Vol 18, No 4 (2018)

Theory, Methodology and History of Sociological Research


Šubrt J.


Human society exists in two temporal measurements. Astronomical time is uniform, homogenous, quantitative and continuous. Social time cannot be described in the same way for there are days for special functions, periods of time with specific features due to the activities, meanings and associations with them, and critical dates breaking the continuity of time. Social time has a qualitative character, a nonuniform flow - it can slow down, speed up and even stop, and it cannot be arbitrarily divided into parts. The concept of social time suggests that time is a human creation, social life produces different temporal structures of social phenomena together with the tools and units to measure time. Despite the duration and thematic richness, the debates on social time unfairly ignore C. Levi-Strauss’s theory of synchronic time. The article considers its prerequisites, criticism and main ideas, in particular, the famous typology of “hot” and “cold” societies distinguished by the criterion of time as manifested differently in different types of social systems and having different meanings. Societies with the same perception of historical time as our society today, i.e. considering time as a huge folder where historical events are systematized not to be forgotten, are called hot (and emphasize one’s historicity). Cold societies’ basic cognitive systems try to be static and indifferent to changes, i.e. strive to ignore historicity and externalize it as alien to them. The author emphasizes that when speaking of cold societies as not taking time and historicity into account Levi-Strauss does not want to rewrite the laws of logic or physics and just attempts to see the world through the eyes of another culture.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2018;18(4):601-612
pages 601-612 views


Kudryavtsev V.A., Los E.V.


The article considers state-legal views of the Russian thinker I.A. Ilyin and aims at identifying their theoretical potential and role in the Russian history of sociology. The research is based on the works of Ilyin and researchers of his legacy. The relevance of such a study is determined, on the one hand, by Ilyin’s specific outlook that in many respects can explain the transformations of the Russian society at the turn of the 21st century; on the other hand, by the sociological need to search for specific Russian solutions. In the first part of the article, the authors consider Ilyin’s theory of law, legal consciousness, power and the state, focusing on the essence of natural law, category “normal legal consciousness” and its three axioms. When considering power and the state, Ilyin emphasized their legal nature and the differences between monarchical and republican legal consciousness. In the second part of the article, the authors compare Ilyin’s theoretical conclusions with the contemporary Russian society. They argue that Ilyin saw the roots of Russia’s fundamental problems in the general transformation of human culture, i.e. consistent dechristianization of all social spheres. This trend led to catastrophic events in Russia - the Revolution of 1917, establishment of the atheistic Soviet system, and the predicted disintegration of the country in the post-Soviet period. The main Ilyin’s recommendations for overcoming the system crisis are reforms of the state-legal sphere, in particular revival of the “normal legal consciousness” and update of the national idea so that patriotism would take the leading position. In the state building Ilyin preferred strong power and authoritative leadership, and also implementation of “creative” democracy principles such as the rule of law, legality, fair trial and civil initiative.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2018;18(4):613-626
pages 613-626 views


Deviatko I.F.


The belief that survey research instruments mediating communication between interviewer and respondent influence the quality of data obtained in the interview has become a conventional methodological wisdom long ago. However, the impact of the cognitive load experienced by the interviewer has not been systematically examined. When a questionnaire is filled up by an interviewer it is the latter who has to allocate limited individual resources of attention, memory, visual and motor control, active listening and interpretation in order to minimize the respondent’s misunderstanding of the questions and one’s own errors of the answers’ fixation. However, among various methods of pre-testing or evaluating survey mode effects and assessing instruments’ quality, the methods of multimodal quantitative estimation of instrument-related cognitive load experienced by interviewers during the interview are still rare or lacking. Thus, the article presents a brief review of subjective, behavioral and physiological measures of the cognitive load, which are used in such disciplinary fields as cognitive science, ergonomics, etc., and a discussion of preliminary findings of the field quasi-experiment conducted among the interviewers of the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey on the first stage of transition to the CAPI mode. The quasi-experiment findings prove some possibilities and limitations of the parallel use of a version of the cognitive load rating scale developed by F. Paas and a simple physiological measure (heart rate) supplemented with a background screen video capture from Android-based tablets used for CAPI interviews for the multimodal quantitative evaluation and optimization of the interviewer’s cognitive load.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2018;18(4):627-637
pages 627-637 views

Contemporary society: the urgent issues and prospects for development


Katernyi I.V.


The today’s post-human era is characterized by transformation, mutation, and reinvention of social identities of agents. Transgenders, robots, сlones have been increasingly involved in social community and, thus, contributed to profound normative morphogenesis in the contemporary society. Consequently, there is a challenging primordial heteronormativity with some fundamental ascriptive binaries evident in transgressive confusion of the following oppositions: between human and subhuman (e.g. legitimation of animal or fetal rights); between cultural and natural (cyborgs); between animate and inanimate (android robots); between corporeal and incorporeal (virtual, ‘augmented’ and ‘mixed’ reality). A range of practices related to such transgression can be considered as trans-mobility that implies various selfdetermined individual transitions from the former ascribed position to a new transitive one and external transpositions due to forced alteration of individual or collective statuses/identities. The article considers three typical modes of morphological trans-mobility to identify the most important arrays the ontological binaries are de-ascribed in: visceral trans-mobility pertaining to all possible options to modify human corporality (including radical body modification); conversional trans-mobility beyond the line between life and death, being and nonbeing, corporeal (material) and incorporeal (immaterial) ontology (from bitcoins to clones); prosopopoeian trans-mobility involving initially non-social creatures into active social life (from pets to robots). The author seeks to answer the question of how current normative morphogenesis is embedded into social-normative order. Based on the theory of recognition, the article considers morphotaxis (an opposite of morphogenesis) as a latent compensatory mechanism to maintain the primordial social order by persistent reproduction of heteronormativity. Based on some empirical data, the author shows that dichotomized sexual (male-female), genetical (sexual-asexual) and biological (animate-inanimate) patterns with corresponding social norms still constitute the morphological foundation of the primordial social order despite the advanced post-human practices.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2018;18(4):638-650
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Balyakin A.A., Zadorina A.K., Kuklina I.R., Malyshev A.S., Taranenko S.B.


The regulation of international scientific-technical cooperation in the Russian Federation aiming at improvement of managerial decisions in the field of scientific cooperation should take into account other countries’ approaches. The article considers strategic documents of 19 countries to identify three types of them: the first group consists of countries with a special strategic document on international scientifictechnical cooperation; the second group - of countries with a document on regional scientific-technical cooperation; the third group - of countries whose policies in the field of international scientific-technical cooperation are represented in national strategies for the development of science and technology and are integrated into action plans/strategies of the relevant departments. The article describes the organization of international scientific-technical cooperation in the USA, Mexico and Sweden. Thus, the USA developed a distributed system of coordination of international scientific activities under the uniform national approach, when science is considered an instrument of American foreign policy. Mexico follows a regional line in international scientific-technical cooperation without any special document regulating it. In Sweden, international scientific cooperation is considered a part of foreign policy and is administered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Based on the studied documents, the authors make several suggestions for Russian scientific-technical policy that have been already used in the draft Conception of International Scientific-Technical Cooperation of the Russian Federation. The authors propose to increase Russia’s participation in the world scientific process by relying on the best practices of the global leaders such as the United States and Switzerland, promoting the development of scientific diplomacy and mobility, and supporting the political interests of Russia, in particular considering the CIS, BRICS and the EEA. The future legal documents should also include issues of funding joint research and assessing the effectiveness of cooperation (qualitative and quantitative indicators of the success of scientific collaborations).

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2018;18(4):651-667
pages 651-667 views


Kliucharev G.A., Arsentiev M.V., Trofimova I.N.


The relevance of the study is determined by the Russia’s technological backwardness from developed and dynamically developing countries and by insufficient knowledge of mechanisms and tools to stimulate innovations in a particular social-economic environment. The authors focus on the issues of patents regulation as a key link in the transfer of innovations from science to production. The article aims at identifying features of stimulating innovation through the regulation of patent laws and practices in Russia and the United States, and possibilities of using the US experience to enhance inventive activity in Russia. The main research method was a survey of the experts representing main participants of all types of innovation activities - from design to regulation and commercialization. The theoretical base of the research consists of conceptual findings on the issues of intellectual property as a key mechanism of regulating innovative modernization. The authors also considered official documents reflecting trends in the development of patent law and practices. The intellectual property institution in today’s Russia does not ensure effectiveness of patents due to inconsistency of the state and market mechanisms for stimulating innovations. In the US, the emphasis is made on the balance between protection of property and market competition under the global technological trends. Thus, the effective innovative policy is based not on directive management and planning but on stimulating the interaction of all participants of innovation activities, which gives them the opportunity to realize their interests and opportunities both now and in the future. According to the experts, such an approach can ensure the advancement of innovations from development to commercial use, interconnection of economic sectors and, ultimately, technological modernization of the country.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2018;18(4):668-679
pages 668-679 views

Surveys, experiments, case studies


Belyaeva L.A.


Despite the popularity of interdisciplinary assessments of social well-being and quality of life of people in different countries, neither national nor international comparative projects provide a unified approach to assessing the quality of life. There are many approaches that differ in the amount of information used, methods of its analysis, details of the problems studied, approaches to their measurement. In sociological studies of the quality of life, we still search for an optimal combination of objective indicators of the social-economic development of countries and subjective estimates of life by the population. Moreover, quite often, when comparing objective and subjective indicators, the rankings of countries do not coincide even if the dynamics of indicators looks similar. The article presents a new approach to the analysis and measurement of the quality of life that takes into account not only physical existence, social environment, well-being and safety but also opportunities for personal growth, creativity, freedom to choose one’s life trajectory and style. Based on the data of the 2016 and 2012 European Social Studies (ESS), the author conducted a comparative analysis of the subjective life quality in Russia and other European countries. The article presents a method for calculating a composite index of 24 indicators including 11 indicators representing the existential aspect of the quality of life. The comparison of Russia with European countries shows that the subjective quality of life in Russia is lower than in other countries of Europe due to the long-term social transformation, unjust distribution of property and incomes, and strong social-economic differentiation. The social trauma had serious consequences for the identification, social connections, loyalty, patterns of thinking and behavior, and is still accompanied by a significant social-psychological tension and low estimates of most life quality parameters.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2018;18(4):680-694
pages 680-694 views


Mareeva S.V.


In recent years, difficult economic conditions in the Russian society have determined the urgency of assessing both objective and subjective well-being of the population. The article aims at identifying boundaries and characteristics of subjective well-being and ill-being in the contemporary Russian society. Based on the all-Russian survey conducted in 2018 by the Institute of Sociology of the FCTAS RAS and cluster analysis, the author identifies the zones of subjective well-being, ill-being, and an intermediate zone. The zone of subjective well-being is smaller than the zone of subjective ill-being; representatives of the former in general appreciate all aspects of their lives including those not related to income and consumption, while subjective ill-being can be defined by dissatisfaction with one’s material situation and leisure and holiday opportunities although together with satisfaction with other aspects of life. The zone of subjective ill-being is determined not so much by low incomes as by the problems its representatives face every day and are not able to solve on their own. Differences in the situation of the representatives of two polar zones lead to their different requests for social policy, which is mostly reflected not in different priorities but in the intensity of the request. The key areas in which the entire population expects assistance from the state are the guarantees of fair wages and functioning health care system. The situation of two groups indicates that without solving these problems the zone of subjective ill-being is unlikely to decline even under the rising incomes. As for localization, the zone of ill-being is typical for rural areas, elders and manual labor, while the zone of well-being is typical for the young urban ‘middle class’.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2018;18(4):695-707
pages 695-707 views

SOCIAL SPHERE: VECTORS OF CHANGE, RISKS,AND ADAPTATION RESOURCES (the results of all-Russian monitoring surveys)

Mozgovaya A.V.


The content of the concept ‘social risks’ has become a scientific problem for all areas of knowledge and social practices related to the study of uncertainty and its undesirable consequences. The author relies on the approach, according to which social risks should be interpreted as developing and manifesting themselves in the social sphere. The article analyzes the data of monitoring surveys of the Russian population conducted by the Institute of Sociology of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences with the financial support of the Russian Science Foundation for the project “The dynamics of social transformation in contemporary Russia in the social-economic, political, social-cultural and ethno-religious contexts”. The article shows the dynamics of some indicators of the changes in the social sphere: in addition to standard socialdemographic indicators, the author considers individual-personal ones such as emotional-psychological condition, assessment of the situation in the country, level of trust, confidence in the future, social orientations and preferences, satisfaction with different aspects of life. Based on the results of the analysis, the author makes conclusions of the theoretical and methodological character. For instance, the target-group analysis proved to be a method that expands boundaries and possibilities of interpreting data of the monitoring “contextual” opinion polls. Selection of subgroups of respondents according to the researcher interest allows to identify specific features within the general trends. The article shows that the group with negative assessments of social situation possesses the smallest resources to confront social risks and threats in all spheres of society. The estimates of the situation in the social sphere are determined not so much by socialdemographic characteristics or the level and quality of life as by individual and world-view peculiarities, especially by the perception of the state as the main adaptation resource.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2018;18(4):708-718
pages 708-718 views


Kostina E.Y., Orlova N.A., Panfilova A.O.


The article considers main approaches to the concept ‘anomie’ and its manifestations in the contemporary society, analyzes the system of values of different generations in Russia and their influence on the state of anomie. The maturing of a number of Russian generations was influenced by the radical changes in the country’s social-economic and political structure, which forced generations to adapt and to accept other values than those formed in the process of socialization. Today we can identify a generation whose value orientations were formed in the new economic and political conditions. Moreover, the Russian society has not yet overcome the transformational upheavals of the post-Soviet period, thus, it continues to serve as a good empirical base to study anomie and its concomitant phenomena (rejection of socially approved goals and/or ways to achieve them). The empirical basis of the article is the data of the 2017 authors’ survey and the Russian data of the World Values Survey. Empirical data show that anomie manifests itself in the increasing priority of material and pragmatic values, growing individualization of social practices, socially determined experiences of loneliness and anxiety, persistent doubts about the value and necessity of honesty, loyalty, modesty and conscientiousness, uncertainty or lack of strategic orientations, and in accepting different formats of R. Merton’s retritism as a way to overcome negative social-psychological consequences of the anomic state of society. Empirical data allowed the authors to confirm the hypothesis of the social-typical nature of anomie, describe some phenomena and interconnections related to the anomic situation, and identify instrumental possibilities of the empirical study of anomic tendencies. The authors also emphasize relevance of the available empirical data to the theoretical principles of the sociological study of anomie.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2018;18(4):719-730
pages 719-730 views


Bozhkov O.B., Trotsuk I.V.


The article presents the first results of field expeditions of 2018 as a part of the project that aims to assess problems and prospects of two most important social institutions of the Russian countryside - local authorities and entrepreneurship - in terms of the dominant scenarios of their interaction and their role in maintaining and stabilizing the situation in rural areas. Such an analysis of the practices of coordinating the interests of local authorities and entrepreneurship at the local level is important for understanding the balance of formal and informal elements in rural life for the real mechanisms of interaction of government institutions and key actors of local communities often differ from the regulatory rules if the latter fail to solve the problems of rural society. The planned three-year research will repeat the field expeditions of a decade ago, i.e. this is a comparative case study that combines quantitative and qualitative approaches (statistical data, participant observation and semi-formalized interviews), and the cases represent the features of the non-black-earth regions of Russia (where depopulation has become practically irreversible). The authors briefly summarize the findings of the first expeditions (a fundamental change in the composition of power structures, destruction of economic ties, dependent position of local government due to its financial and legal weakness, etc.) to set the context for comparative analysis, and describe their first impressions of the new field expedition to the old addresses (the scale and success of business activities in different areas are compared, factors that determine such activities are the heroic efforts of local authorities, new young and active entrepreneurs, reorientation of production to more popular and commercially successful niches, etc.).

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2018;18(4):731-746
pages 731-746 views

Sociological lectures


Abramov R.N., Bykov A.V.


The article presents the results of the analysis of classical and contemporary theories and approaches to the study of professional ethics. In the first part of the article, based on the ideas of H. Spencer, E. Durkheim and T. Parsons, the authors question the general sociological interpretation of the nature of professional ethics mainly in its functionalist perspective. According to Spencer, professions play an important moral role in social development such as improving the quality of life. Durkheim believed that professional ethics should contribute to solidarity and prevent labor and commercial conflicts, which can be facilitated by the restoration of guilds in a renewed form - as institutionalized moral regulators. Parsons conducted a theoretical analysis of medical ethics to emphasize the presence of prestigious professional positions based on altruistic values in capitalist societies. In the second part of the article, the authors prove that professional ethics was studied in Soviet and Russian sociology although in general it is represented rather poorly with the exception of works by A.V. Yadov, Yu.V. Sogomonov, E.A. Grishin and V.I. Bakshtanovsky, who emphasized practical aspects of the ethical actions of professionals. Today, the dispositional theory of personality developed by a group of researchers led by Yadov needs to be reinterpreted to take into account emotional and ethical components of professional work. Nevertheless, Russian authors developed an original theory of professional ethics as a special type of applied ethics, showed its purpose and criticized its social-philosophical models. The article presents an overview of contemporary Russian publications on sociology of professions, which allows to state a low interest in issues of professional ethics although most of the works mention “codes of professional ethics” as a mandatory attribute of professionalism. Despite the developed tradition of research in this field, the western sociology of professions is captured by functionalist and critical interpretations of professional ethics and rarely goes beyond the practical aspects of assessing the role of ethics in the actions of professionals.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2018;18(4):747-764
pages 747-764 views


Sharkov F.I., Silkin V.V., Abramova I.E., Kirillina N.V.


The extreme “pollution” of the global information space has a negative impact on the social well-being of the population for media space is a kind of social space covered by the media. It is necessary to create an effective system of legal protection and social guarantees so that any citizen can receive minimal social protection and be protected from the negative impact of the adverse ecology of the mass media. Not everyone who is experiencing intense exposure to the media is aware of its negative effects including “fatigue syndrome”. To prevent it, D. Lewis proposes the following algorithm: use all information technologies of business and everyday communication; improve the methods of studying and processing data; set the right priorities for their analysis and use [26]. All media and actors that interact with them must master information culture, for which it is necessary to train specialists in the field of media ecology who are aware of the influence of media and social technologies on people’s feelings, thoughts, values and behavior. So far, experts on media ecology do not have a sufficient theoretical basis for conducting sociological research and identifying how the media forces the audience to structure what it sees, hears and feels in a certain way. Today’s media (especially electronic) can have a violent and undesirable effect - this is not only a psychological but also a philosophical, social and cultural problem that affects both children and adults. “Information anarchy” leads not only to moderate negative consequences but in some cases to “information ecocide” - destruction of traditional information and the media. Countering the contamination of the information environment should include the following steps: development of requirements for the content creation; monitoring of the collection, storage, processing and destruction of information; development of criteria for assessing the use of information. It is necessary to introduce a single rating system for information products, which will allow users to evaluate the quality of information sources according to the following criteria: purity of information; work on creating content; source coverage; quality (completeness) of information; sources of specific data sets; social-demographic characteristics of potential users.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2018;18(4):765-775
pages 765-775 views


Davydov V.N., Arshinova A.I., Sofoklis S.


Despite the obvious interest of the media to cultural industries, this specific segment of the intellectual market still remains outside the focus of sociological interest. For example, “products with subtext” deserve our close attention for they are responsible for the ideological consistency of the information society especially due to the fact that information technologies, having become part of the production chains of cultural industries, have significantly expanded the functions of education and leisure. The seemingly heterogeneous productions of ideas and meanings are quite similar and unified in the elaboration of the repertoire, creation of the cult of the hero of his time and the culture of consumption of information products. E. Morin mentioned that creative technologies possess the “ability to standardize great romantic themes, thus, transforming archetypes into stereotypes”. Under the widespread digitization of production, this process has gained unprecedented dynamics, scale, ideological orientation and material interest. The persisting dramas of the Cold War and the post-Soviet conflicts prove that the “smart power” of Russia’s opponents is quite effective. On the one hand, it consolidates the public opinion of other countries, and, on the other hand, deforms the political culture of the object of its influence by sophisticated manipulations of the world picture of the younger generations. Investors of cultural industries not only invest in the expansion of a profitable intellectual business but also serve the political reproduction of power, which, in turn, provides optimal conditions for the “dual-use products” entering foreign information fields and cultural spaces. Whether or not the Russian society is ready to neutralize and counter the new class of information threats - the authors consider this and some other debatable issues.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2018;18(4):776-786
pages 776-786 views


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