Vol 21, No 3 (2021)

Theory, Methodology and History of Sociological Research

New transmission mechanism for the sustainable and humanistic development of human capital: Demand for the ‘rigidity turn’

Kravchenko S.A.


The author considers the becoming complex reality as developing nonlinearly and demanding new transmission mechanisms for the formation of human capital and also factors that contribute to changes in these realities: self-reflection of both nature and society; social gaps and traumas as becoming a ‘norm’; backward and forward trends; the increasing number of bifurcation points; ambivalences; side effects of digital innovations; consequences of global pandemics, etc. - all of them facilitate changes in the mechanism for the development of human capital. In the 1960s, G. Becker and T. Schultz introduced the term ‘human capital’ to start the studies of factors that make mechanisms of its formation more complex. Since then, many theories have been introduced to explain challenges to human capital, because various transmission mechanisms of influencing human capital have been formed as culturally and politically determined. Today, there are two challenges affecting the nature of human capital: digitalization and the global covid-19 pandemic create new requirements for human capital and change the transmission mechanism of its formation. However, the dominant pragmatic and formal-rational approaches to human capital distort its humanistic and sustainable components. The author insists on the need to create a new transmission mechanism for the sustainable and humanistic human capital development, which would include social-cultural and value elements, humanized digital technologies, bioethics and social epidemiology - in order to help social actors to function more effectively under the global complexity and nonlinear development. The author outlines the theory of the ‘rigidity turn’ as a social discourse, which aims at studying long-lived phenomena of social order and developing intellectual and practical foundations of the sustainable and humanistic formation of the human capital.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2021;21(3):433-443
pages 433-443 views

Contemporary society: the urgent issues and prospects for development

The youth of contemporary Belarus: Basic values, life plans and behavioral strategies

Danilov A.N., Rotman D.G.


The article considers the transformation of basic values, life plans and behavioral strategies of the youth in contemporary Belarus. The changes in basic values are directly connected with the youth’s adaptation to the conditions of global instability. The new generation is sensitive to social injustice, violations of rights and freedoms, unwillingness to take into account their opinions on current issues of social development and the future. The self-perception of people regarding the possibility to realize basic values in the current social-economic conditions is an important factor of social stability. In both 1990 and 2018, family holds the first place among the basic values in Belarus; work takes the second place as a factor of decent life and family’s success; the importance of friends and leisure remains the same over the decades, while the importance of politics and religion grows. International comparisons show that Belarus has the same hierarchy of values as European countries. The surveys prove a decrease in popularity of the traditional media among the youth and an increase in individualism, importance of personal self-realization in family and at work, and in reliance on one’s own forces. In the public space, the needs and expectations of people have changed - there is an increase in political radicalization and critical perception of the most important events, which affects the behavioral patterns of social-demographic groups. Education together with the family and new information technologies have a significant impact on values - there is an intragenerational gap, alienation from society and increasing informatization. The article is based on the results of the sociological surveys conducted in the framework of the European Values Study (EVS) (the results of 1990 and 2018 are compared).

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2021;21(3):469-481
pages 469-481 views

Infantilization of the youth: A methodological approach to measurement

Puzanova Z.V., Larina T.I., Tertyshnikova A.G.


Modernity, characterized by informatization, globalization and unprecedented acceleration of all social processes, significantly differs from the reality that existed several decades ago, which affects new generations whose lifestyle differs completely from their parents. The period of ‘growing up’ has changed, and society faces the challenges of infantilization which, on the one hand, is determined by various factors (media, virtualization, etc.) and, on the other hand, increases the impact of these factors. The article considers theoretical foundations of the concept ‘social infantilism’, its fundamental differences from the psychological interpretation of ‘infantilism’, its manifestations in the contemporary Russian society, and some methodological approaches to its measurement. The article presents the details of the development and testing of the sociological methodology for measuring the level of social infantilism. The development of this methodology consisted of several stages: at the first stage, a questionnaire was designed and tested on a group of students (30 respondents), then the projective technique ‘collage’ was used for validation on two mini-groups of students - with maximum and minimum indicators of infantilism. At the final stage, the corrected questionnaire was tested on a representative sample of the RUDN University students (N = 550). Social infantilism can be diagnosed in one of the spheres - political, economic, everyday life, family relations and ideological views - or as a generalized phenomenon (present in all spheres). The developed method was validated in the test form and can be used in educational institutions.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2021;21(3):444-456
pages 444-456 views

Formation of the youth’s social memory in the Eurasian integration states-participants

Osadchaya G.I., Kireev E.Y., Vartanova M.L., Chernikova A.A.


In the past thirty years, social memory of the Eurasian youth has been influenced by many ‘actors of the commerative space’, who often pursue their own goals in the struggle to legitimize the new political order and their policies of the radical economic transformation. The results of their efforts should be taken into account in the implementation of one of the most important joint projects of the post-Soviet countries - Eurasian integration, because social memory of the youth is the most important resource for its success. The study aims at clarifying and evaluating the mechanisms for preserving information about the past, the peculiarities of the generation Y ideas about the common history and the current stage of the EAEU construction, which are present in the public discourse, and at revealing the relationship between attitudes to the past and to the Eurasian integration, the influence of social memory on the personal worldview, the forms and methods of its reconstruction in the interests of the post-Soviet countries interaction and efficiency of the politics of memory. The formation of social memory is defined as the activity of actors (individuals, groups, organizations, social institutions, communities) aimed at the interpretation of the collective past and common present by the youth of the countries participating in the Eurasian integration. The empirical object of the study - young citizens of the member states and candidates for joining the EAEU (18-38 years old), who live, study or work in Moscow. The article considers the respondents’ assessments of the contribution of each of the actors to the social memory formation and describes social memory of the generation Y as a set of views, feelings and moods reflecting the perception of the Soviet past and the common present. The authors insist on the purposeful policy of the leaders of the countries, participating in the Eurasian integration, to ensure the reconstruction of the youth’s social memory and the consolidation of societies.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2021;21(3):482-496
pages 482-496 views

Classical and contemporary approaches to the study of solidarity: Challenges and perspectives under destructuration

Sorokin P.S., Popova T.A.


Since the 19th century, when the development of the ‘modern society’ accelerated, social cohesion factors have become relevant for theory and practice. Such issues as the national states’ development and emerging political parties, the division of labor and class and professional forms of solidarity have formed the agenda of both academic and policymaking debates. In recent decades, there has been another round of interest in the study of social cohesion and sustainability under de-colonization, emancipation, inequality and technological changes. Under the global pandemic, the issue of solidarity has become particularly acute. The covid-19 has created a new reality: millions of people live in the forced social isolation, and such key social institutions as education, culture and healthcare have been reconstructed with the usual forms of interpersonal interaction eliminated. This situation requires rethinking the rights and obligations of individuals together with the forms of appropriate social control and regulation. For instance, the ability of individuals to take initiative at the micro-level (like volunteer projects) turned out to be especially important for the public well-being. The authors consider the research on solidarity in social sciences taking into account the current trends of structural instability or ‘destructuration’. The authors analyze both classical theories of solidarity and contemporary related concepts to prove that microsociology focuses primarily on the reproduction of social structures rather than on their transformation by proactive individual or group agency. Moreover, the tradition of structural macro-analysis also ignores the formation of solidarity at the micro-level. The authors refer to the works of P.A. Sorokin and M. Archer who consider individuals as capable of proactive formation of solidarity. In contemporary studies, the authors identify two main approaches to the analysis of solidarity - rational and structure-determined, and analyze other prospective approaches developing at the intersection of philosophy and psychology. The authors conclude by suggesting some directions in the study of the solidarity-oriented individual action and its impact on societal development.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2021;21(3):457-468
pages 457-468 views

Typologies of anomalies in higher education

Zborovsky G.E., Ambarova P.A.


Under the transformation of the Russian higher education, its development is hindered by the wide spread of anomalies which carry serious risks for the universities, higher education and society. The article presents the authors’ interpretation of anomalies in higher education as violations of the substantial, structural and functional nature, determined by the mismatch of actions and interactions in universities with the fundamental norms of higher education. The research aims at providing typologies of anomalies in higher education. The practical meaning of these typologies is to use them as a basis for developing social technologies, mechanisms and forms of prevention and overcoming various types of violations in higher education. The authors use three methodological approaches - institutional, structural, and community-based - to introduce a theoretical framework for the study of anomalies in higher education. The typologies of anomalies were identified on the basis of the following criteria: 1) the nature of norms violated - anomalies of deviant (violation of moral norms) and delinquent (violation of legal norms) types; 2) the nature of anomalies’ manifestation - explicit and latent types; 3) the spheres of their manifestation - anomalies in the educational process, research, management, and social activity; 4) the levels of their manifestation - institutional, systemic and community-based anomalies; 5) subjects of abnormal behavior - anomalies in the communities of students, pedagogical, scientific stuff, and managers.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2021;21(3):497-511
pages 497-511 views

Labor market in the UK in digital era: The gender dimension

Mosakova E.A., Kizilova K.


The article considers gender discrimination in the field of labor relations in the United Kingdom (UK) in the pre-covid period. In the past decades, the Western European countries have made the most significant progress in achieving gender equality in various fields, including labor relations, and became the world leader in this area. However, despite all the efforts of the international community, no country has achieved a full gender equality, and Great Britain is no exception. The authors argue that the British anti-discrimination legislation (before leaving the European Union) was based on international acts and conventions. For a long time, there were acts and laws prohibiting discrimination in the labor market, which seriously hindered the implementation of an effective anti-discrimination policy in the sphere of labor relations. It was not until 2010 that the law on equality was passed to replace all previous laws and regulations and to provide an exhaustive list of criteria for prohibiting discrimination. As a result, Great Britain began to develop a rather strict national anti-discrimination legislation in the field of labor relations. Thus, in the past decades, the UK has been achieving gender equality in the economic sphere at a faster pace than the average European Union country. The study shows a steady decline in the gender wage gap in the UK over the past two decades, which may be considered one of the country’s most significant achievements in fighting gender discrimination in the labor market. However, there is still a number of serious challenges: a relatively low female labor force participation and employment rate, a gender wage gap and income gap, horizontal and vertical segregation, a gender gap in postgraduate education, and a significant gender gap in time spent on family responsibilities. Age discrimination presents a special problem in the sphere of labor relations in Great Britain. In the European Union, the first laws prohibiting age discrimination were adopted only in the 2000s, and in the UK - in 2006. This problem still remains extremely acute for the labor market, since age discrimination in the UK ranks third among the most common grounds for discrimination - after gender and disability.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2021;21(3):512-519
pages 512-519 views

The youth’s perceptions of the labor market in Russia, China and Germany: A comparative analysis

Savenkova A.S.


The study of the specifics of professional choice and of the factors that determine labor orientations of the youth is one of the urgent sociological tasks for researchers all over the world. The universal, supranational nature of this task under globalization explains the need to compare labor orientations of the Russian youth with their foreign peers. The article aims at assessing the basic ideas about the labor market of the youth in Russia, Germany and China. The empirical part of the article is presented by the survey and interviews of the Russian, German and Chinese youth. The author considers typical problems that the young professionals face when searching for a job, their opinions on the most important work qualities, similarities and differences in the perception of the ‘ideal worker’. Young people in Russia, Germany and China name different aspects of working life as the most important: Russian respondents value wages and the stability of organization more than the Chinese and especially German. On the other hand, German and Chinese students prefer activities that reveal personal creativity and leave space for personal life. Considering social capital, unlike their peers from Germany and China, Russian respondents do not associate the fact of having a university diploma with potential success in the labor market. More often than the Chinese and Germans respondents, the Russian youth mention nepotism and corruption as an obstacle to successful employment. Among the similar social perceptions of the respondents from three countries, one can name the difficulties associated with the lack of work experience. The interaction of educational institutions and employers can help in overcoming the difficulties that the young Russians face when searching for a job.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2021;21(3):520-535
pages 520-535 views

Social consequences of the 2020 regional elections in Indonesia under the covid-19 pandemic

Muzykant V.L., Muqsith M.A.


The article considers the relationship between the 2020 regional elections in Indonesia under the covid-19 pandemic, public space, and political activism in the social media. The covid-19 pandemic has changed the social, political and cultural fabric of the contemporary world. First, the covid-19 threatened the country’s healthcare system, then it affected other aspects of social life, including the political sphere. The pandemic has been exacerbated by the spread of misinformation about the covid-19, which is also known as the ‘infodemic’. Thus, the covid-19 pandemic influenced the choice of holding elections or delaying it until the situation is under control. The development of the social media encourages political activism in the ‘political public sphere’ and makes it more diverse in the sphere of egalitarianism. The political public sphere becomes increasingly dynamic and critical to various policies. Indonesia did not postpone the 2020 regional elections under the covid-19 crisis. According to the health protocol, this decision had its pros and cons in the digital space. The authors show that political activists in the social media called for prioritizing health rather than the process of democratization through elections, while the government supporters insisted on having elections even in the covid-19 pandemic situation. Finally, the 2020 regional elections were held but were followed by various incidents. The question is whether the government’s argument to hold elections under the covid-19 pandemic was reasonable or, on the contrary, contributed to the wider spread of the covid-19 in Indonesia. Deliberative democracy should consider civil participation as the main pillar of the political system, which is relevant for the new social reality as based on the new social media technologies.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2021;21(3):536-542
pages 536-542 views

Territorial images of Kazakhstan in the perception of the student youth

Valitova Z.K., Yessimova A.B.


Since gaining independence, Kazakhstan has undergone significant changes in the territorial structure, which affected social representations of its regions. The authors reconstruct the dominant territorial images of the younger generations that grew up in independent Kazakhstan. The article is based on the results of the mental maps method applied for revealing images of the country. The authors studied the representations of the country’s territories from two geographical positions - the center (Karaganda) and the south (Shymkent). According to the research procedure, the informants drew their version of the country’s map with the most important territorial objects, and proposed associations for the features of certain territories. 80 first- and second-year students were questioned in the higher educational institutions of Shymkent and Karaganda. In the first part of the article, the authors examine the images presented on mental maps, in the second part - associations for regions of the country. Thus, the authors identify three circles of the territorial vision: core, semi-periphery and periphery. The core consists of the place of residence and the cities of republican significance - Almaty and Nur-Sultan (the so-called southern and northern capitals). The dominant images of the core are political, cultural, toponymical and resource. The semi-periphery consists of regional centers with the natural-resource and climatic images, the periphery - of cities far from the students’ place of residence and of the “voids” - territories not indicated on the map. The images of the periphery reflect mainly the climatic features of territories. The authors argue that the ‘recognizability’ of territories in the perception of the student youth reflects a certain hierarchical spatial structure in which the status cities dominate.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2021;21(3):543-556
pages 543-556 views


Danilov A., Rotman D.


The authors focus their research on transformation of basic values, life plans and behavioral strategies of young people in contemporary Belarus. The paper considers the question, if youths are ready to respond to the new challenges of time. The time for reflection is coming to an end. The decisions which will be made with active participation of the new generation during the next several decades will determine the future. The truth, obtained through tireless work of the soul, the understanding of justice as the highest value is the construction material for the new ideal. Do the modern youths have ideals? What can be expected from the generation just entering adulthood? The formation of a new generation has been taking place in the conditions of global instability, transforming society, with the background of changing social attitudes, disappointment with the liberal-democratic model of development. Intragenerational split is felt stronger, alienation from society, the increasing influence of digitalization. A characteristic feature of the new generation is individualism and radicalism. Such universal positive qualities as responsibility, kindness and responsiveness yield to personal, individualistic qualities in their self-awareness.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2021;21(3):

Sociological lectures

Genesis of sociology of media space

Sharkov F.I., Silkin V.V.


Sociology of media space is a new and still developing branch of sociology, just like sociology of space - a basic branch of sociological knowledge. Sociology of space focuses on natural space as a framework for the development of social connections and relations; while sociology of media space considers this space as a part of social space, not as its measurement but as a metaphor. Some natural space turns into a social space only if people use it and live in it. Social boundaries and meanings are added to natural space, which transforms it into a social phenomenon. Although sociology of media space is still developing, there is no doubt that the mass media have made a significant contribution to the development of social relations and sociology by filling social space with messages of all kinds. Media space is a platform that serves as a basis for social communications, a key to the social development, and a means of positive impact on the life of individuals, groups and organizations. Everything social is located in a space-time continuum, and the sociological approach to the theory of network media space is based on the assumption that there is a strong connection between network media communications and social changes. Sociology of media space does not emerge from sociology of space: the developing media space, which is studied with sociological methods, manifests itself in its social coordinates - this is how sociological knowledge expands to consider not only various spatial aspects of social life, but also the features of different contents and information chains created by the convergence of various media and ways of disseminating information.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2021;21(3):557-566
pages 557-566 views

Small entrepreneurship: The role in the social-economic system

Golodova Z.G., Smirnov P.A.


Optimizing the structure of the economy and ensuring the stable employment are the most important components in the policy of developing a flexible and competitive economy. The economic development strategies of the EAEU countries emphasize the need to increase the share of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in GDP and the share of the employed in this sector. However, the planned development parameters have never been achieved, which is determined not only by a long period of economic instability and insufficient government support for SMEs, but also by the social perception of entrepreneurship. The article considers the role of entrepreneurship, primarily small business, in the social-economic system. Based on the generalization of the entrepreneurship interpretations, the authors show that it has both economic and social significance, especially in the countries with developing markets. Small business performs numerous functions and has such features as mass character, innovations, riskiness and responsibility; it is an institution of social development, and a factor of economic growth and political stability. The analysis of the activities of small business in the EAEU countries (Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia) in 2015-2019 shows their significant lag behind the developed countries. However, in recent years, the social role of SMEs has increased for they take into account the needs of local consumers and the possibilities of local markets, which is due both to the number of employees and their qualifications, and to the introduction of science-intensive technologies. The sociological data prove a change in the social perception of entrepreneurship: it is recognized as a successful career option and social status, but also as facing challenges that hinder its development. The article is based on the statistical data of the EAEU countries and the Eurasian Economic Commission, analytical materials of rating agencies and research centers.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2021;21(3):567-579
pages 567-579 views

Human rights and information extremism

Kartashkin V.A., Bykov E.P.


The article considers the urgent issue of a scientific-practical nature - the relationship between the institution of human rights and such a complex social-legal phenomenon as information extremism, which the authors consider from the standpoint of the theory of complex social systems - as one of the varieties of intellectual extremism in information society. The authors apply the axiological approach to position human rights as universal values. Therefore, information extremism is a legally prohibited activity (a set of acts, actions) in the information space, which is illegal in nature, threatens the foundations of the constitutional order and security of the individual and society, and violates human rights and freedoms. Information extremism aims at destroying and discrediting social and personal values, imposing values and simulacra that are unacceptable for the individual and society, i.e., information extremism is a universal human anti-value. Information is a construct of reality and one of social values; therefore, information extremism, which deliberately uses fake information, creates conditions for a distorted perception of reality. Thus, under the current global geopolitical and social-communicative transformations, information human rights are the main object of the purposeful and destructive influence for information extremism. The article focuses on the fact that in the contemporary pandemic realities, the human right to information needs to be significantly changed - the authors propose to develop a new charter of human rights in order to develop mechanisms for protecting information rights. Under the constant expansion of telecommunications, the growth of information flows and digitalization of almost all spheres of life, it is necessary to ensure the human right to reliable information: the UN Human Rights Committee should make an appropriate General Comment in accordance with the Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to clarify the nature and quality of information which can be sought, received and distributed according to the Paragraph 2 of this article.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2021;21(3):580-589
pages 580-589 views

The origins of the theory of values in sociology and directions of its development

Ryndina A.S.


Since the first stages in the development of society and its scientific models, the term ‘value’ has become a center of theoretical and applied concepts. On the one hand, in everyday life, we all understand the importance of value diversity; however, on the other hand, it is not clear how this diversity can be combined with the social order. The article presents an attempt to identify those interdisciplinary origins of the theory of values that are the most significant for the conceptual definition of ‘value’ and for the empirical study of the value system of the contemporary society in sociology. The author identifies two conditional trends in the development of the theory of values, which are fundamentally important for sociology: the first trend is presented by the development of a kind of axiological concept which was originally purely philosophical. As a rule, the origins of this trend are found in the works of I. Kant (morality as duty, its relationship with freedom and natural aspirations, objective goals, absolute values, etc.), since all subsequent philosophical interpretations of values either followed or criticized his transcendental approach. Thus, representatives of neo-Kantianism focused on such concepts as ‘revaluation of values’, ‘value devaluation’, ‘imaginary values’ and ‘guiding cultural values’, ‘values and estimates’. The origins of the classical sociological theories of values are found in the works of E. Durkheim: he believed that values formed a kind of objective reality on which social harmony can and should be based; therefore, the main social phenomena (religion, morality, law, economics, aesthetics) are systems of (very different) values, or social ideals. The evolution of sociological interpretations of values was determined by the gradual departure from purely theoretical concepts to generalized methodological models, which allowed to describe the role of values in the institutionalized performance of the functions of preserving and reproducing a cultural model, and then to empirical-instrumental models based on the terms ‘value orientations’ and ‘social attitudes’. Thus, the second conditional trend in the development of the theory of values in sociology is determined by the introduction of methods for the empirical study of value diversity in the historical and comparative perspectives.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2021;21(3):590-609
pages 590-609 views


How sociology of emotions is possible, and how it helps to understand happiness and justice

Trotsuk I.V.


The article is a reflection-review of the book by Scott R. Harris An Invitation to the Sociology of Emotions (translated from English by O.A. Simonova; Moscow: HSE; 2020). Certainly, such a type of scientific works does not need a review after publication, but this book requires special attention for sociology of emotions seems to be a marginal area of Russian sociology, at least in the institutional perspective. After a brief description of the origins and manifestations of the ‘affective turn’, the author considers its consequences for social sciences (recognition of the cultural nature of emotions, perception of ‘emotional standards’ in the course of socialization, etc.), and reconstructs the sociological model for the study of emotions as developed by Harris: reliance on symbolic interactionism and the social exchange theory, analysis of the normative aspect of emotions (cultural expectations about how one should feel in different situations, social standards for assessing the acceptability of emotions, etc.) and of the ‘procedural’ side of the emotional life (exchange of emotions, management of emotions, identification of emotions, and ‘emotional labor’).

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2021;21(3):610-622
pages 610-622 views

Non-heroic heroes: Two approaches to the analysis of media images

Subbotina M.V.


In the contemporary society, media ‘heroes’ are one of the most influential reference groups, which determines our perception of our own life in terms of happiness, success, justice, well-being, or, on the contrary, in opposite terms. The article is a review of two books: Salakhieva-Talal T. Psychology in Cinema: How to Make Heroes and Stories . Moscow: Alpina non-fiction; 2019. 349 p.; and Lilti A. The Invention of Celebrity. Transl. from French by P.S. Kashtanova. Saint Petersburg: Ivan Limbakh Publishing House; 2018. 496 p. The author believes that such works are necessary to broaden the horizons of the sociologist focusing on the development of social representations of happiness, justice and well-being: these works explain psychological and visual (the first book) and historical and media (the second book) prerequisites and tools for creating ‘heroes’ as role models.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2021;21(3):623-633
pages 623-633 views

Scientific life

VII international scientific conference “Digitalization of society and the future of Christianity. On the transformation of the value-regulatory system of society”

Ryazantsev I.P., Plyusnin R.M., Kargin E.A.


On February 18-19, 2021, the St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University for the Humanities hosted the VII international scientific conference “Digitalization of society and the future of Christianity. On the transformation of the value-normative system of society”. At this scientific event, prominent scientists from Russia, Italy, Germany, France, Taiwan, China, India, Nigeria, Ukraine and Belarus made their presentations. They considered in the Christian perspective the challenges and benefits of digitalization for the contemporary society. A special emphasis was made on the changes in values and norms under digitalization.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2021;21(3):634-640
pages 634-640 views

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