No 1 (2015)

Articles
The concept of “altruism” in sociology: From classical theories to practical oblivion
Bykov A.V.
Abstract

The article presents a historical and theoretical analysis of the main conceptions of altruism in the classical sociological tradition. The author states that the idea of altruism and morality was crucial for theories of society developed by H. Spencer, E. Durkheim, and G. Simmel, and formed the basis of their social and ontological views. However, today the problem of altruistic behavior is quite marginal for sociologists have practically stopped using the term “altruism” (coined by the sociology’s “godfather” A. Comte) in theories and explanatory models, and the studies of altruism and altruistic behavior (more broadly - morality) have gradually “migrated” to other social and behavioral sciences that made, significant progress in explaining this phenomenon. The author argues that the dominant position of T. Parsons’s social system theory in sociology is one of the reasons for such a situation; he also critically analyzes the concept of “creative altruism” proposed by P. Sorokin. The contradiction between the crucial character of the idea of altruism in classical sociological theories and its almost total oblivion in today’s sociology is emphasized in the context of the “revival” of sociology of morality.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2015;(1):5-18
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David Hume and Otfried Höffe: Ideas about social justice
Borisova P.A.
Abstract
The article examines in detail the ideas and interpretations of social justice developed by the German philosopher, professor of the historical and philosophical faculty of the University of Tübingen, one of the leading experts on political philosophy, Otfried Höffe. His theoretical ideas about justice were largely predetermined by the philosophical legacy of David Hume, namely by one of his main provisions that the idea and the very concept of justice is gradually formed in the views of certain social groups in the situation of material resources shortage. In particular, limited land resources are the main precondition for the emergence of property rights as a key format for embodiment and implementation of the social justice ideas. The author traces the development and increasing conceptual complexity of these ideas up to the notion of “conflict of interests”, so typical for contemporary societies where the idea of justice does not focus only on material resources. The author pays special attention to the model of “good” proposed by Höffe, which allows capturing perceptions of fairness in both interpersonal and institutional perspectives. In addition, the article provides empirical data that illustrate some Höffe theoretical ideas about social justice.
RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2015;(1):19-29
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Milestones of the history of modern Western theory of migration
Adediran A.M.
Abstract
The article outlines the key stages in the development of modern theory of migration following the historical sequence and continuity of its basic conceptual constructs’ formation. Although the author refers to the twentieth century as a chronological framework of the text, the narrative begins from the works of E. Ravenstein published at the end of the XIX century, for they laid the foundation for future theoretical studies on migration issues. In particular, many well-known scientists still use concepts “laws of migration” and “attracting and push factors of migration” proposed by Ravenstein claiming their timeless validity or, on the contrary, criticizing them for the loss of relevance in the new social and cultural realities. The author considers as milestones of the modern theory of migration the works of the representatives of Chicago school of sociology that enriched the conceptual apparatus of the analysis of migration processes and the typology of driving causes of migration; the works of S. Stouffer, G. Zipf, E. Lee and W. Lewis, W. Zelinsky and D. Massey. Finally, the article summarizes the objective trends in today’s global development that force scientists to introduce new accents in the study of migration processes, although upon closer inspection it turns out that all “new” ideas had already been formulated in early migration studies and just got a new sound in another historical period.
RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2015;(1):30-41
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The social base of NSDAP: Reasons for Nazis success in 1928-1933 elections
Shults E.E.
Abstract
The article focuses on four key questions that, in the author’s opinion, help to explain the results of 1928-1933’s elections in Germany, although there are no definite answers to these questions among scientists: 1) was the electoral growth of NSDAP exhausted in the Reichstag’s elections in July 1932; 2) did the German working class vote for NSDAP; 3) what was the role of the protest electorate and its chances to mobilize supporters; 4) what was the role of young voters. The author concludes that the electoral potential of NSDAP had not been exhausted by the July elections of 1932, and the Nazis lost voices in November 1932 not just in several lands, but nationwide due to the drop of voters’ turnout. Among NSDAP supporters, perhaps, the share of workers was less than among SPD or KPG voters, and the share of peasants less that among the Centre Party or the right-wing parties, but the number of these NSDAP voters in absolute terms was too big to deny their role in the results of 1928-1933’s elections. The analysis of these election campaigns confirms that NSDAP successfully “saddled” protest and young voters, however, these groups alone were not enough to provide the party such an electoral support that made it dominant. Nazis managed to create “a huge national front” opposed to “right” and “labor” parties and to replace all class slogans. That is why young voters (under 30 years) and the most active voters (age groups from 30 to 45 years) in all social classes voted for NSDAP, thus ensuring the Nazi Party such an incredible success.
RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2015;(1):42-53
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Growing up as a part of teenage communities: Current trends and risks
Azashikov G.H., Khagurova N.E.
Abstract
The article describes teenage communities as a special space of growing up. The authors examine some major transformations of the contemporary society and socialization risks generated by them in teenage communities for today’s high parental employment outside the home makes peer groups the most important agent of socialization and a key space for teenagers’ growing up. The article identifies the main socio-psychological conceptions of group dynamics, types of relationships among teenagers and functions of peer communities that provide teens a chance to grow up in a system of intergroup communications. The authors emphasize the fact that traditionally peer relationships serve as a “school” of social experience necessary for the normal format of growing up, but today communicational and recreational practices of teens and youth are increasingly “constructed” by the consumption industry. The article considers tendencies of consumerism and virtualization in teenage communities that are changing not only the shape but also the very essence of interactions and relationships among teens and youngsters; discusses the criminalization risks in these groups due to today’s mass media impact, and the risks associated with the Internet activity, such as intellectual primitivization and infantilization due to the overreliance on the Internet.
RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2015;(1):54-64
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“Ethical consumerism”: The specifics of sociological interpretation and present manifestations
Trotsuk I.V., Davydenkova E.S.
Abstract
In recent decades, the phenomenon of “ethical consumerism” has become extremely popular in Europe and the United States. Unfortunately, in Russia it is little known and rarely studied; moreover, it has almost ceased to attract researchers’ attention after the 2008 global crisis, which halted the dissemination of consumer practices based on the principles of ethical consumerism. However, this very promising model has every potential to go beyond a small group of extremely rich customers if the economic situation improves and the dominant values and patterns of consumption change. The model of ethical consumerism is gradually beginning to play an increasingly important role in today’s production of goods determining the corporate earnings and in some cases the very length of the market life of products, brands and entire manufacturing companies. The article describes the main approaches to the study of contemporary consumer practices, and shows that today ethical consumerism begins to control producers and consumers behavior and creates new standards of consumption. For instance, ethical consumers have a significant impact on the market situation for, as a rule, they use boycott as a method for correcting unscrupulous manufacturers’ behavior: the refusal to buy unethical products has negative impact on any business - reduces its profit, thus forcing manufacturers to take ethical demands of consumers into account.
RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2015;(1):65-81
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Traditions and innovations in the worldview of Northern peoples
Khairullina N.G., Haramzin T.G., Algadieva T.M.
Abstract
Indigenous peoples of the North form an integral part of ethnic and cultural diversity of the global civilization: in many parts of the contemporary world, there are enclaves of indigenous peoples that make their unique contribution to the regional and global development. The authors conduct a theoretical analysis of Russian and foreign scientists’ approaches to the study of the traditional worldview of indigenous peoples of the North. This study revealed the ideas that form the basis of the traditional culture of indigenous peoples, such as the four-element structure of the worldview, which includes cognitive, value-normative, emotional-volitional and practical elements that together determine a person’s readiness to a certain type of behavior in specific circumstances. The authors show on the empirical data that the hallmark of the traditional culture of indigenous peoples of the North is a strict adherence to the previous generations’ patterns of behavior - customs, rituals, forms of activity. The article concludes that the traditional culture of indigenous communities is syncretic, which is manifested in integrity, indivisibility of all forms of life, and recognition of the absolute equivalence of three major elements of the universe - “nature-society-man”.
RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2015;(1):82-91
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Legal culture as a factor of social stability
Akulich M.M., Pit’ V.V.
Abstract
The article examines legal culture as a factor of stability in developing societies referring to the concepts of culture proposed by P.A. Sorokin, L.N. Kogan, M.T. Iovchuk and other famous sociologists. The authors state that in the modern sociological literature legal culture is studied mainly from the theoretical rather than empirical standpoint: the sociology has accumulated a lot of data on the legal culture, although its study in the context of agreements and conflicts, stability and destructiveness is not enough. Legal culture should be regarded as a regulator and stabilizer of social interactions and relationships in both specific countries and the global space. Thus, identifying regional and global aspects of legal culture has become an important theoretical problem of the sociological studies nowadays as well as considering legal culture in relation to moral, economic and political values and priorities. The authors argue that it is not possible to build a state of law and civil society without raising the level of legal culture, and present the results of the sociological study of the legal culture in the south of the Tyumen region conducted in 2013. This survey revealed an average level of following the law in 55% of the local population, although 90% consider themselves law-abiding citizens. At the same time, 46% believe in the possibility to manipulate the law, and 60% approve the principle of equity of the law. The authors conclude that the identified average level of legal culture among the local population is an indicator of a quite stable and successful development of the region under study.
RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2015;(1):92-103
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Dynamics of the working youth self-identification in the transforming society
Khimich V.Y.
Abstract
The article considers dynamics of the young workers self-identification indicators (economic, legal, confidence in the future and life satisfaction) on the empirical data of the “Russian Longitudinal Monitoring of the economic situation and health” conducted by the HSE from 1994 to 2012 on the sample of 19,501 young workers aged 16-30. The results of the research show that Russian working youth has been changing self-identification dynamically for the youth is the most active group to integrate into society. Any negative transformation of society generates negative self-identification indicators among the working youth. Any fluctuation in the economic or political life of the country easily undermines positions of the youth, which threatens to destabilize the society as a whole. Thus, in the first years of post-soviet transformations (1994-1996) more than a half of Russian working youth passed through an identity crisis expressed in low self-esteem (due to poverty, injustice, insecurity, dissatisfaction with one’s life) and acute negativism and pessimism after the 1998 default. In 1999-2002 the perceptions of themselves and their lives among the working youth changed from negative to neutral, and since 2002 we witness the so-called period of “stability” for only every third young respondent admits low level of self-identification, while a large proportion of the working youth, on the contrary, - consistently high level.
RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2015;(1):104-115
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Social well-being and information behavior of the youth in the Republic of Khakassia
Shigolakova T.B.
Abstract
The article considers social well-being and information behavior of the youth in the Republic of Khakassia focusing on the youth expectations and aspirations, relationships with the state, desires to be useful to one’s social circle, society and the state, and on the forms in which the state should provide assistance and support for young generations. The author evaluates the level of the youth trust in various social institutions, particular elements and actors of the political system that determine both the willingness to participate in protests and the problems young generations face in the Republic of Khakassia. After that the author focuses on the youth interaction with the contemporary information environment: describes the structure and levels of the youth communicative needs in the media space (Internet, television, printed media), and the ways the youth satisfies such needs; identifies the youth basic sources of information about events taking place in the country and the world, the frequency and reasons for the Internet use as well as preferred points of Internet access. The article presents a rating of popular social networks and TV channels and describes the needs of young people in social networks and the most discussed topics there; identifies the most popular ways to watch TV channels and the most interesting TV programs for the youth referring to the data of the survey conducted to reveal Khakassia youth opinions on the necessity of a special youth television channel and programs. The article concludes with the assessment of the youth communicative needs satisfaction through leisure activities and various sources of information.
RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2015;(1):116-128
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The forms of destructive behavior in the workplace
Narozhnaia D.A.
Abstract
Personnel have become a key resource of organizations in the contemporary society for the way personnel fulfills its work functions can provide important advantages in the competitive market. However, despite the fact that organizations’ management pays great attention to the development of the constructive forms of work behavior, various forms of destructive behavior in the workplace are quite widespread nowadays. The author uses the concept “destructive labor behavior” to denote such observable actions of employees that hinder achieving organizations’ aims and entail negative consequences. The article analyzes relationships between concepts “destructive labor behavior”, “social behavior” and “organizational behavior”; identifies the most common types of destructive labor behavior, such as absenteeism, theft, sabotage, lowered labor activity, and their key features; considers their negative consequences, such as decreased production, decline in the quality of products or services, conflicts in the team, tensions between workers and employers; analyzes different classifications of the destructive forms of labor behavior. The author concludes that we need a general classification of the destructive forms of labor behavior based on their grouping on three grounds: the essence of the negative consequences of the destructive behavior; the violated legal norms; the causes of the destructive behavior. Moreover, the article identifies three groups of organizational factors that can generate destructive forms of labor behavior - production factors (content, organization and conditions of work), social factors (group relations) and psychological (personal characteristics of employees) - and provides recommendations to reduce their impact on the organization.
RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2015;(1):129-140
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The idea of civil control in the European political and legal thought
Sokolova T.D.
Abstract
The article discusses the problem of defining the role and functions of civil control from the political and legal thought perspective and in the context of the possible ways of civil society and state authorities interaction. The demand for external evaluation as a prerequisite for the development of political system and the demand for establishing an effective feedback mechanism within it together with the lack of a unified approach to the interpretation of civil control in the political science and legal doctrines determined the relevance of the study of the established traditions in the interpretation of civil control in social sciences and humanities. Whereas social and power relations always develop within a specific legislative framework, whose maturity and consistency largely determine the state of civil society, it is not possible to evaluate control functions of the public sector otherwise than through the study of the legal framework of the state. Thus, the article describes the evolution of the views on possible formats of social and power relations in the context of transformations of the European social thought and political and legal approaches to the perception of power institutions, building a dialogue between social and political organizations, defining the forms of civic participation in political decision-making and interpretation of civil control.
RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2015;(1):141-148
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The art of interpretation and criticism: a new sound of the ideas formulated half a century ago: Sontag S. Against Interpretation and Other Essays. - M.: Ad Marginem Press, 2014. - 352 p.
Trotsuk I.V.
Abstract
RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2015;(1):149-158
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Book Review: Kravchenko S.A. Social and cultural dynamics of food: risks, vulnerability, and the demand for humanistic biopolitics. - M.: MGIMO-University, 2014. - 198 p.
Golenkova Z.T., Zhvitiashvili A.S.
Abstract
RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2015;(1):159-164
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Authors
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Abstract
RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2015;(1):165-166
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