Russia-2021: Experiencing the Present and Looking into the Future

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Chief researcher; Professor
Institute of Sociology of FCTAS RAS
National Research Nuclear University MEPhI
National Research University “Moscow Power Engineering Institute”
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Occupation: Graduate Student
Affiliation: Institute of Sociology of FCTAS RAS
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Journal nameSotsiologicheskie issledovaniya
EditionIssue 8

The article presents results of an empirical study by FCTAS RAS in order to analyze the spiritual state of modern Russian society and its ideas about itself, which should be considered as a special non-material factor for its development. The study was conducted in March – April 2021 in a series of studies aimed at creating a kind of "sociological portrait" of modern Russian society, viewed through the prism of its self-esteem and self-image. In this article, the author focuses on a facet of this sociological portraying, i.e. on the opinions of Russians about the ways of their country's development, assessments of the historical productivity of this path and, in this regard, their personal prospects, as well as on what they would like to see their country to be in the future. The author analyzes peculiarities of the perception of the arrow of time in the Russian mentality, characterizes emotional tone of Russians' thinking about the future, characterizes dynamics of the gradually increasing demand for change in Russian society, and examines in detail the views of the population of the country about what tasks currently facing Russian society are priorities and what ideas could unite Russians on the way to the future. Special attention is paid to the opinion of the Russian population about its relations to the West and the East. Basing on the results of empirical research, the author states that Russian citizens perceive their country as an independently developing civilization and in this context reject mechanical following of Western models and recipes. In conclusion, the article examines the features of the political segmentation of the Russian society. An explanation is offered for the idea that, despite the fact that there is a demand for change in Russian society, a majority of citizens tend to support the current government and, despite all its shortcomings, would not want to change it by another one, at least now.

KeywordsRussian society, Russian civilization, sociological portrait, image of the future, development model, social changes, political process
AcknowledgmentSupported by RNF. Project No. 20-18-00505
Publication date27.09.2021
Number of characters30855
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