Vol 18, No 1 (2018)

Theory, Methodology and History of Sociological Research


Myslivets N.L., Romanov O.A.


The article considers the genesis, essence and perspectives of the sociological study of historical memory. The authors aim to reveal the principles of organization and development of historical memory and to define the methodological grounds for its study. To achieve this aim the article solves the following interrelated tasks: to reveal the essence of historical memory as the main component of so-cial consciousness; to explicate the prerequisites for formation of historical memory, and to identify factors of its today’s development; to define theoretical and methodological bases of the sociological study of historical memory. The article is based on the works of the researchers of historical memory: on the ideas of famous western scholars (J. Assmann, J. Rusen) and Russian researchers (Zh.T. Toschenko, L.P. Repina, V.E. Boykov). The article shows that the contemporary processes of globalization that determine the de-velopment of multiculturalism in the majority of the regions of the world require reliable grounds for preservation and development of peoples’ and individuals’ cultural identity. One of such grounds is his-torical memory as the historical experience reflected in individual and social consciousness, which deter-mined the key features of social dynamics. The authors identify the sources of formation and substantial transformation of historical memory: while in the 19 - early 20th centuries science and education where the main sources of historical memory, in the second half of the 20th century the influence of media tech-nologies and mass culture has significantly grown, which leads to the complexity of historical memory structure and growth of its variability, contributes to the destruction of its integrity and to the development of its various alternatives. The article claims that historical memory is an essential condition for preserva-tion and development of state and cultural sovereignty, a basis for the mature civil consciousness and patriot-ism. The authors point to the necessity of interdisciplinary studies that integrate methodological principles and theoretical findings of different social sciences and humanities.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2018;18(1):9-19
pages 9-19 views


Radkevich K.V., Shabaga A.V.


The article considers the phenomenon of social science debates in the form of the opposi-tion ‘West/Non-West’ and its social-political and identification consequences. The authors focus on the histo-ry of this opposition, the ways to overcome the scientific and social confrontations that were determined by it, and on the methodological significance of the concept ‘Non-Western theories’. The authors study the features of social and political knowledge of the countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America; compare social values of Western Europe, China and other countries to identify the ways for its integration in the course of postcolonial political and scientific development. In particular, the article compares the axio-logical triad of T. Heuss (democracy, Roman law, Christian ethics) and the Chinese dyad - the will of the people (minxin suoxiang) and three convents (sāngāng). Within the West/Non-West opposition, the Western European, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, African, Latin-American social-political constructs are considered to assess the productivity of some categorical oppositions and contaminations adopted in the sphere of social knowledge and to prove the theoretical inconsistency of multiculturalism. The authors also consider the issues of eurocentrism and Western-European messianism on the examples of their relation-ship with Sino-Centrism, and the ideas of African and Latin-American nationalism. Such comparisons prove the metatheoretical status of the ‘West/Non-West’ opposition that can be explained within the paradigm of the social construction of reality. The authors conclude that the concepts ‘West’ and ‘Non-West’ do not have a truly scientific status; they are rather markers of social values claiming a special identifica-tion value, i.e. having a direct relation to self-representation. The concepts ‘West’ and ‘Non-West’ are a kind of political declarations tather than an evidence of epistemological differences in the foundations of social knowledge in different parts of the globe.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2018;18(1):20-32
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Kramar A.A.


Alexander V. Chayanov (1888-1937) is a famous Russian economist, theorist of the organization of economy, a brilliant representative of the generation of the “golden age” of the economic science in Russia. One of the key elements of his scientific legacy is the theory of non-capitalist forms of economy, and one of its aspects - international agrarian studies of the features of the organization of agriculture in different countries. The organizational-production school developed a theory of labor economy and came close to the general theory of non-capitalist forms of economy; however, its studies were inter-rupted by the repressions of the 1920s. The article considers the international studies of A.V. Chayanov to clarify and develop some findings of the today’s scholars (I.A. Kuznetsov, A.M. Nikulin, T.A. Savinova). The author proposes a new interpretation of the organizational-production school as having a dualistic character. The works of Alexander N. Chelintsev (1874-1962), Nicholay P. Makarov (1886-1980) and other colleagues of A.V. Chayanov from the organizational-production school focused on both theoretical issues such as the fundamental laws of functioning and development of agriculture, and practical issues of scientific management of an individual farm and agriculture in general. The author considers the orga-nizational-production school as dualistic: it studies both theory and management of peasant economy at micro- and macro-levels proceeding from the analysis of the individual farm structure to the issues of the optimal production location and optimal management of ‘a mass of peasant farms’. The system approach to the organization of economy, cooperation, zoning and economic policy developed by the organizational-production school is still relevant for the contemporary use.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2018;18(1):33-43
pages 33-43 views

Contemporary society: the urgent issues and prospects for development


Gorshkov M.K., Tyurina I.O.


The authors consider the concept of Russian identity and review some key social and philo-sophical approaches to the definitions of identity focusing on the contemporary Russian sociological in-terpretations of the structure and content of national identity. The authors acknowledge the complexity and multidimensional nature of national identity, and believe that it develops in history and proves a certain level of national consciousness. The article considers the today’s Russians’ self-identification under the macro-social processes in the Russian society in the crisis period of 2014-2016. Based on the results of the national sociological monitoring surveys conducted by the Institute of Sociology of the Russian Acade-my of Sciences the authors identify the Russians’ priorities in the sphere of inter-ethnic and confessional relations in the form of sociological diagnostics. The data of the sociological surveys prove that the identity issues are still among the key problems of the Russian society considering the resources for national con-solidation as determined by the status of the Russian identity and by its structure as depending on the stability of civil and ethnic components combination. Today, Russia has to preserve and to renew its self-identification, to construct the Russian national-civil identity as a synthesis of ethnic and civil components. Thus, the state has to develop the so-called “identity policy” as one of the most important ways to strengthen its key political decisions and legislation and to support the spiritual-psychological climate of the society.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2018;18(1):44-57
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Belyaeva L.A.


Social space is a theoretical construct that allows to consider many key problems of social development including the society’s consolidation. The author defines social space as a set of social statuses and distances. Their objective characteristics are interrelated with subjective indicators identified through the opinions of individuals. The balance of statuses and distances in society and the acceptability of this structure for the majority of population ensure the stability of society and effective social control. If this balance is disturbed, social tensions arise and threaten the stability and consolidation of society. Thus, the ideas of the theories of social space possess a considerable heuristic potential for revealing urgent problems of social development such as solidarity, social stratification and mobility, social networks and their interaction, connections of local communities within and with the world, interaction of structured social relations and individual and collective practices, genesis of social space as a result of social production represented by both things and relationships, etc. According to the theory of P. Bourdieu, the author con-siders social space as a structure of social statuses based on the set of different types of capital: economic, cultural, social, and symbolic. The author uses statistical data and results of the monitoring survey conducted on the all-Russian sample. The article proposes some tested empirical indicators that proved the increase of social distances in Russia due to the redistribution of economic capital and, as a consequence, of cultural and social capitals. Thus, the social space of Russia cannot be considered stable. To ensure its greater stability we need a set of measures to reduce social distances: re-industrialization to create high-tech jobs, development of digital economy, and improvement of the mass secondary and higher education system - these measures can create a basis for the upward social mobility.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2018;18(1):58-72
pages 58-72 views


DeFrain J.


How is the American family doing today? The answer depends upon whom you are talking with and the social/political/cultural lens you are looking through. This article is written by an American professor emeritus of family studies who has studied and taught about families for more than forty years. The author has been married to his wife Nikki for fifty years and they have raised three daughters and are now active in an extended family which included four grandchildren and three sons-in-law. In this article, the author avoids talking about families from a political perspective because in America this kind of talk usually generates more heat than light. Even though the American media tends to focus only on problems and give all of us the impression that families in particular and life on the planet in general are in grave danger, after studying strong families in the U.S. and around the world for more than forty years, the author personally believes that the majority of families in America are doing well and are satisfied with their life together. Some families are just doing okay. And some, of course, are in deep trouble. Truth be told, all American families have problems, just as all families around the world have problems. And, as it is true from a global perspective, not all families in the U.S. are strong families. But all families in the U.S. have strengths and they use these strengths in their efforts to meet the challenges their family inevitably faces. In this article, the author begins looking at American families today from the top-down perspective - the macro-level - and follows that with a discussion from the bottom-up perspective - the micro-level. These two perspectives complement each other and give us a reasonably good answer to the question of how the American family is doing today. And these two perspectives give us a better understanding of the paradox that families and family values are changing in some ways while we stay, deep-down, basically the same in our families.
RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2018;18(1):73-87
pages 73-87 views


Merl S.


The article considers the agrarian transformations (primarily privatization and structural adaptation to the domestic and international markets) in the former GDR that are often presented as a success story due to the growth in agricultural productivity and competitiveness of new types of agricultural en-terprises. First, the author identifies the main tasks of these transformations: (1) privatization of the “socialist property” and its distribution between (a) those who contributed capital and land to the agricultural enter-prise when it was established, and (b) its employees at the moment of restructuring; (2) adaptation to new market conditions. Both tasks were extremely difficult and challenging for they required large investments in better breeds and machinery, and a significant reduction of agricultural workforce. Second, the author considers the legislative basis for privatization and the real practices of the reorganization of the former agricultural enterprises (proposals for the distribution of the assets, land restitution as prior to compen-sation, the successor large-scale enterprises forced land leasing contracts, manipulations with the balance sheets to obtain hidden reserves necessary for survival by underestimation of the existing assets, etc.). The author believes that the Kohl government did not foresee that privatization would be so complicated, and made many mistakes while striving to keep agricultural production in the new countries, especially to restrain the growth of unemployment. Therefore, the contemporary research of the agricultural economy is very critical of the regulations and frameworks set by the German government that is blamed for being responsible for many serious development constraints (short-term leasing contracts, paying off old debts, the lack of state subsidies for large enterprises, etc.). The final section of the article reveals the meaning of the land property in the agrarian transformations in the GDR. The author relies on the statistical data for more than two decades, monitoring data on the still ongoing transition and his own studies of agri-cultural enterprises in different regions (1992, 1997, 2002 and 2016).
RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2018;18(1):88-99
pages 88-99 views


Kliucharev G.A., Neverov A.V.


The tasks of modernization and development of education and science are of a key im-portance for the Russian Federation. Despite a number of significant changes in the Russian system of education and science over the last 10-15 years, the best Russian universities still cannot compete with the world leading universities. In 2013, to change this situation the state started one of its most ambitious projects to increase the international competitiveness of Russian universities, which is the project “5-100”. Though the need for such projects for the development of science and education is widely acknowledged, the “5-100” has received contradictory estimates of different stakeholders and experts. By 2017, the project approached its half-time line and spent a significant part of its resources, thus, it is time to consider its interim results. Moreover, the today’s close attention to the project determined numerous speculations not only in the media but also in scientific articles aiming to assess the project’s impact on the Russian system of education and science based on ideological and political judgments. The authors understand and accept all informed judgments but emphasize the importance of evaluating both reasons for such large-scale projects and factors affecting their implementations. A superficial estimate of the project “5-100” leads to the em-phasis on its minor disadvantages, which usually hides its less obvious positive sides. Thus, the article focuses on the role of the project “5-100” in the modernization of the Russian system of education and science, considers its different aspects, and identifies possible approaches to assess its efficiency at the final stages of its implementation (or to develop new projects to increase the international competitiveness of Russian universities).

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2018;18(1):100-116
pages 100-116 views


Andronova I.V., Belova I.N., Ganeeva M.V., Moseykin Y.N.


In the future, the Eurasian Economic Union can become one of the most important actors of the global economy, a regional and even a global leader, if the Union ensures positive economic and social effects for every participating country. The main challenge of the economic development of the EAEU is the development and diversification of national industries: three of the EAEU countries out of five almost completely depend on the export of resources (Russia and Kazakhstan - energy resources, Kyrgyzstan - precious metals). The other challenges for all participating countries are as follows: low competitiveness of production; inadequate development of the transport infrastructure for the current needs of integration; the lack of trade and investment cooperation between different countries; the lack of budget for the program of projects’ co-financing. The international experience proves that the higher the level of national economic development, the greater the share of high-tech industries in its economy, the more diversified its exports, and the greater opportunities the country has to maintain stable cooperation ties and division of labor with countries at different levels of industrial development. The successful realization of cooperation within the EAEU largely depends on the support of the population of participating countries. Despite the fact that according to sociological surveys the attitude of the population to the Eurasian Economic Union is rather positive there is a negative trend. The authors suggest the ways for the innovative modernization of the eco-nomies, which in turn will stimulate scientific-technological cooperation, enhance the level and quality of life, and contribute to the positive public perception of the integration, stability and viability of the EAEU and development of the Eurasian values’ system.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2018;18(1):117-130
pages 117-130 views

Surveys, experiments, case studies


Narbut N.P., Trotsuk I.V.


The article presents the results of a three-year study conducted by the Sociology Chair of the RUDN University in cooperation with foreign colleagues to compare the worldview priorities of the today’s student youth. Due to the article size limitations the authors divided the data into two parts: in the first part, they focus on the identification of the values that serve as reference points specifying the so-cial action limits and criteria for assessing events and situations. The data does not allow for broad gen-eralizations due to the non-equivalence of the questionnaires used in three countries, but points to a number of characteristics that make the Russian youth look more similar to their Czech or Kazakhstan peers than to themselves a decade ago. Such a conclusion is based on the analysis conducted according to the thematic structure of the questionnaire. Thus, the article presents the educational values of students (prag-matic-instrumental perception of the higher education), labor values (a mixture of optimism and pessimism when assessing chances to find a job after graduation, and different attitudes to the combination of study and work), interpersonal interaction features (a high credit of trust in parents, especially in a difficult situation, does not depend on the self-perception and the circle of personal responsibility), political values (the ratio of the lack of political activity and interest in politics, and the level of social trust differ despite the same leaders of national pride), general value priorities (attitudes towards religion, interpretations of the life success and qualities necessary for achieving it, the horizons of planning) and problems (assessing one’s genera-tion in terms of actual threats).

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2018;18(1):131-155
pages 131-155 views


Puzanova Z.V., Larina T.I., Zakharova S.V.


The quality of sociological data is the problem that cannot lose relevance in the works of methodologists and practicing sociologists for decades. Procedures and techniques for the improvement of the quality of information for all type of survey methods are developing. The purpose of the article is to inform the interviewers conducting semi-structured or unstructured interviews of the recommendations developed on the basis of the theory of psychotypes (by V.V. Ponomarenko). This technology will allow to improve the quality of sociological data. Identification of the psychotype of the respondent and his emotional reactions to different sensitive topics during the interview are the basis of this technology. Emotional reactions can be traced by nonverbal cues (facial expressions, gestures and poses) and interpreted by the technology of the analysis of nonverbal reactions developed and approved earlier. During the multi-stage experiment, the reactions significant in the course of interview were traced and analyzed - irritation, surprise, sadness, contempt, joy, fear, disgust, stress/discomfort, doubt/indecision, manifestations of mental processes. At the first phase, representatives of ‘ideal types’ of each psychotype were selected by an abridged psychological test and external diagnostics based on sensitive topics. As a result, the recommendations for a semi-structured interview were formulated. To use this technique, it is necessary to test an interviewee before the interview by the abridged psychological technique (in case there are doubts after the visual diagnostics). According to the psychotype the interviewer pays attention to the sensitive topics of the in-terview, and during the interview can reformulate the open-ended questions to reduce the sensitivity of significant topics for each respondent.
RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2018;18(1):156-165
pages 156-165 views

Sociological lectures


Naumenko T.V.


The article considers the always-actual issue of charity. The author notes that in Russia the charity has not reached its mature forms, therefore, for the realization of its socially significant goals the charity organizations need to improve the system of their marketing communications. The article con-siders the forms of marketing depending on the marketing context; shows the importance of volunteer activities; summarizes all components of marketing; explains the need to use the whole complex of inte-grated marketing communications by charity organizations; points to the specific economic and social goals of charity organizations and the non-price essence of charity; reveals the close connection of charity with the institutional context of society and the need to develop new formal and informal institutions to regulate charity activities and contribute to the development of a new system of values in the mass con-sciousness. Throughout the article, the author repeatedly emphasizes that the marketing of charity organiza-tions is a set of interrelated measures and methods aimed at both meeting the needs of consumers and receiving external support. All directions and subsystems of marketing of charity organizations are not only closely interrelated but also interdependent. For example, close cooperation with the media contributes to the formation of a positive image of a charity organization, which is necessary not only to improve its social reputation but also to get financial support of the state and commercial organizations including different corporations.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2018;18(1):166-177
pages 166-177 views


SERBIAN POST-SOCIALIST TRANSITION: NOTES OF THE PARTICIPANT OBSERVER Review of the Book: Šuvaković U. (2016) Serbia under the Transition. Moscow: Izd-vo RUDN. 162 p. (In Russ.)

Narbut N.P., Trotsuk I.V.


Review of the Book: Šuvaković U. (2016)Serbia under the Transition. Moscow: Izd-vo RUDN. 162 p. (In Russ.)
RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2018;18(1):178-183
pages 178-183 views

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