Social representations of covid-19 in the unstable information environment (a mid-2021 study)

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The relevance of studying the social consequences of the covid-19 is determined by the fact that this transforming event affected the most diverse aspects of life in the Russian society. The article presents the results of the survey conducted on the sample of the Moscow residents in mid-2021. The majority of respondents considered the coronavirus as a dangerous disease that should be taken seriously. The phenomenon of coronavirus, due to its complexity, poor knowledge and mass distribution, has acquired not only a biomedical, but also a political, economic and media dimension. The information field about the origin, sources and measures to combat this disease experienced changes over time and was often contradictory. A typological analysis showed that there are several groups with different social ideas about the origin, control measures and social consequences of the covid-19. A significant group - about a half of respondents - shared ideas that were alternative to the official and dominant interpretation of the coronavirus in the information field. The study revealed that the agreement on the dangers of the coronavirus was combined with the priority of personal choice of means to combat it. The majority of respondents (61 %) were against the introduction of mandatory vaccination: among the most popular motives were doubts about its effectiveness and fears of its side effects; the priority of individual choice and the rights of citizens rather than the state. A statistically significant relationship was found between attitudes towards mandatory vaccination and trust in government: a low level of agreement with mandatory vaccination obviously correlates with a low level of trust in leading social-political institutions. The authors show that the Russian media discourse on the need for mass vaccination was accompanied by a wide spread of ideas that rigidly differentiate Russian citizens, which cannot but cause concerns about the tasks of ensuring social stability and unity of the Russian society.

About the authors

M. M. Nazarov

Institute of Socio-Political Research of FCTAS RAS


доктор политических наук, главный научный сотрудник

V. N. Ivanov

Institute of Socio-Political Research of FCTAS RAS; RUDN University


доктор философских наук, член-корреспондент и советник Российской академии наук; главный научный сотрудник Института социально-политических исследований Федерального научно-исследовательского социологического центра Российской академии наук; профессор кафедры социологии Российского университета дружбы народов

Miklukho-Maklaya St., 6, Moscow, 117198, Russia

E. A. Kublitskaya

Institute for Demographic Research of FCTAS RAS

Author for correspondence.

кандидат философских наук, ведущий научный сотрудник

Fotieva St., 6-1, 119333, Moscow, Russia


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Copyright (c) 2022 Nazarov M.M., Ivanov V.N., Kublitskaya E.A.

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