unity of the global “world of worlds”. Social, international and civilizational stability of human society depends on how these resources are brought into play.

Keywords. Social consciousness, ideology, ideological pluralism, meta-ideology, innovation development, new humanism

Veber A. B. Masses and Power: Mass Consciousness and Political System in Russia (60-78)

Abstract. Why does the existing system of power in Russia today, despite its obvious faults in terms of the essential criteria of democracy, nevertheless enjoy broad mass support? One should look for the answer, in particular, in the special characteristics of mass consciousness of Russians. Opinion polls show a high level of support for the idea of strong power and for the values of order and stability as a priority to the principles of liberal democracy, as well as the prevalence of paternalistic expectations. At the same time, the overall picture is mixed, leaving the possibility of different interpretations. The author presents his hypothesis, linking typical characteristics of mass consciousness of Russians with features of the history of the country, the specific conditions in which the Russian statehood, the type of culture and people’s mentality were formed over many centuries. The current regime is finding support in popular consciousness because it bears, like the political system itself, the seal of these conditions. The political systems not constructed in accordance with some ideal model cannot be stable in the long-term, and are a product of historical development of the nation, society and state under the given external conditions.

Keywords. Society, mass consciousness, core values, political system, authoritarianism, democracy


Mass consciousness and consolidation of society

Kozyreva P. M., Smirnov A. I. Political Trust in Russia: Peculiarities and Problem of Optimality (79-99)

Abstract. The article discusses the features of political trust in post-Soviet Russia, one of the key factors in the political process, which plays an important role in ensuring political stability and sustainable development of society. Data from sociological research from the Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences is used as a basis. Analysis has shown that political trust is directly related to the implementation of the basic ideas and principles of democracy, essential for expansion and deepening of democratic processes, and for creation of a full-fledged civil society in modern Russia. The data reveals the existence of a direct link between the degree and prevalence of political trust and the results of market and democratic reforms of the 1990s and 2000s. At the same time, analysis reveals a huge gap in the level of trust in certain political leaders and the main government institutions, which persists despite the significant increase in the level of confidence in individual political entities noted in recent years. Such imbalance and incoherence is one of the reasons for the current contradictions of mass social and political consciousness. In view of these important circumstances, an attempt is made to raise and discuss the issue of optimum limits of confidence in political leaders, institutions of public authorities and political parties. The authors consider the impact of extreme levels of trust and distrust in politics. They trace the dependence of institutional trust from interpersonal trust in the political sphere. Considerable attention is paid to the analysis of the main reasons for people's distrust in political and social institutions, and socio-political organizations, results of which can highlight ways of neutralizing or overcoming problems revealed.

Keywords. Government, civil society, democracy, optimality, political capital, political trust

Pantin V. I. Mass Consciousness in Modern Russia: Cleavages, Contradictions, Conjugations (100-117)

Abstract. Some important cleavages and contradictions of mass consciousness in modern Russia are considered in the article. It is demonstrated that the most significant cleavages of contemporary Russian society include attitudes to the USA and other Western countries, consideration for the Western way of development and division on adherents of Russia as a great power and adherents of a high living standard. Nevertheless, consideration for the USA and for European Union depends on the international political situation, and on conflicts in the Middle East or in post-Soviet states. For example, consideration for the USA and for the European Union became more negative during the conflicts in Iraq in 2003, in Georgia (2008) and in Ukraine (2014).At the same time, there is consent in the Russian mass consciousness to the most serious problems in modern Russian society. These problems are increasing prices, poverty, the split between the rich and the poor, unemployment, economic crisis, and corruption. It was found that in 2014, the potential of protest in Russian society was minimal in comparison with previous years. However, this potential may increase owing to the difficult economic situation. Russian mass consciousness considers political activity, political protest and modernization of political system in combination with economic modernization, economic development and social improvement. That is why most people do not support campaigns of Russian political opposition. It is concluded that the basic cleavages of Russian mass consciousness were stable during the 1990s and 2000s; these cleavages determine largely the political dynamics of contemporary Russian society.

Keywords. Mass consciousness, social mobilization factors, Russia, Western countries, cleavages, political processes, political system


The public sphere as the formation factor social consciousness

Voronkova O. A. The Development of Public Sphere in Russia as a Necessary Condition for Social Conflicts’ Resolution (118-139)

Abstract. The social contradictions and serious diversity of ideological dispositions in mass consciousness that have flared up at the beginning of the second decade of the 21st century obviously require urgent resolution. The technologies of social reconciliation on the base of revival of state domination in social life actively elaborated and insistently promoted by the political elite do not correspond to requirements of modern conditions. The complex relationships of political elites and active society can no longer be explained by classic structural-functional theories according to which the elites are called upon to perform unidirectional guidance of the masses. The article examines modern communicative approaches, emphasizing the bilateral, interactive nature of relations of the ruling elites and society and developing the principles of "communicative ethics", as the tasks most relevant to searching for mutual understanding and reaching social consensus. The process of conflict resolution in modern society should be guided not by the ambitions “to take victory on the battlefield”, but by the “skill to negotiate”. The article raises issues of the development of the competitive communication space in Russia, analyzes the theoretical concept of the "public sphere", where social interests and demands are clarified, and find support with rational arguments and where the discursive culture is created. The discursive qualities imply the ability to listen to and hear the opponent, and forming attitudes to reach compromises and take decisions acceptable to all sides. The Western European and Russian historical circumstances for public sphere formation are compared, and the current obstacles of formation of civil consciousness in Russia and possibilities and prospects of developing the public sphere are examined.

Keywords. Public sphere, mass consciousness, ideology, social and political discourse, communicative ethics 

Nikovskaya L. I. Civil Society and Civic Consciousness (Value-Motivational Aspect) (140-155)

Abstract. he article considers the problem of formation of civil society and citizenship in the new conditions related to strengthening horizontal linkages and network communication technologies. It is shown that if we approach the analysis of multilateral and contradictory processes of social and political transformation in Russia from the perspective of interests of civil society, we can definitely say that in the current conditions, it shows a trend of gradual transition from the factor of political modernization to transform into one of its subjects. In the process of its development, it begins to act as a kind of indicator for the quality of the institutional environment of the political system, showing how deeply and smoothly it presents the democratic beginning. First come the problems of formation of culture of civil actions, citizenship, and civic consciousness. Particular emphasis is placed on analysis of the value and motivational component that allows you to track changes in the formation of civic participation and to assess the quality and value orientation of civic activism. ased on secondary analysis of sociological data of various large-scale sociological studies, it was shown that the formation of civic consciousness correlates with the process of becoming middle class, generational shifts, to improve the quality of human and social capital. In general, the quality of civil consciousness is inconsistency and ambivalence that reflects the whole contradictory range of conditions of formation of civil society in contemporary Russia.

Keywords. ivil society, civic awareness, citizenship, transformation, public policy, democratic institutions, governance, networked society